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Fox News doesn't get a lot of mention on this site, as we typically talk movies, not politics. But Lou Dobbs drew our attention when he spoke out a supposed conspiracy between President Obama and Hollywood to brainwash children with cartoon characters. On his show, Dobbs declared that two new movies, The Secret World of Arrietty and The Lorax were created by Hollywood to "indoctrinate" children into supporting environmental causes and Occupy Wall Street…or something. His logic is pretty mind boggling, but can be viewed in below in this clip courtesy of Media Matters:
Dobbs claims the liberal media is ignoring this so-called "plot" that is "plainly demonizing the so-called '1 percent' and espousing the virtue of green-energy policies, come what may." How this seems to boil down is that Dobbs feels the four-inch Borrowers at the center of The Secret World of Arrietty who take scraps from humans to live, are meant to represent the 99% of the OWS movement. First off, I'm certain no one in the Occupy movement would want to be compared to a Borrower because of all that connotes, what with being easily ignored little people who essentially steal scraps to survive. Secondly, the film was not a Hollywood production, but rather a co-production between Japan's heralded animation maker Studio Ghibli and the America-based Walt Disney Company, and was based on a popular children's novel written by a Brit author Mary Norton in 1952. So it's highly unlikely it was intended to be some sort of OWS commentary. Lastly, as someone who has actually seen the movie, I have to admit I find this allegation absurd, as there is no whiff of class conflict within the fantasy tale. It's a story of friendship, summer love, and growing up, not revolt.
Next Dobbs tackles The Lorax, which he acknowledges is "an adaptation of the classic Dr. Seuss children's book" about a creature who "speaks for the trees and fights rampant industrialism." (Emphasis is his). Then he jumps to clips of President Obama talking about "fair play" in a baffling attempt to explain the connection and so-called collusion. Now, I have no intention of arguing with Dobbs that The Lorax has a political agenda. Of course it does. Most of Dr. Suess's books did, as a recent meme reminded us all. But I fail to see why it's a bad thing to warn children about excess. Dobbs himself notes that the story is about "rampant industrialism," yet doesn't offer why such a message is negative. In the book—I haven't yet seen the film—the Lorax appears to warn the Once-ler about the consequences of his tunnel-vision drive to make thneeds, a thing that everyone needs but has no clear purpose. Of course, in his quest for wealth, the Once-ler ignores him and devastates the land, forcing all the native animals to leave or die. But is moderation really such a radical message?
For his final stroke, Dobbs turns to his guests for their thoughts. One flat-out denies this is a threat, and says parents should monitor what their kids see and determine for themselves if it suits their own ideology. A second insists that parents need a break from all this liberal media brainwashing! And his third guest suggests that conservative parents subvert The Lorax's green message by buying a bunch of snacks and paper products and then trash the theater with the materialistic mess to prevent kids from becoming "Occu-toddlers." That's right, make those movie theater workers feel your disdain for environmental awareness! That'll show Hollywood!
It's a good thing Dobbs didn't notice that The Lorax's marketing has expanded to attempts to save the rainforest.