For a long time now, we have known that Viacom was a shameless merchant of sleaze TV, a conglomerate intent on shredding everything good, decent, and even holy to feather its own filthy nest with money. What is new is that we didn't know that Viacom had a limit to its shamelessness.
Any attack on Christianity, not matter how repugnant, is not only acceptable, it is celebrated. But the very idea of a scene mocking Islam … and Viacom runs for the hills. Viacom-owned Comedy Central has announced it would not let its super-sleazy cartoon "South Park" show a cartoon image of Mohammed, lest Muslims be offended. They put out a brief statement: "In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision." Its executives would not comment further, but an insider told AP's David Bauder the reason was the network brass's "concerns for public safety."
In a convoluted two-part episode aimed at embarrassing its own network, the creators of "South Park" wrote a show about not being allowed to show the prophet Mohammed in cartoon form. The "South Park" view is expressed in the second show: "Either it's all OK, or none of it is," said one character. But the creators of "South Park" don't go for all-or-nothing mockery in this plot. For example, they don't really attack al-Qaeda in these episodes. They draw laughs by having Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri act as foils for Hollywood-scriptwriter inside jokes.
When Mohammed was slated to appear, the image of Mohammed was replaced with a black screen, reading: "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network." So keep score. Comedy Central wouldn't allow "South Park" to show a cartoon depiction of Mohammed ... but it didn't have any problem with the show ending with a depiction of Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush: "Look at me, I'm Jesus. Would you like me to crap on you, Mr. Bush? Mmm, yummy, yummy crap!"
There was no black screen explaining, "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast a mockery of the image of Jesus during Holy Week on their network." Viacom's standards are curious, to say the least. It mocks Christians all year long -- Easter mockery is a natural next step after last year's special, "Merry F---ing Christmas" -- but the image of Mohammed is a sacred cow that must be respected.
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