Federal Court Orders $32M Fine For Robocalls Voiced By Mike Huckabee To Promote 2012 Christian Movie

The Associated Press reports:

A federal judge in St. Louis on Thursday ordered a Virginia man and his companies to pay $32.4 million in damages for improper robocalls narrated by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee that promoted a religious-themed movie.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber said in the ruling that Gabriel Joseph III and his companies violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making commercial calls to more than 3.2 million recipients without their consent.

The calls made in 2012 promoted the movie “Last Ounce of Courage,” a drama about the “war on Christmas.” The calls in question begin with Huckabee — a Southern Baptist minister turned Republican politician who ran for president in 2008 and 2016 — saying he has a “45-second survey,” according to court documents. Huckabee was dismissed from the suit.

“Do you believe in American freedom and liberty? … Would you, like me, Mike Huckabee, like to see Hollywood respect and promote traditional American values?” Huckabee said in the calls, according to court documents. “I am an enthusiastic supporter of a new movie called ‘Last Ounce of Courage.’ It is a film about faith, freedom, and taking a stand for American values.”

The law allows for a $500 fine per call. Today’s ruling averages out to $10 per call.

  • Treant

    One-fiftieth the maximum? I’m sure the Huckster has grifted more than that, let’s take it and do something decent with it, like Medicaid.

    • vorpal 😼

      Grifters actually giving money back to the community?
      I guess there’s a first time for everything.

  • FAEN

    And in 3,2,1…..”Why are you persecuting us Christians?”

  • MassageBear

    Any way part of that fine can go to the victims of these robocalls?

  • Galvestonian

    …technically the Judge is saying to the bigots “Bite Me”, you peckerheads – you breaks the law and you pays up.

  • bkmn

    And Gabriel Joseph III will be filing bankruptcy in 3..2..1..

    • Bob Conti

      Blows, Gabriel, Blows.

      https://youtu.be/KmhC_M93bLA

      • another_steve

        Before Bette Midler, before Babs, before Cher, there was Ethel.

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        The idea of her and Jacqueline Suzanne having an affair still blows my mind.

  • JWC

    Oh those poor religious evangelicals Just no freedom what so ever Just being persecuted right left and center Its just so hard nowadays to be a BIGOT

  • bkmn

    The fine should be much higher for forcing people to listen to Mike Fuckaflea

    • Oscarlating Wildely

      Um, how much do we get for having to listen to Sarah?

      • vorpal 😼

        According to the official Soros algorithm, your check for $666 should be in the mail.

    • Robincho

      The last flea he fucked kept turning around and asking, “Is it in yet?”…

  • Oscarlating Wildely

    I hope he thanks the court, getting the Kingdom and God and all.

    http://biblepic.com/53/25167.jpg

    • Jefe5084

      I don’t think Joel Osteen read any of that stuff.

      • RoFaWh

        He doesn’t believe any of it. Why else would he act as he does?

  • teeveedub
  • Tawreos

    $32.4 million fine for a movie that grossed in theaters ~$11 million. This was well planned.

    Forgive me, I read it wrong. It grossed ~$3.3 million in the theaters.
    http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=lastounceofcourage.htm

    • Treant

      KKKristian Math.

      No, seriously, I had an ex-boss who home schooled his nine kids because they were…well, idiots, but they call themselves Quiverful, of course.

      The math was laughable, the science worse. He used to leave papers he was looking at lying around and their tenth grader was doing math I did in sixth grade.

  • The Sentinel
    • another_steve

      Sarah Huckabee Sanders turned me gay.

      • stuckinthewoods

        Please. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was born in 1982. You were beyond gay and well into euphoric by that time.

        • Adam King

          As a child he was prone to prophetic visions.

        • Marty Pavelka

          Ye gods…she’s younger than Star Wars.

      • Joseph Miceli

        As a waiter, whenever I have a really difficult woman to serve, I always like to say, “I am now .03 percent more gay.”

        • another_steve

          Ironic, because whenever a nice looking waiter serves me, I say the exact same thing.

  • vorpal 😼

    The poor little Christian majority never, ever seems to get tired of shrieking about how silenced they’re being by us big bad reprobate liberals and how oppressed they are.

    The fact that they think they need a law to protect their first amendment rights is all I need to know to gauge their intelligence level. Next, they’ll need a law to protect the law to protect their first amendment rights. FA-DA-DA-DA!

    • Silver Badger

      Gotta keep up. White Christians are now a minority!

