11:56am PT by Eriq Gardner
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC Sued For $50 Million Over On-Air Comments (VIDEO)
Heavy-metal rocker turned radio host and conservative preacher Bradlee Dean is suing MSNBC and its host Rachel Maddow for allegedly defaming him in a segment. The lawsuit claims $50 million in damages and alleges that Maddow twisted Dean's comments in an effort to undermine Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
Dean leads a Minnesota-based Christian ministry and has been vocal about the threats posed by homosexuality.
Last year, Dean went on radio and talked about Muslim Sharia law and his view that it called for the execution of homosexuals -- evidence, as he saw it, that Muslims were upholding biblical laws. "They seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do," he said.
For a segment devoted to Minnesota politics and a boycott of Target Brands, Inc. for its political donations, Maddow took what Dean had to say and used it to paint him as anti-gay with the implication he advocated their execution, according to the suit.
Here's the clip of the "Rachel Maddow Show" in question:
Dean asserts that Maddow took his comments out of context. Here Dean's full quote, delivered on his radio show and later used by Maddow:
Muslims are calling for the execution for homosexuals in America, this was just released yesterday and it shows you that they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible, the Judeo Christian God. They seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do. Because these people are livid about enforcing their laws, they know homosexuality is an abomination. And I continually reach out to the homosexual communities on this radio show, and I warn them, which ones love? Here you have Obama condemning it behind the backs of the homosexuals but to their faces he's promoting it. I say this to my gay friends out there the ones that continuously nitpick everything I say. Hollywood is promoting immorality and the God of the Heavens in Jesus names is warning you to flee from the wrath to come, yet you have Muslims calling for your execution. If America won't enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that's what you're seeing in America today. Read Leviticus 26 America.
On the show, Maddow carried Dean's disclaimer that he was not advocating the execution of homosexuals, but Dean still believes she made actionable defamatory statements.
The defamation lawsuit comes not only from Dean, but also his attorney, Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch, a conservative D.C. based lobbying group that has been a frequent target of Maddow's.
It's also been reported that Bachmann has long been supportive of Dean, saying flattering things about his work as leader of the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International youth ministry and praying there. According to reports of the lawsuit, Dean believes that efforts to undermine him were made in an overall campaign against Bachmann.
"This suit is baseless and we stand by our reporting," said MSNBC in a statement.