This is where ABC tossed aside any semblance of fairness in favor of a one-sided puff piece. Weir chose not to interview a single religious spokesman or parental watchdog. The only man given a voice was MacFarlane. Weir also went too easy when it came to chronicling how low "Family Guy" can go.
He smiled as he said, "I just started jotting some of the topics covered and some of the jokes made at the expense of paraplegics, the deaf, pedophilia, bestiality, AIDS. You've got an opera version of the Nicole Simpson murders. The JFK Pez dispenser, where candy comes out of his wounds. Where is the line for you? Is there a line, or is that the point?"
MacFarlane said he regretted the JFK Pez dispenser. Apparently, there is a line, at least when you're interviewed by ABC News: Don't insult the Kennedys.
As for anything else, in ABC's eyes, it's "comedic genius." Take the March 8 episode that featured the baby eating horse semen; that suggested Ronald Reagan had sex with Mikhail Gorbachev; that showed the 11-way gay orgy scene; and played it for laughs when a horse trampled a class of deaf second-graders at the race track. Weir left those trampled "taboos" out of the discussion.
Fed these softballs, MacFarlane swung for the bleachers. "It's not like television is a God-given right. You hear the Parents Television Council raving about 'Family Guy' did this. Nobody is forcing you to watch this show. They say 'Is this taste?' No, it's not. It's terrible taste. That's what's funny."
Weir laughed and replied: "They make the argument ... with an animated show, a kid's going to stop the remote." MacFarlane insisted, "you can't hold a whole medium hostage" because animation appeals to children.
Instead, ABC allowed MacFarlane to make an unrebutted argument that the censors are arbitrary and ridiculous. Weir wrapped up the interview by warmly noting how "Family Guy" was a show Coca-Cola used to avoid with its advertising, but now "Baby Stewie stars in Coke ads alongside Charlie Brown and Underdog." Just like Coke, ABC is defining MacFarlane's deviancy down, welcoming his radioactive TV waste into the "mainstream."
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