If you're toxic metal preacher Bradlee Dean Smith, and you also think Andy Birkey is a naughty gay man and atheist, it's time to act, and take the publication he works for, MSNBC, and Rachel Maddow along in your $50 million lawsuit.
Dean is accusing the defendents of saying naughty things about him to take down Michele Bachmann's presidential bid, even before Bachmann decided to run. In short, an appeal to motive.
Seriously, there's nothing as deadly as an atheist on God's speed dial, getting word even before Minnesota's Best Christian that she'll be running for President.
And for your lawyer for this hot mess? Freedom Watch's Larry Klayman, a professed close friend of Michele Bachmann. (Hat tip to Karl Bremer).
The Klayman connection
In a January column for World Net Daily, Klayman praised the Sixth District Republican in The left's maniacal fear of a President Bachmann:
Michele is not a "Republican In Name Only" (derisively known as "RINOs'); she is someone who puts conviction to action, and I have come to know her very well in the last year. . . .
. . .I became reacquainted with Michele last fall when I visited her in her office in the Rayburn Building. As I waited in the lobby, I remember her "bouncing" out of her office like an energetic, enthusiastic staffer, quickly walking over to me and with a warm smile holding out her hand. Looking into her eyes, I told her how nice it was to meet her. In a quick response she quipped, smiling, "Larry, I met you many years ago at CNP!" The Council for National Policy is a group of conservatives that gathers in private quarterly to discuss policy. I obviously did not remember this (Michele had not yet run for office), but it said a lot to me that she remembered. Michele obviously was a fan of Judicial Watch, the public-interest group I had founded and built into an anti-corruption fighting force – the real "People's Justice Department." Now I was visiting her as chairman of Freedom Watch, which is the next generation of freedom fighters I founded later on, my having left Judicial Watch in 2004 to run for the U.S. Senate in Florida.
The cornerstone of Bill Prendergast's Michele Bachmann's America is that Bachmann was groomed for office by the Council for National Policy, so Klaymann's cameo appearance as Bradlee Dean Smith's lawyer will seem like a godsend (or something).
In his column, Klayman scorned Maddow and others in the press in observations close to the claims in the lawsuit:
Because of her popularity among tea partiers in particular, Michele has been vilified by the left for quite a while. But now that Michele in recent days has made it known that she is considering a run for the presidency, the left has emerged from "its venomous closet" in an attempt to abort her presidential bid prior to birth – pun clearly intended!
Not that she was treated well by the likes of Chris Matthews, Keith Obermann, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell – the vicious male and feminist lesbian ultra lefties of MSNBC – before her tacit announcement, but now that she is taking on the leftist establishment on the ultimate scale, and has arisen like Lazarus (ironically my name in Hebrew) as the replacement for their previous heterosexual female victim, the already politically assassinated Sarah Palin, Mathews, Obermann, Maddow and O'Donnell – along with the pliant lackey commentator minions who suck up to them to qualify as "regulars" on their programs – are foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs.
Oh, the victimization.
Attacking Bachmann by attacking Dean
And it does seem like Dean yokes his claims close to attacks on Bachmann, his lawyer's close friend.
In Heavy metal minister Bradlee Dean sues Rachel Maddow, Minnesota Independent, Todd Heywood reports:
Controversial pastor and rock musician Bradlee Dean filed suit Wednesday in federal court alleging he was defamed by reporting from the Minnesota Independent as well as MSNBC star Rachel Maddow and her show.
Dean, of the ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International (YCR), claims that reporting on his May 15, 2010, radio show “maliciously set out to and did harm not only the Plaintiffs but by extension also the presidential campaign of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.”
The Minnesota Independent story: May 25, 2011
The Minnesota Independent published GOP-linked punk rock ministry says executing gays is ‘moral,’the article about the broadcast, on May 25, 2010. The article makes no mention of a presidential bid by Bachmann.
A Nexis search reveals that while Birkey has written extensively about Bachmann, very few articles posted prior to the Dean piece focused on a Bachmann presidential bid. Those few that did were mere blog posts about questions Bachmann fielded from other publications about a possible run.
It's not as if Birkey possesses a gift of prophecy.
