Comedy Central caves to death threat,

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solicitr
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Comedy Central caves to death threat,

Post by solicitr »

supinely censors South Park:

http://livefeed.hollywoodreporter.com/2 ... ship-.html

This is Comedy Central, the network which has never, ever worried about taste or giving offense, and its flagship program, one which has happily and often tastelessly lampooned Jesus, the Pope, Scientology, Mormons, PETA, Al Gore, hippies, hunters, the Boy Scouts, transsexuals, and an endless raft of celebrities: but one reference to Theo Van Gogh and they prostrate themselves. Shameful.
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Post by yovargas »

Shameful. Agreed.
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Post by vison »

Yup.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

No argument here.
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Post by MithLuin »

Yeah, but...credible death threats.

I can understand why the network might get nervous.

I mean, it's one thing to make people angry. It's another thing to make them homicidal.

Not that I think an episode of South Park 'makes' anyone do anything.

I like The Ball and the Cross. I sometimes wonder if it is right to come charging in, sword brandished, and challenge people for blasphemy. I think that, in the context of debate (ie, words only) it is entirely appropriate. In a society where dueling is considered honorable, well, it works as the setting for a story - there's something honest, at least, about a face to face challenge. (And of course in the book, they never get to fight their duel.) But threatening violence, in the anonymous terrorist sense...there is very little that can be said for that approach.

And yet it's the one that works. If you are enraged by someone else's lack of taste and peacefully protest/picket/boycott their work of art/show/movie, all you will do is draw attention to it and give it free publicity. No one is going to yank it on account of complaints. And...they shouldn't, anyway - that's what freedom of expression is about, removing censorship from society at large. [Not everything is appropriate everywhere, but....] Voting with your pocketbook is the appropriate way to express disapproval for art you find tasteless.

But if you threaten to kill people, you get your way? I don't like that at all.
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Post by Alatar »

Sorry. Are we saying "shameful" to the guys who bleeped a show rather than risk death, or "shameful" to the guys who threatened it.


If the latter, I'm in agreement. If the former, I gotta say I see their point. Would I risk my life for the sake of a joke?
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Post by axordil »

While I generally think self-censorship of this sort is pretty craven...one can't help but notice it's ginned up a lot of free publicity.
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Post by yovargas »

Alatar wrote:If the former, I gotta say I see their point. Would I risk my life for the sake of a joke?
South Park does far more than "just" jokes. It is often political protest, often very bold protest. In this case, bold protest against censorship of the very kind they got hit with.
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Post by Frelga »

Yes, well. I would like to see the "Forward and damn the torpedoes!" attitude in artists, myself. It's very inspiring. Still, while risking your life for the right to put someone else's god in a bear costume may be admirable, NOT risking your life for same is hardly shameful.

I'd really like to see those making the threats brought to justice.
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Post by solicitr »

Alatar, are you saying we should just yield to bullies? It only emboldens them: the moral *and* pragmatic response to bullies is to stand up to them.

CC should have either ignored these barbarians, or told them to shove their Dark Age mentality where the sun don't shine. If they don't like freedom of speech, they have the freedom to go home to whatever fleabitten Sharia hellhole spawned them.

(I would add that it was the network, not the show's creators who were the ones threatened, which censored the episode)

-------------------

Yov is absolutely right- the whole POINT of the two-part episode was a protest against this very kind of censorship. It wasn't a mere joke, but an extremely timely piece of political commentary.
Last edited by solicitr on Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by solicitr »

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Post by sauronsfinger »

Perhaps the complete unedited episode will be available for purchase with the appropriate amount of currency at some point in the near future? ;)
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Post by Alatar »

solicitr wrote:Alatar, are you saying we should just yield to bullies? It only emboldens them: the moral *and* pragmatic response to bullies is to stand up to them.
I'm saying its very easy for you to take the moral high ground while hiding behind the anonymity of a Facebook Pseudonym. When the people making death threats have your work and home address, lets just see how gung ho you are then!
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Post by solicitr »

Alatar, again: the threat was made against Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators and producers of South Park, and they wished to go ahead with the broadcast despite the threat; it was the network, which was not threatened, which made the decision to censor it. Their heads on the line (literally), and they stood their ground.

What next? Respond like the Netherlands has to high-profile murders of critics of Islam, by prosecuting critics of Islam? Is that where we're headed? Because it will never end. It's impossible to avoid offending those who are determined to be offended.
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Post by yovargas »

PS - I :love: Jon Stewart
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Post by solicitr »

Comedy Central Execs Land Courage Award

NEW YORK -- The programming staff and Standards and Practices department of cable TV's Comedy Central have been named winners of the Al-Fatwahadeen Revolutionary Martyrs Anti-Defamation League's 2010 Anti-Blasphemy Courage Award.

"All too often, infidels in the media industry are cowards when it comes to obeying Islamic law," said League spokesmartyr Khalid Al-Mustapha. "By selectively censoring the blasphemers of South Park, these Comedy Central executives have displayed the steadfast conviction to stand up, courageously raise their voices, and beg not to have their heads chopped off. I am delighted to announce that in recognition of their courage, we will kill them last. Unless they are Jews."

The award, which also carries a basket of baklava and a $5 Target gift card, is scheduled to be given out at a ceremony in the World Trade Center construction hole.

A spokesperson for Comedy Central said, " ."
Courtesy of Iowahawk
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Post by Padme »

If the comedians and south park are the only people brave enough to face death to protect the 1st Amendment....good on 'em.
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Post by vison »

Thought I'd post this, which seems quite interesting:

The story is intriguing in its own way. It has been used as a bit of a "Radical Islam Fatwa" scare, when in reality it is a tiny New York group consisting of 10 agitators, created and led by a secular Jew convert to Islam who changed his name from Joseph Cohen to Yousef al-Khattab, posted on their website the warning that insults to Mohammed have, in the past, led to killings, such as of Theo Van Gogh.
****** Please note: I do not include the information about the person who converted from Judaism to Islam to make ANY POINT WHATSOEVER ABOUT THAT PERSON****** That tidbit of information is merely part of the whole, the really interesting part is that this is a TINY group of nutbars, apparently not part of any big international group of Islamic extremists. I don't think they are representative of Islam any more than Fred Phelps is representative of Christianity.
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Post by MithLuin »

Not only that, the Jewish-convert-founder is no longer with the group, and was not the one responsible for the threats against South Park. According to Wikipedia, he says yeah, he finds South Park despicable, but most Americans probably find him despicable, so that's par for the course, no need to make any threats over it.

But yes, I agree that this is a Phelps-style group that likes to picket in NYC and isn't exactly representative of anyone. It's not like some cleric issued a fatwa against Comedy Central or anything, so the reaction was probably going a bit overboard.
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Post by solicitr »

Which makes Comedy Central's action even more craven, since apparently there wasn't even a credible threat.
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