Well, as usual the cartoon “South Park” has found a way to upset people, even when they agree completely with the cartoon’s message. This week, it was the high & mighty Weiner Dogs In Suits who run Comedy Central. You may recall that last week “South Park” ran the first part of a show wherein another cartoon, “Family Guy”, features a cameo appearance by the Muslim founder Mohammed. This cartoon of the Prophet would theoretically inflame radical Muslims blah blah blah. The guys at “South Park” did a nice job of sending up the hypocrisy of America proudly surrendering to Islam while denying their cowardice. Naturally, a lot of people were looking forward to this week’s ‘part 2', where Mohammed was supposed to actually show up.
Comes the day, and what happens at the big moment? The screen goes black, except for a text description explaining that Mohammed hands a football helmet to the Family Guy. Immediately after that another text screen explains “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network”, and that launched the debate. At first, many people figured it was somehow part of the joke, a dig at the hypocrisy of modern broadcasting, if a strange one. But at NRO, Stephen Spruiell confirmed that Comedy Central actually did, in fact, make that transformation to flaccid weiner in one incredibly fast lapse of ideals.
Here we go again, into another debate which probably won’t change anything. Maybe that’s what saps my energy about discussing it. Of course, it should be observed that this is not Censorship, since it involves a private company making a decision about what it will do with its own proprietary material. That said, it certainly sends a message of poor import, to talk about Free Speech and eviscerate it at the very point which makes the point. I still suspect that the clip was always created that way, because there is no question to me that the “South Park” writers, Trey Parker especially, wanted to spark debate, and the episode as aired certainly did that.
But it occurs to me that we are missing the flip side here. I am not especially bothered when something is suppressed in order to prevent an undesired reaction, especially if people have the opportunity to find it elsewhere. Some people have pointed out that they don’t mind the negative things written by the press about President Bush, except that the press writes so differently about Democrats like President Clinton. They don’t mind so much that people won’t run a picture of Mohammed because it might offend Muslims, except that the same people have no concerns about pictures which are specifically intended to insult and offend Christians. The problem is not so much Censorship, since a private company or group has the right to choose what it supports, but an Advocacy falsely presented as objective fact. So it doesn’t bother me that I don’t see pictures of Mohammed, but by that established rule claimed by the media, I should not have to see pictures which defame my Lord and Savior. The practice goes beyond media, of course. I was reading a back issue of “Scientific American” this week, and came across two disturbing articles. One was an editorial demanding that pharmacists be compelled to provide “morning after” pills, even if such products directly violate their religious or moral principles. By itself, that was one thing, but the writer, speaking in the official capacity of the magazine, stated that pharmacists do not enjoy the same rights as scientists and doctors who also object to any practice connected to Abortion. The magazine actually supported a stance which by definition was duplicitious. Whatever your politics, this can hardly be called a morally defensible position, but is plain tyranny. Towards the back of the magazine, I read an approving review of a book denouncing Republicans, on the subjective claim that President Bush somehow is hostile towards Science. Not only were the cited claims at odds with the facts as I know them, the writer and reviewer completely left off from considering evidence that the President, and Republicans, approve and support a great many scientific endeavors. For instance, the review and the book made no reference to the fact that President Bush has requested, and the Republican-led Congress allocated, more money for AIDS research than any previous Administration, and by a significant measure. Again, my issue was not the partisan flavor of the article, but the presentation of the political insult as if it were objective fact. The two examples in that magazine were rank hypocrisy, and yet had made it past the editors and whatever proof-readers the magazine uses, right onto the pages. It leads me to question the magazine’s credentials to make any sort of claim, if that kind of conduct is to be condoned.
This brings me to the blogs. Some people have dismissed political commentary blogs, because they see only a partisan argument. This is true, yet such claims miss the point that bloggers like me are only setting the balance right again, matching Conservative opinion and insight against the long-time presentation we saw only from the Left. Walter Cronkite was a truly influential Liberal. It was two decades later before Rush Limbaugh found the opportunity to answer him. Dan Rather was a truly influential Liberal. It was another two decades before Hugh Hewitt was able to counter him on anything like the same level. Countless other Liberal figureheads and icons have set this country on a course towards Socialism and all manner of wrongs, and it has taken time for the course to even begin correction. So, while I will do my level best to be open-minded and tolerant, it is my duty to speak truth directly and loudly, to balance the lies and demagoguery so long spewed from the mouths and papers of the Left. It is my place to set things Right, to speak for hope and truth and the ideals on which this nation was founded and which is the hope left to us by God, to save this world from itself.