Thursday, June 03, 2010

Citizens Against Religious Bigotry Protests Comedy Central Cartoon About Jesus

Ed Morrissey reports:
Earlier this morning, I joined a conference call staged by Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB), which is protesting a decision by Comedy Central to air a new series titled JC, a satire of Jesus Christ and Christianity. Speakers included:

  • Brent Bozell – Media Research Center president
  • Tony Perkins – Family Research Council president
  • Michael Medved – Nationally syndicated talk radio host
  • Bill Donohue – Catholic League president
  • Tim Winter – Parents Television Council president
  • Rabbi Daniel Lapin – The American Alliance of Jews and Christians

  • Bozell talked about a “glaring double standard” at Comedy Central. The outlet refuses to air any satirical content that targets Islam, but has no problem airing criticisms of Christianity, Judaism, and other religions. Bozell says JC is “designed to be offensive to Christians. … “We know they are jumping up and down with glee” at the publicity CARB has created, but they feel the need to speak out regardless. Eighty-three percent of Americans consider themselves Christian, “but you don’t have to be Christian to be offended” by anti-Christian bigotry, Bozell said. No “decent” company will want to sponsor this show, and they plan to make that clear to their list of sponsors.

    Medved spoke briefly on the double standard issue. Should Christians get punished, Medved argued, for not being murderous lunatics? After all, CC only backed down on South Park’s episodes after threats of violence from adherents of Islam. Even without the threats, Medved says that CC wouldn’t air an analogous series called The Big Mo because it would be perceived as mean and demeaning. Neither would they air a series called The Greedy Goldbergs, for obvious reasons. Why should they repeatedly air shows that attack Christianity?

    Donahue offered a caveat to Medved’s remarks by quoting his frequent critics Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said that Christians would get their way if they only followed the Muslim example. “I don’t get involved in boycotts unless I think I can win,” Donahue said, citing his success against Wal-Mart. He also took credit for the poor showing of The Golden Compass after he initiated a protest movement against the anti-religion movie.


    [...]

    Bozell says that CARB is not endorsing a boycott, although Donahue called for one. Their intent was to reach out to the advertising community and make them aware of the anger over CC’s programming. Individual member organizations may have their own boycotts, but that won’t be the position of the group as a whole.

    [...]

    This is an interesting coalition. Bill Donahue seemed ready to go to war, but most of the rest of the people on this call tried to cast this issue in calmer ways. They want to get people on the record as either supporting religious bigotry or opposing it...
    (emphasis added)

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    10 Comments:

    At 6/03/2010 6:42 PM, Blogger island breezes said...

    I'd boycott Comedy Central, but I already don't watch them at all. They are nearly always offensive (to me, at least).

     
    At 6/03/2010 8:32 PM, Blogger Xanî said...

    If you don't approve of the proposed content, if you are offended at the ideas being proffered, then DON'T watch the show (if it ever comes to fruition). Why not exercise free will and make a proactive decision to watch another program or nothing at all? Why must you impose YOUR ideas, YOUR values and YOUR social mores on the rest of society?

    Take some personal, individual responsibility... and allow others to do the same.

     
    At 6/03/2010 8:58 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

    I'd take your comment more seriously if you reacted equally as put off by the outright threats sent to Comedy Central by Jihadists who forced the censoring of images of Mohammed on South Park.

    Maybe you did and I just missed it.

    As for taking personal, individual resonsibility, that's what people are doing in exercising their right to inform potential sponsors of the show that they don't particularly need to buy their products. That's free market, baby. Don't like it? Take some personal, individual responsibility yourself and buy enough products to make their sponsorship of the show worth their while.

     
    At 6/03/2010 9:19 PM, Blogger Xanî said...

    The threats by "Jihadists" were not the topic of the copy-n-paste blog. The topic was these organizations' desire to control the content of public medium. Please don't make presuppositions about my reaction to the above-mentioned threats when I did not address it in my comment.

    The fact remains that these organizations, rather than just counseling their flocks to not watch the show (which is still in development), are pro-actively taking steps to ensure that NO-ONE can watch it... or rather, that it doesn't even come into existence. I utterly fail to understand why organizations such as these feel that they have a right to censor what I watch, read or hear. It's YOUR values and YOUR mores being slighted, so YOU should not watch it; it's quite presumptuous and arrogant to feel that you have a right to impose your ideas and beliefs (through market-enforced censorship) on those who do not share them. If it were Wiccans that were actively pursuing to keep Sunday morning church services from being broadcast on television, I have no doubt members of these same groups would be screaming about oppression and free speech. Why the double standard?

     
    At 6/03/2010 9:43 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

    Of course the threats by the Jihadists were the topic of the "copy-n-paste blog". The whole point was Comedy Central's cowardly decision to attack the religious beliefs of those who don't fight back while cowering in the face of threats from practitioners of the "religion of peace".

    I doubt very seriously we'd be seeing this action from the CARB folks were it not for Comedhimmi Central's glaring double standard. In short, as one commentator has put it, "This move by Comedy Central is like watching the ultra-hip smart-aleck in the cafeteria who, having peed himself during an encounter with a bully, is now trying to re-establish his edgy bona fides by making fun of the non-threatening AV Crew; high school bravado, nowhere near as sophisticated as it believes itself to be." Only this time, the AV Crew is fighting back.

