The Littlest Soapbox

April 24, 2010

The Morning Bulletin 4/24/10

Filed under: News & Politics — mikecgannon @ 10:27 AM

On the topic of free speech, liberals tend to be sanctimonious hypocrites. Example, via Mark Steyn: South Park and Comedy Central.

Faced with this explicit threat of violence, what did Comedy Central do? Why, it folded like a Bedouin tent. It censored “South Park,” not only cutting all the references to Muhammad but, in an exquisitely postmodern touch, also removing the final speech about the need to stand up to intimidation. Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker get what was at stake in the Danish cartoons crisis, and many other ostensibly footling concessions: Imperceptibly, incrementally, remorselessly, the Free World is sending the message that it is happy to trade core liberties for the transitory security of a quiet life. That is a dangerous signal to give freedom’s enemies. So the “South Park” episode is an important cultural pushback.

Yet in the end, in a craven culture, even big Hollywood A-listers can’t get their message through. So the brave, transgressive comedy network was intimidated into caving in and censoring a speech about not being intimidated into caving in. That’s what I call “hip,” “edgy,” “cutting-edge” comedy: They’re so edgy they’re curled up in the fetal position whimpering at the guy with the cutting edge, “Please. Behead me last. And don’t use the rusty scimitar where you have to saw away for 20 minutes to find the spinal column.”



  1. I don’t know any South Park fans, liberal or conservative, who thought Comedy Central’s censorship was excusable. I’m sure that a lot of those fans are upset for the same reasons you are here. I know I am.

    Comment by Citrus — April 24, 2010 @ 11:01 AM | Reply

  2. My point, and I think Mr. Steyn’s, is that, had Comedy Central censored an episode depicting Jesus in a manner which caused a Christian group to complain, we’d be hearing darkly intoned warning from the media elite and the activist left about the impending “Dark Night of Christian Fascism”, the return of McCarthyism, yada yada yada. It’s the lack of reciprocal outrage, more than the censorship itself, that conservatives find so offensive.

    Also, I think it sends a dangerous message, not just to Muslim extremists, but to people of every faith. How many people are going to come away from this thinking, “well, I guess if we don’t want our beliefs to be ridiculed and satirized, all we need to do is riot and murder the next few times it happens, and people will be to scared to do it again,” Is that the road we want to go down? I think not.

    Comment by Mike — April 24, 2010 @ 3:08 PM | Reply

  3. “It’s the lack of reciprocal outrage, more than the censorship itself, that conservatives find so offensive.”

    I never thought about it that way, but I feel like you’re on to something here.

    Comment by Citrus — April 26, 2010 @ 3:16 PM | Reply

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