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Heavy metal minister Bradlee Dean sues Rachel Maddow, Minnesota Independent

Controversial pastor and rock musician Bradlee Dean filed suit Wednesday in federal court alleging he was defamed by reporting from The Minnesota Independent, The American Independent’s sister site, as well as MSNBC star Rachel Maddow and her show.

Dean, of the ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International (YCR), claims that reporting on his May 15, 2010, radio show “maliciously set out to and did harm not only the Plaintiffs but by extension also the presidential campaign of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.”

In the article, Minnesota Independent ran a video with the audio of Dean’s statements, as well as a transcription.

“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said on YCR’s May 15 radio show on AM 1280 The Patriot. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but 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.”

“If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,” Dean continued. “That is what you are seeing in America.

“The bottom line is this … they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator,” Dean said, before going on to make a claim that has no basis in fact: “On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?”

On June 4, 2010, the Minnesota Independent published a follow-up article to the one referenced above, in which Dean said he does not support executing homosexuals. Dean specified that he may not have been clear, then continued:

For example, we have specifically rejected, as all Christians do, the Islamic doctrine, and actual practice, of executing homosexuals. But some have claimed, in effect, that by merely mentioning the execution of homosexuals (as a criminal practice of Islam), on our radio broadcast, we have suggested it for consideration. Obviously this is absurd. The whole point was to contrast the Islamic position with the Christian position. This may not have been as clear as we would have otherwise planned it to be. Live radio is not scripted. But everyone who knows us knows that this is our position because we have stated it consistently for years – long before we ever discussed the topic on the radio. There are board members, and other supporters who can vouch for this. We have never and will never call for the execution of homosexuals. This is a complete misinterpretation by design.

The lawsuit further contends that Rachel Maddow, MSNBC and NBC “disparaged” Dean in Maddow’s segment on the reporting from the Minnesota Independent, alleging that Maddow, too, had an agenda in covering Dean.

The American Independent News Network released the following statement in regards to the Dean press conference in New York City Wednesday morning:

The allegations by Bradlee Dean and You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International (YCR) are completely without merit. The American Independent News Network stands firmly behind our news site, The Minnesota Independent; our reporter, Andy Birkey; as well as their reporting on Dean and his ministry. The complaint describes Birkey as taking “a ‘special interest’ in Plaintiffs Dean and YCR because he is a secularist and/or atheist and gay activist with a politically left ideology who despises people of faith.” However, in giving Birkey and The Minnesota Independent first prize for Best Continuing Coverage of their reporting on YCR, the 2010 judges for the Minnesota Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist’s Page One Awards stated, “the reporter [Birkey] takes a deep-dive with an even-handed approach into a weighty subject sure to provoke controversy from various standpoints. Leads readers to think about serious public policy and constitutional issues.”

We are confident that the courts will agree that this lawsuit is completely frivolous and is a blatant attempt to chill freedom of the press.

MSNBC’s statement regarding the lawsuit:

This suit is baseless and we stand by our reporting.

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