      • vorpal 😼

        The requirements have become too difficult for most people to achieve. I hear that you need to have had at least three marriages and attended six anti-LGBT rallies before they’ll even send you the application form.

        Oh, and if you’ve read the bible, you’re immediately disqualified.

      • netman extraordinaire

        For good reason.

    • Duh-David

      The “Christian Majority” is neither.

    • Cuberly

      Oh the movie involved in the case is such a smorgasblarg of complete utter christianist insanity, victimhood ramped up off the scale.

      You’d have to be deeply indoctrinated into the woo woo to take it seriously.

      • vorpal 😼

        It’s the Christian version of porn.
        I’m sure it’s induced more than a few spontaneous orgasms.

        I’ll leave getting my “deeply indoctrinated in the woo woo” to my husband.

    • The_Wretched

      They’re fast becoming the leading plurality.

  • Stogiebear

    Should have been the $1.6B fine instead. Just for the heart attack value.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    I Wish Mike and that bitch Sarah would be bankrupted into oblivion.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Now I wish they would find that “Heather from the accounts department” that keeps calling my cell phone and give her the electric chair.

  • Adam Stevens

    The Huckabees will NOT be happy.

    Everyone, hide your dogs.

      • vorpal 😼
      • Adam King

        He looks exactly like his sister, only he’s a touch more delicate and refined.

        • vorpal 😼

          A little less stubble, too. Otherwise throw a cheap wig on him and they could be identical twinsies.

          I know it’s happy hour when Sarah’s five o’clock shadow starts showing.

          • misterjack

            And pearls. Don’t forget the ubiquitous pearls.

        • TCinBerkeley

          How very dare you, sir?!?!

          Lil’ Porkchop Huckster Sandtrap is the epitome of style and grace (for the Huckster family and possibly all of Arkansas)!

          Though I will admit that whoever styles her brother’s eyebrows is on point.

          • Adam King

            Of someone were to claim that she was he in drag, I fear I’d be hard pressed to gainsay them.

          • TCinBerkeley

            Her one eye is wonkier than his. There – problem solved. You’re welcome!

            (I come from a long line of wonky eyed folk, so I know whereof I speak. When I am very tired – all of 2017 thru 2020, apparently – it is noticeable. )

          • Adam King

            I’ll have to keep an eye out for that. 😉

      • Michael Angelo III

        I didn’t realize that David and Sarah were twins.

      • iambu

        I think I’m gonna barf.

  • DaddyRay

    hahahahahhahahahahahahahaha
    {{breath}}
    hahahahahhahahahahahahahaha

  • PickyPecker
  • Ragnar Lothbrok
    • Todd20036

      Cool shot. Stupid golfers.

  • Henry Auvil

    Cue up the “another activist judge waging war on our religious freedums!!!” poutfest.

  • Jefe5084
    • iambu

      Ha! That’s so good…

    • Nowhereman

      Oh thanks for the belly laugh! I know a few people I’d like to pull that on!

      • Jefe5084

        this one struck me as quite funny. I’ve been keeping it around.

        • Nowhereman

          I remember a sticker that came out after 9-11 that said “If you don’t change the toilet paper when it runs out, then the terrorists have won!”

  • vorpal 😼

    Also: why are Christian movies consistently the worst movies ever made?
    That preview was only two minutes long but it felt like an hour.
    If I took a shot every time an American flag was shown, I would need my stomach pumped.

    • Henry Auvil

      When I was a tween in Central Florida way back in the day, a local church promoted the screening of a film called “Rebel With A Cause”. I asked my somewhat irreverent mom what it was about, and she said, “Cigarettes and whiskey and wild, wild women. You’ll love it.”

    • i read that as…
      …a shit every time…
      sentence still worked.

    • jerry

      I accidentally rented (back in the days of video stores) “Left Behind” with Brad Johnson and Kirk Cameron. The acting (everything was really ridiculously bad) was so bad that I was cheering for the Antichrist, played by Gordon Currie.

    • Cuberly

      There’s a whole series of cartoons and christian movie bingo cards that perfectly encapsulate the christian movie formula. It’s so hackneyed and bad as to be entertaining, in that bad movie way.

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CgsjpTBUYAAd6iP.jpg

      • Nowhereman

        That reminds me of Limbaugh calling Pres. Obama a “Magic Negroe”. You can tell how these creeps were raised by how easily the words they grew up with fall out of their mouths now that Trump is in office.

        • Cuberly

          I’ve been holding off on replying to your post only because I felt it necessary to think it through.

