Friday, March 04, 2005

"Movieguide" misinforms on the Oscars

Standard warning: Talking about movies you might've not seen yet, spoilers may come up, consdier yourself warned.

Ever heard of Dr. Ted Baehr, (as in "Teddy Bear," get it?,) and his organization, "Movieguide?" Well, let me aquaint you:

Baehr is yet another culture critic who calls himself "conservative" but is actually by action a pro-censorship advocate with a religious agenda, in other words an ideological kinsman of Michael Medved and L. Brent Bozell, whom frequent readers of this blog are no-doubt familiar with. You know the drill by now: His website, "," purports to offer film-content reviews "for families" but mostly is a forum for Baehr and company to advance an anti-choice, anti-gay, religiously-biased agenda in the guise of film criticism.

You can guess what my overall opinion is of Movieguide's activities, and you'd be correct. So let's skip the hyperbole and get down to brass-tacks: Baehr is, expectedly, perturbed about the Oscar results. Read his brief summary of the show here:

Let's look at some quotes. First up, his opening paragraph:
"Death overcame life at the 77th Annual Oscars® and, in a town that abhors Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Germany (for good reason), neo-national socialist movies took home several of the top awards."

Hm? Reference to some kind of "irony" in Hollywood's hatred of Nazism in particular, right off the bat. What's that about? Is it just an odd left-field reference, or is this meant to be some kind of subtle dig at the large Jewish segment of the Hollywood community that (we've been told again and again) are behind the "conspiracy" to suppress "The Passion?" Could go either way, I guess, but doesn't it just feel a bit... "off" to lead with that? Hm.

"Instead of giving the Best Picture Oscar®, or even Best Foreign Language Film, to Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, those awards went to two movies advocating euthanasia, a eugenics policy reminiscent of the murderous propaganda of Hitler’s henchman Dr. Joseph Goebbels."

"Movieguide" has been involved in the religious-movement subculture of the entertainment biz long enough to know better than this. The accusation above omits the fact that "The Passion" couldn't have won either category because it wasn't nominated in the first place, and could not even have been nominated in the Foreign category because of rules stipulating eligible films must be in the non-english national-language of their country of origin, and "Passion's" Aramaic is a dead language, not a foreign one.

Now, lest you think I'm just picking on Ted Baehr out thin air, rest assured I've made a study of his antics in the past. Unfortunately, many of Movieguide's older reviews are closed-off to those who aren't "members" of the larger site, but let me show you a couple things...

Now, NOTHING gets under Baehr's skin like a film that he feels is "attacking" Christianity. Now, honestly, that's fair. Attacking a faith is serious business, and if anyone does it cavalierly and without a higher purpose than those who follow said faith are well within their rights to get annoyed or even downright furious. Baehr has gotten so about films like "Saved!" and "Dogma," and while you may disagree (and I do) that he had a reason to be upset about those, to FEEL attacked and respond in kind is his right.

Now, here's the problem: When it comes to attacking the faiths of OTHERS, Baehr doesn't practice what he preaches. Look at what he had to say about one of Christianity's fellow members of the "world's biggest religions club," Buddhism, in this "news" story on Movieguide about Jennifer Lopez claiming that Richard Gere introduced her to the philosophy:

Money quote: "Buddhism is a dangerous false religion that has led millions of people to eternal damnation."

You read that right. These are the folks, by the way, who get oh-so-angry when they are accused of being "intolerant."

Oh, and naturally "Movieguide" and Baehr claim to despise movie-violence... but can you GUESS how they felt about "The Passion?"

Yup, you'd be right about that, too.