The controversy over Comedy Central's decision to censor its show "South Park" continues to heat up. Late Thursday, the network issued a statement admitting that it did refuse to run a scene which featured a cartoon depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammed.
"In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision," the cable channel said.
The show's executive producer, Ann Garefino, confirmed that the network censored the scene, stating that she believed it did so out of "fear" of protests or violence.
"We were happy that they didn’t try to claim that it was because of religious tolerance," Garefino said in an interview with Volokh.com.
She was not aware of any particular threats being made against the show or Comedy Central had the deleted scene aired.
Harris helpfully reminded viewers that "since 2000, Falwell has said Jews can't go to heaven unless they accept Christ, and on The 700 Club, that gays and feminists bore responsibility for 9/11." Noting how analysts say McCain is trying to “repair relations with the religious right” before he launches another presidential bid, Harris cautioned McCain: “Politicians often try to appeal to the party's base, but for McCain, doing so could jeopardize his reputation for being a different kind of politician.” Of course, given the disrepute the media and many Republicans hold for Falwell, you could argue that reaching out to him is a “maverick” move for McCain. But you're only a “maverick” to journalists when you undermine a conservative or boost a liberal position. (Transcript follows.)
MRC's Brian Boyd found this morning that like NBC, ABC's Good Morning America also leaped on the chance to interview Rumsfeld-bashing Gen. John Batiste. Co-host Diane Sawyer said in the show's first secondsRevolt of the generals. As of this morning, six retired generals call for Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to resign. One of them, a top battlefield commander, joins us live."
Let’s all give one collective “Awwwwww” for the newspaper industry that seems destined to go the way of the Dodo bird. As reported by The New York Times on Friday, the first quarter was another bad period for an industry which continues to see ad revenues decline as America’s readers increasingly lose interest in their content:
“The newspaper industry continues to flag financially, with three companies — The New York Times, Tribune and McClatchy — reporting sharply lower first-quarter earnings yesterday.
“Executives of all of the newspaper companies said they were hurt by stagnant advertising, particularly in the automotive and entertainment categories, and a continuing rise in the cost of newsprint. The Times Company and Tribune also cited the cost of severance packages after cutting hundreds of jobs.”
Nobody seemed immune to the contagion that continues to devastate the industry:
Newsweek’s senior editor Jonathan Alter was Keith Olbermann’s guest on Wednesday’s “Countdown,” and, as could be expected, the two engaged in quite a Bush Bash (hat tip to Crooks and Liars with video link to follow). First, Alter suggested that the administration has changed Franklin Roosevelt’s famous depression phrase of “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” into “The only thing we have to use is fear itself.” As a result, in Alter’s view, “what you could see coming up on these midterm elections is them trying to use fear to restore their political position.” Of course, neither of them addressed the likelihood that candidates on the other side of the aisle will use the fear of losing abortion rights or losing Social Security or Medicare benefits to scare women and seniors into voting for them as has happened in every election for decades.
Sadly, the best was yet to come. After Olbermann mentioned the president’s poll numbers, Alter replied “there are not a lot of people who expect him to move very much in the polls. And once you`re tagged as an incompetent, that`s pretty hard to recover from.” I guess that's why folks like Olbermann and Alter continue to reiterate such a view, a delicious irony that seems lost on these two intellectual heavyweights.
Of course, Alter didn’t just attack the president, for Cheney was next on the hit parade:
The Washington Post coverage of Monday's pro-illegal-immigration rally was so massive and positive, it took time to study it all. To get a sense of how massive, let’s begin by paying attention to the resources deployed for the Tuesday paper:
Number of Post reporters with immigration-rally by-lines: 19.
Number of other Post staff writers credited for contributions from across America: 20.
Number of Post staff photographers listed in photo credits: 7.
It’s a disaster. The predictions have proved hopelessly inaccurate. The figures are explicit and show clear trends. That these figures have remained hidden from the American people is a disgrace. It really is time those who have deceived people about Iraq for all this time took responsibility for this mess and resigned.
Reports TV Newser:
Thursday’s New York Times carries a largely hagiographic obituary by Marc Charney of the Rev. William Sloane Coffin, worshipped in left-wing circles for his anti-war protests of the 60s from his position of influence as chaplain of Yale University.
Over at NRO's Media Blog, Stephen Spruiell writes that White House spokesman Scott McClellan needs to think like a blogger as he combats "exposes" from the Anti-War Media.