    And they are well within their rights to exercise their collective economic buying power to tell potential sponsors that they have no intention of patronizing those who sponsor activities that are offensive to them and their belief systems.

    Don't like it? Feel like you're going to be missing out on the "edgy" cartoon poking fun of Christianity? Then, by all means, organize a group in opposition to CARB and convince potential sponsors that there will be a market for their products among you and your co-sophisticates.

    Barring that, you can always flip over to Showtime and watch Bill Maher. No commercials. No sponsors. No problems getting to experience all the blasphemy you could possibly want.

     
    At 6/03/2010 9:49 PM, Blogger Xanî said...

    How foolish of me! Trying to preach freedom of expression and personal accountability to a Catholic drone. I guess you win this one.

     
    At 6/03/2010 10:02 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

    I win this one because you haven't a frickin' clue what freedom of expression even means.

    The folks at CARB also have the freedom to express their views. There's no government censorship going on here. Just people in the free market of ideas expressing their views.

    I'll say it once more: if you don't like the views being expressed by CARB, or how they're going about expressing their views, you ALSO have the freedom of expression to organize in opposition.

    Seriously, before you go spouting off about "Catholic drones" who need to be "preached" to about freedom of expression, take a Con Law course (maybe at a Top 10 law school like I attended, where I took quite a few courses on the First Amendment and free expression and, therefore, know a little bit about which I'm writing) and brush up on what the concept means, yourself.

     
    At 6/03/2010 11:13 PM, Blogger Xanî said...

    For all of your "Top 10 law school" education, you obviously failed Basic Reading Comprehension 101; none of my posts have said anything about "government censorship" or Amendment I to the United States Constitution. Furthermore, you must have fallen asleep in your "Con Law" class, because "freedom of expression" isn't enumerated anywhere in the Bill of Rights or elsewhere. None of my posts implied a legal concept of "freedom of express"; instead, it is a universal concept recognized by those peoples and nations that cherish liberty.

    Continuing, I think you must be confusing freedom of expression with power of oppression. Freedom of expression implies that ALL viewpoints are allowed to exist in the public domain and be discussed. Trying to justify the use of the "free market" to suppress opposing ideas is just as bad as threatening violence; just because you exact economic power to try to achieve your goal does not somehow absolve you from the fact that your forcibly oppressing another idea or belief. Whether it's done at the edge of a sword or the under the weight of a greenback, tyranny is tyranny. You're not "petitioning" and "advising" program sponsors for the sake of edification; you're subtly threatening their prosperity through a boycott for the sole purpose of getting them to change their actions. That isn't the definition of expression; that's the definition of power - using FORCE to get someone else to do something they wouldn't otherwise do.

    You have still failed to counter my point about why these organizations cannot advocate that those individuals who share their beliefs to simply change the channel or turn off the TV. Indeed, many of these same groups spent millions of dollars to lobby Congress to implement V-chip technology so that parents can actively screen and censor their children's viewing habits. And now that they have the ability with 15 minutes and a remote control to fully control their household's viewing experience, they STILL insist on attempting to control what OTHER's see. These people have every right to be offended at the material produced and broadcast, but offense does not give any group the right smite those shows or programs from the airwaves - at least, not in a civil, secular society.

     
    At 6/04/2010 9:07 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

    Yeah, I must've been fondling my Rosary beads instead of paying attention to the professor. You know how we Catholic drones are.

    You're not kidding anyone regarding freedom of expression and personal responsibility and accountablility. You want all the free expression without having to take any of the responsibility and accountability for it.

    What you want is the right to offend people and for those who are offended to just shut the hell up about it. YOUR free expression, but THEIR personal responsibility and accountability. As soon as the tables are turned, however, and they want to use their freedom of expresssion to counter your message, then you cry "censorship" and "tyranny" and "just use your V-chip".

    Blatantly racist show on TV? Well, black folks should just shut the hell up and turn the channel. I mean, if something is blatantly racist there's no harm done as long as a black person doesn't see or hear it, right?

    Wanna heap derision and mockery on a revered religious figure? Just tell those fuddy-duddy Christianists to turn the damned channel. Besides, if He's big enough to take it, His followers should be, too, right? (But, again, I think there's a little bit more going on here: notice that this group hasn't similarly protested some of the arguably blasphemous content on South Park, most likely because South Park - at least until Comedhimmi Central's recent hatchet job - takes on all comers.)

    Look, I don't generally go in for boycotts because I'm of the opinion that even bad ideas should see the light of day so that they and those who espouse them can be exposed. As the founder of my "top-10 law school" once wrote, "We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it."

    But you would deny the CARB group even the means of combatting what they see as error. You would have them just shut the hell up and change the channel rather than speak out against what they perceive as offensive to them.

    And therein lies the rub. It isn't clear to me that the CARB group - apart from Bill Donohue - even wants to engage in a boycott. They seem to be most interested in making their views known in opposition to what they see as an unfair double standard at Comedhimmi Central regarding its treatment of the Christian faith. And their freedom of expression should be left free to combat what they perceive to be an error on the part of that particular network.

     
    At 6/08/2010 1:28 AM, Blogger Aryk said...

    can both of you calm down? Personally I don't see a problem with the show-but I can understand why people can be offended. Only time will tell whether enough people are offended to warrant a change in policy...as you two said...democracy...but i guess this just reveals the inherent flaw of the system: the minority. Anyhow-good day to both of you and i apologize if this did not make any sense.

     

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