In August 2009, Birkey blogged about a WDN interview with Bachmann in which the question was raised and answer: President Michele Bachmann? Only if God says so. In October, 2009, Birkey noted a Sioux City Journal blog interview in which Bachmann says no to White House run, wants controversial Rep. King instead.
In February 2010, Birkey reported in Bachmann: Nancy Pelosi hates me that radio talk show host Michael Savage asked if Bachmann sought higher office, mentioning a Bachmann-Romney ticket. Bachmann stressed that she was focused on being re-elected to the house, according to Birkey.
Nor did the pace pick up following the Bradlee Dean story. On September 7, 2010, Birkey reported Bachmann, Pawlenty listed on religious right’s presidential straw poll. On September 17, Birkey wrote that Bachmann pulled out of a 2012 presidential straw poll at the Value Voters Summit in Washington DC, following an email sent out by her opponent in the 2010 congressional race:
Clark’s campaign asked, “What’s she running for?” in a fundraising pitch Friday:
Today, Michele Bachmann will appear on the presidential preference ballot at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC before jetting off to Miami to speak to the ultra right-wing fringe Taking America Back Conference.
Bachmann is campaigning for candidates throughout the nation. She’s got a national PAC. She’s visited Iowa multiple times. She’s even got a fancy tour bus. It’s like my grandma used to tell me: If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, Michele Bachmann is considering running for President.
As news surfaced in the press about the emerging Bachmann bid, Birkey's coverage increased.
In covering the preacher, the Minnesota Independent did not single out Dean's relationship with Bachmann, but covered his connections with other Republican politicians as well, including gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Dean's beliefs played a part in the criticism Target received for a corporate contribution to a business PAC that supported Emmer.
Given the paucity of material published by the Minnesota Independent about a hypothetical presidential run by Bachmann before May 2010, Dean must imagine that Birkey has super powers, setting up the May 2010 article as a marker for the destruction of both preacher and a yet-to-be announced presidential bid. That will stand up in court. Ya betcha.
Maddow and more at City Pages
Over at City Pages, Andy Mannix takes a long look at the Maddox side of Dean's accusations in Bradlee Dean sues Rachel Maddow, following up with Bradlee Dean suing Andy Birkey of Minnesota Independent as well as Rachel Maddow. The accusations against Maddow appear to be equally thin gruel.
Former City Pages reporter Nick Pinto, now at sister paper Village Voice, attended the press conference and snagged video of the press conference. Dean dwells at length on his connections with Bachmann during the prepared statement to the press. Read the Pinto report in Homophobic Preacher Sues Rachel Maddow for $50 Million, Claims She Overstated His Homophobia.
Also in the Mannix package: Minnesota Independent, MSNBC respond to Bradlee Dean lawsuit:
"The allegations by Bradlee Dean and You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International (YCR) are completely without merit," the statement says.
The statement continues:
The American Independent News Network stands firmly behind our news site, The Minnesota Independent; our reporter, Andy Birkey; as well as their reporting on Dean and his ministry. The complaint describes Birkey as taking "a 'special interest' in Plaintiffs Dean and YCR because he is a secularist and/or atheist and gay activist with a politically left ideology who despises people of faith."
However, in giving Birkey and The Minnesota Independent first prize for Best Continuing Coverage of their reporting on YCR, the 2010 judges for the Minnesota Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist's Page One Awards stated, "the reporter [Birkey] takes a deep-dive with an even-handed approach into a weighty subject sure to provoke controversy from various standpoints. Leads readers to think about serious public policy and constitutional issues."
We are confident that the courts will agree that this lawsuit is completely frivolous and is a blatant attempt to chill freedom of the press.
MSNBC released a slightly less detailed statement:
This suit is baseless and we stand by our reporting.
Final thought: how these people find each other?
And so it goes. Bluestem is curious: did Dean find Klayman, did Klayman find Dean, or is the Bachmann campaign the go-between? Is Bachman, the attorney of record's close friend, comfortable in being mentioned so prominently in the case?
Photos: Dean at today's presser, photo by Nick Pinto, used with permission of the Minneapolis City Pages (above); Andy Birkey (below)
Disclosure: I have freelanced for the Minnesota Independent, but didn't write about Bradlee Dean for the venue.