A Fox News "controversy," relating to a specific instance of right wing/Christian victimization usually has a shelf life of one day, starting with Fox & Friends and ending later that day on at least one of the night shows where indignant Fox hosts spread the misinformation in order to keep hate alive. But the recent elimination of a Christian song, from the Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, must be a big f%#king deal for Roger Ailes because it was featured on this morning's Fox & Friends after having been dealt with on Tuesday's Fox & Friends and Kelly Files. It's obvious that this perceived effrontery to Christians fits nicely with Fox News' ongoing Christian persecution meme. But what is really amusing is the rich irony in Fox pimping the cause of a Christian who broke rules and, in do doing, bearing what appears to be "false witness" against those who run the Academy Awards. Oh, right, that's evil, librul Hollywood, so it's all good!
In her introduction to the segment, part of the patented "Fight for Faith" Fox & Friends series, Heather Childers announced that the Academy is "under fire after a song composer gets yanked from an Oscar nomination because of his faith based movie." As I reported in the other threads, the Oscar nomination for the song "Alone and Not Alone," from an evangelical Christian movie, was rescinded because the songwriter "lobbied fellow music branch members via email during the voting period, a violation of the Academy's campaign regulations." In requesting that 70 members of the Academy music branch "direct" their "attention" to his song, Bruce Broughton broke an Academy rule and, in do doing, appeared that he was trying to unduly influence the judging process which is based on anonymity of the music source.
After some of the music (!?) was played she reported that the song got a "standing ovation" in Hollywood, last night. As she later mentioned, the ovation was at the "Christian Oscars." She asked if the song was "ruled out because of religion or is something else going on here?" (I know, I know, it's because Hollywood hates Christians, right?) She tossed to her guest Dr. Ted Baehr, head of the Christian Film Commission.
To Childer's question of what the "official reason" for the nixing of the song, Baehr explained that Broughton merely sent out the above cited e-mail. He dismissed this as no big deal because studios do lots of publicizing of their own material which he occasionally gets. He didn't mention the specific rule that was broken but claimed that "they did not want an independent film to break into the high life of the Academy nomination." Childer's explanation of the rule breaking was that it "was a grass roots effort to make people aware" of the movie. Baehr again ignored the actual Academy rules when he said that this was just a small attempt, compared to the big studios, to promote the film. He claimed that this is a case of "bias."
After Childers read part of the statement from the Academy she asked if this is the "real reason" or "just a case of faith based bigotry." Baehr claimed that if Broughton hired a publicist, it would have been OK, an assertion that flies in the face of the rules. He mentioned that his Academy pals, including Jerry Molen (who was on the Kelly Files) have protested. Childers' quoted Molen as saying that if this nomination is rescinded, then every Oscar should be rescinded. A smiling Baehr chimed in "any one of Harvey Weinstein's movies." (Oh, snap?) Childers and Baehr gushed over the "remarkable performance" by the quadriplegic singer.
Do ya think that if a song from a Muslim was, in using the Fox descriptor for what happened to the Christian movie, "picked on," Fox News would be as concerned?
The Academy has repeatedly made clear that the issue here was that Broughton used his access to the Academy’s email list to send out messages telling members of the Music Branch the names of the composer and lyricist for his song – something that is expressly forbidden. It’s one thing for the various producers and potential nominees to hold screenings, parties, etc. It’s one thing for the producers to take out ads in the trade papers and on industry-heavy websites. It’s one thing for the producers/studios to send out screeners of the movies or materials they want people to consider. That’s all par for the course and appropriate – even if it does get annoying at times.
It’s an altogether different thing for a known and influential Academy member to use his position to get a nomination through. Had this been a case where word of mouth was building and people were all telling each other what a great song this was, then there wouldn’t have been a controversy. But the movie in question is so obscure that nobody had heard of it until Broughton broke the rules and tried to bypass everyone else. He knew the movie was going to disappear along with the song, so he figured he’d do a long pass and see if he could push the voters into suddenly listening to it. Instead, he got the movie and the song tangled up in a bunch of bad publicity.
I suspect that there is another reason why the hard right wingers are making so much noise. They know the movie will not be getting that nomination back, and they know they don’t have a leg to stand on. But I think they’re hoping they can get more attention for the movie itself so it can sell a few copies in the home video market – most likely to Fox News viewers and AM radio listeners. Don’t be surprised if a few ads for the DVD release pop up in the usual places, and if you see a few bits like Fox & Friends doing an interview with the filmmakers and the singer again when this release happens.
Fox News thus gets a double bump out of this. They get to feign moral outrage over nonsense, and they get to help an obscure movie they’ve now championed make a little coin.
I suppose if the “Fox Fiends” want to be consistent, they should take up the cause of Fab Morvan and reinstating his Best New Artist Grammy. (Fab is the surviving member of Milli Vanilli which had their Grammy stripped when it turned out that neither he nor Rob Pilatus had actually sung on the album.) Not really sure of Fab’s religious orientation but, still in the name of “fair and balance,” it only seems right.
Well, U2 and Disney- You can’t tell me there isn’t a little bit of lipstick in the mix there.
Fox needs to learn to live with that- And besides, I don’t see Fox News caring when the slant favoured Christians, one way or the other. Seriously.