Brent Bozell

What gives here? The lesson is clear: Riot in the streets of Europe over some silly Danish newspaper cartoons, and you can intimidate Hollywood executives into silence. Is Comedy Central trying to suggest that the sure-fire way for Christians to get dung-flinging Jesus off of "South Park" is to riot and burn some buildings down?

But wait. Viacom is even more pathetic than this. reporter Patrick Goodenough reported that in Germany, Viacom-owned MTV has decided to run an anti-Catholic cartoon so negative that even the BBC rejected it, a cartoon called "Popetown."

The show's official site features a DVD cover with a cartoon of the show's Pope brandishing a machine gun. The promotional copy explained: "'Popetown' takes you into the side-splittingly surreal world of the Vatican as the long-suffering and good-hearted Father Nicholas struggles to walk the narrow path of righteousness, whilst surrounded by money grabbing cardinals and a pogo-stick-riding infantile pope."

But perhaps since that would only offend Catholics, and since Viacom understandably has no fear whatsoever of a Catholic Church that refuses to defend itself, MTV in Germany kicked it up a notch. They ran a promotional ad in the days before Easter depicting Jesus Christ wearing a crown of thorns and bleeding but descended from the cross, enjoying the luminous glow of "Popetown" on MTV. "Laughing instead of hanging around," (Lachen statt rumhaengen) reads the tagline of the ad.

It's impossible to accept that the folks at Viacom didn't expect this to deliberately insult all Christians. Will anyone take a bet on how likely it would be that MTV would run a Mohammed-spoofing ad in Germany?

Viacom used to be the scum of the Earth, parading around and accept awards from the ACLU for their "courageous" programming. (Last June, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California hailed Comedy Central boss Doug Herzog with its "Torch of Liberty" Award: "Herzog has also always stood by 'South Park' and its creators' right to free expression.") These people are still the scum of the Earth, but now they can't in any way claim that they're courageous when it comes to controversy. They're hypocrites and cowards of the most odious rank.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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