          To be fair, the “magic black person” is a sadly ingrained trope in so much of American entertainment. The list of stereotyped tropes is unfortunately long, like how a person of color in a Michael Bay movie does a Stepin Fetchit routine, how a predominately white cast in a move has a best friend of color that’s SASSY!…I could go on.

          In christian cinema racism takes on a whole different meaning. It’s really really overplayed. It’s wrong on so many levels it’s almost impossible to list all the f’d up.

          There’s an epidemic of problematic portrayals of people of color, when white screen writers are at the helm.

          Sorry for the lecture, but this is something that irks the fuck out of me.

          • vorpal 😼

            Not to mention the whole Christian trope of “stupid atheist who denies god with poor arguments like evolution and the big bang, only because he is angry at god and wants to sin, and who will end up seeing the light and being saved by the end of the movie.”

            I watched a Christian movie on YouTube once.
            I couldn’t stop laughing and laughing although I don’t think it was intended by the directors, producers, and writers to be a comedy.

            Edit: Haha I see you already covered this in the comic you posted. Ooops! I blame the red wine and Ambien for me being repetitive.

          • Cuberly

            Lol…careful, sounds like a potent mix there.

            Christian movies recycle so so many of the same sad tropes over and over. It has so many hurdles to surmount to make it look like a real thing.

            If you’re interested there’s a podcast I listen to called God Awful Movies. It’s a comedy podcast by a group of atheists. It’s quite raunchy, maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but I find it rather entertaining.

            https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/scathing-atheist/god-awful-movies

          • Nowhereman

            I know–that’s why it irks me, too. I’m gay, and I don’t watch TV shows or movies with gay characters because of the way they are (usually) portrayed. I really hate shows that are basically straight males’ ideas of what gay people are like. There are a few shows where a gay character–not usually a regular character–is treated like a real human being. I’m also an atheist, so…

      • The guys from God Awful Movies need these.

        • Cuberly

          Actually I linked it from Eli Bosnick’s tumbler account…lol….he has the whole series posted there.

    • PRW

      Same reason the recent round of Ayn Rand movies were so lame; got a Message, got to deliver it, can’t deviate from any of the Accepted Readings of the Holy Writ, anything else like narrative has to take a back seat.

    • Anastasia Beaverhousen

      They are actually worse than most gay movies.

      • vorpal 😼

        At least with most gay movies, there is a vodka threshold that makes them tolerable!

    • iambu

      Also, I think I got better production value outta my dad’s camcorder from the late ’80s.

      • vorpal 😼

        Haha! Yes! Absolutely!

        My parents still have a box of grainy, now unwatchable home movies on Betamax from the days where the VCR came in two units, and you had to bring the cumbersome one that held the video tape around with you and connected to the gigantic camera to record, which required white balancing and nothing less than a 200 watt lightbulb or the sun to provide sufficient illumination.

        Christian movies often feel like that was the extent of their cinematography budget.

    • JCF

      There are some good movies that have Christian themes within them. But they’re not “Christian movies”.

      Ones that come to mind: “Shadowlands” (bio pic of CS Lewis falling in love w/ Joy Davidman: Anthony Hopkins & Debra Winger), “Dead Man Walking” (re the work of Sister Helen Prejean. Unfortunately, film’s female star is dead-to-me now. Also Sean Penn), and of course: “Godspell”! I also really like the 1980 version of “Resurrection” (Ellen Burstyn, and the late Sam Shepard). And schlocky though it be (and not really “Christian”), I’d also include “It’s a Wonderful Life” (for its redemption theme—and hey, at Christmas no less!). JMO.

      There’s a new version of “A Wrinkle in Time” coming out: definitely a story w/ Christian themes…but I’m not terribly optimistic. Every version I’ve ever seen of it filmed (I think there have been several made for TV) has been lacking. The trailer from this (Oprah-produced) one looks like it will, too. [I hope I’m wrong. One of my all-time fave books.]

  • another_steve

    I don’t like the description of that movie.

    Did it feature Brad Pitt? If so, I’d watch it anyhow.

  • PickyPecker
  • Lars Littlefield

    Huckabee was dismissed from the law suit? That hardly seems fair.

  • AtticusP

    No problem: they’ll just pray their way out of this.

    And, while God is busy answering their prayers, He’ll forget that Irma is about to hit the US.

    So whatever happens to Florida et al is the Christianists’ fault.

    My logic is just as sound as theirs, don’t you think?

  • Ninja0980

    Cue cries of religious discrimination in 3, 2, 1…

  • Dagoril

    The movie, according to IMDB, has a rating of 4.1 out of 10, and grossed 3.3 Million dollars at the box office. And they just got slapped with a 32 million dollar fine.

