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FOX says 'Muppets' are brainwashing kids

Disney

Chris Cooper plays oilman Tex Richman, the villain of "The Muppets" movie.

The villain in "The Muppets" is Tex Richman, an oilman who wants to tear down the Muppets theater in order to drill for oil underneath.

Just a character and a storyline, or a secret liberal Hollywood plot to brainwash children?

The topic was debated on FOX's "Follow the Money," with a network host and two commentators saying big oil isn't being treated fairly.

"Liberal Hollywood depicting a successful businessman as evil? That's not new," said host Eric Bolling, before tossing the subject to guest Dan Gainor of the conservative Media Research Center.

"This is a Muppet movie," said Gainor. "The only thing green that should be up there on that screen is Kermit the Frog."

Gainor said liberal Hollywood filmmakers have been "brainwashing" moviegoers "for decades," citing "Cars 2." "Syriana," and "There Will Be Blood" as other biased media. "None of them (remind) people what oil means for most people which is fuel to light a hospital or heat your home," he said.

He suggested that there "should be" Occupy Wall Street Muppets, saying that Occupy protesters "have been indoctrinated literally for years" by TV shows such as 1980s cartoon "Captain Planet" or Nickelodeon's "Big Green Help," which focuses on recycling.

Bolling said he grew up poor and his parents would point out wealthy individuals as aspirational ideals, "not pointing the finger at Tex Richman and saying he's a bad guy."

Bolling then went on to ask fellow Fox host Andrea Tantaros about the issue, and she also criticized "Sesame Street," where The Muppets got their start. A primetime "Sesame Street" special that aired Oct. 9 featured a Muppet whose family didn't have enough food.

"We've got Medicaid, there's a record number of people out there on food stamps ... there's all these kinds of programs out there to take care of hungry kids," Tantaros said. "Why would that Muppet be starving?"

Bolling went on to suggest that perhaps the evil Muppet "should be the Obama administration." Giving the opposing view, Occidental College politics professor Caroline Heldman said that remark was "pretty Orwellian."

You can watch the clip for yourself below.

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