Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dobson Vs. Doonesbury

Via Andrew Sullivan I became aware of Dobson's recent campaign against Doonesbury.

Dobson summons the Righteous

Aparently Dobson took issue with this Doonesbury strip, and issued an Action Alert 12 days after it was printed.

Maybe it's time that progressives (both liberals and conservatives) took similar actions every time Dobson is quoted in the newspapers. He is supposed to be from a political neutral organization (hence it's tax-free status), yet he only seems to support one politcal party - and only the more religiously fundamentalist part of it. I know that his critique of the Edwards Campaign, and their hiring of bloggers, have made people complain to the IRS about the organization's tax-free status, but maybe it should happen every time he (or someone else in the organization) makes blatantly political remarks and/or endorsements.

The Action Alert won't have any real effect - the newspapers that bring Doonesbury have receive many complaints in the past, and will receive many complaints in the future (see here for some past examples). That's something that comes along with printing a comic strip focusing on current events, and which is unappologetic about it's biases. For example Garry Trudeau has never made any bones about his intense dislike of George W. Bush and his adminstration. Yet, that doesn't make him just a political hack - something even the Pentagon has recognized, as has Vietnam Veterans of America.
Where is Dobson's similar track record? He is just a pure political hack, hiding behind his religion.

To gain a better view of the man behind the Doonesbury strip, I can only recommend this profile from the Washington Post (October 22, 2006).

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Blogger ERV said...

Sad question of the day-- Me asking someone from Denmark-- How do we complain to the IRS when churches/Dobson/whoever do blatantly political activities?

April 30, 2007 3:34 AM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

There doesn't seem to be an easy way of doing this, but CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) has made one against Dobson in the past, which people might feel inspired by.

It can be found here (.pdf)

April 30, 2007 7:19 AM  
Blogger Kristjan Wager said...

Alternatively you can report it to Project Fair Play, which is run by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. They can then see if there is something to it, and go to IRS with the complaint.

April 30, 2007 7:25 AM  

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