    Oops!

    • Bryan

      That’s not even taking into account how much money went into making the movie – it grossed $3.3M, how much did it cost to make? Did that 3.3 even break even? So on top of possibly spending more on production than they ever grossed and losing there, the movie’s been panned universally and NOW they have to pay 32 million.

      Karma sometimes takes her time but if you fuck with her she’sa cookin’ somethin’ up.

      • Steven Jaeger

        Maybe 300K to make it?

  • Jonathan Smith
  • That_Looks_Delicious

    OT – This is really cute from the NYT.

    https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/905893466919579648

    • Tomcat

      Do they have children named Jose and Katia?

      • Beagle

        According to the article, they’ve fostered 120 children over the years. Don’t bet against it.

    • Natty Enquirer

      29 and 17? Hmm.

      • That_Looks_Delicious

        Hey, they’ve been together 75 years. They must have done something right.

      • Hue-Man

        Mom warned her about that older man!

      • jmax

        I have a friend who is 17 years older than his wife. Whenever someone accuses him of robbing the cradle, she says no, she is robbing the grave. 🙂

    • Nowhereman

      Very cool!

    • iambu

      Aside from all the horrible destruction and carnage, this whole hurricane business legit bums me out as an Irma Thomas fan.

      Well, that and I have people in Boca Raton I’m real worried about…

      • Beagle

        So, you’re saying you CAN break away?

        • iambu

          I made a vow to myself, you and I are through. Nothing can change my mind…well, a hurricane might do…

  • theonlyseven

    They have to pay $32M to promote a movie that only grossed $3M.

    • Natty Enquirer

      III is a lobbyist who was hired to promote the film. I don’t believe the producers are on the hook for this judgment.

  • Tomcat

    Don’t you christians know that robocalls are reserved for politicians to be the only ones that can bother us with them continually.

    • The_Wretched

      Same people run both and think of politics as a religion and vice versa. The distinction is lost on them.

  • Cuberly

    Um, Cinema Snob did a (cough) review of Last Ounce of Courage that is one of my faves. BTW-it stars Marshall R. Teague, yes, from Road House fame. He’s responsible for delivering one of my all time favorite bad movie lines ever.

    In the middle of a fight with Patrick Swayze he sort of randomly says.

    “I used to fuck guys like you in prison!”

    If interested, enjoy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-h0Jm-i184

  • Gerry Fisher

    Given the script read by Huckabee, I don’t understand why he was dismissed from the lawsuit. It seems clear from the script that he knew he pretending to do a survey just to hawk a movie. Or does the law say that the responsibility to understand the law is on the person generating the phone calls?

  • jimbo65

    Someday, they’ll get a religion friendly POTUS who’ll do away with all them pesky laws on religious freedom. Yep, he’s just busy being VP, patiently waiting for his turn. /s

  • Thorn Spike

    Time to crank the grift machine up a notch or two.

  • Adonisus

    Phew! For a minute there I thought part-time drummer/full-time asshole Bradlee Dean had crawled out of his sewer again. You have to admit that the imagery kinda screams his whole bullshit aesthetic.

  • Charlie 2001

    They were trying to get around the law by disguising the calls as a survey. I used to get calls saying they were conducting a survey but they eventually stopped when I answered every call “I do not wish to participate. Please take me off of your calling list.” Dropping my landline also helped.

  • Benny S.

    Isn’t a trailer supposed to show some of the best moments of a movie???

  • Ann Kah

    Oh, the “war on Christmas”? So it’s a fantasy, right?

  • ceeenbee

    Shocking that it didn’t do better based on reviews.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ba69c4b5c8ac484fdf6884e624d38222db517b200f3927e4ca30613926f9fcea.jpg https://uploads.disq
    uscdn.com/images/816b43687588dd12a02295668f7463e41350a6b1e3b94396f872e4a21b548ec7.jpg

  • When I heard the mayor say “We fight for freedom” I replied “Wherever there’s trouble” because GI Joe is there. 😉

    If you want to hear some atheists break down this steaming pile, point your browsers over here: https://audioboom.com/posts/5055232-gam009-last-ounce-of-courage

    God Awful Movies is always a good listen, believe me. /shameless plug

  • Jon Doh

    I wonder if this movie will ever make it onto Mystery Science theater 3000? I would love to hear the wisecracks.

  • gregalan

    On a film that earned 3.3 million at the boxoffice. Ouch