More confirmation that Comedy Central censored Muhammad

Okay, I guess this settles it:

Parker and Stone were angered when told by Comedy Central several weeks ago that they could not run an image of Muhammad, according to a person close to the show who didn’t want to be identified because of the issue’s sensitivity.

The network’s decision was made over concerns for public safety, the person said.

Comedy Central said in a statement issued Thursday: “In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision.” Its executives would not comment further.

(Hat tip: Phead.)

If you missed them, you can watch both Part 1 and Part 2 tonight at 9:30 and 10:00 PM.

P.S. NRO has more. Meanwhile, Wizbang isn’t buying it:

Matt and Trey, with the willing (or unwilling) participation of Comedy Central executives are experimenting with the blogosphere. While it may be true that the network refused to broadcast the image, it’s entirely possible that the they situated Mohammed in an image guaranteed to require censorship. Think bestiality, kiddie porn, goatse.cx, etc…

They’re probably watching the discussion unfold and getting a good laugh out of it… or some fresh material…

A commenter provides an plausible-sounding explanation:

Apparently the uncensored version is already on the internet and the Mohammed model is the same used in their past episode and all he does is hand the helmet to the other character and says jihad a couple of times.

To be fair though, if he hadn’t said jihad I don’t think they would have censored it. I don’t think anyone could have claimed to be offended by that with a straight face. Having him say jihad at least gives them some grounds though. :\

I have no idea if any of that is accurate. And the notion that Comedy Central wouldn’t have censored the image without the alleged “jihad” statement would contradict the AP’s account. Anyway, if anyone knows where to find this alleged uncensored version, let me know!

[UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has confirmation of the “jihad” thing: “Reader Jason E. writes, ‘The uncensored version of the show is already available on various P2P file sharing sites. I just watched the bit with Mohammed. It’s the same Mohammed that is shown in previous episodes, he walks in, gives Peter a salmon helmet?, says jihad, jihad a couple times and leaves.'” I wonder where the uncensored version came from? Did Parker and Stone leak it? Did some disgruntled Comedy Central employee leak it?] [UPDATE UPDATE: It’s fake.]

P.P.S. Mohammad is in South Park‘s opening credits! He’s tiny, but he’s there!

P.P.P.S. Dr. Steven Taylor at PoliBlog can’t decide whether he cares.

UPDATE 2: Glenn Reynolds thinks “this episode marks the beginning of the end” for South Park. I’m not sure if that’s true, but if Cartman’s theory is right, it is. Alan, Esq. thinks we’re looking at “a twisted version of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s, ‘First They Came for the Jews.’ However, in this version, the victim is free speech”:

First, the Catholics came for South Park and I did not speak out because my head was in the sand.
Then, the Scientologists came for South Park and I did not speak out because my head was in the sand.
Then, the Muslims came for South Park and I did not speak out because my head was in the sand.
Then, when I pulled my head out of the sand and turned on Comedy Central to watch South Park, it was gone.

Alan adds: “While I would certainly miss the show, I am more fearful at how successful extremists are becoming at squelching free speech. Granted, it’s not technically ‘censorship’ since it is not a government ban on speech. However, this private form of censorship is much more insidious and sadly is more effective.”

16 Responses to “More confirmation that Comedy Central censored Muhammad”

  1. Texican says:

    I see a DVD release soon.

  2. Lojo says:

    Public… Safety.

    How mighty white of them.

    I guess I should at least give them the credit that they were truthful in admitting that A) Yes they censored it, and B) Yes, we did it because we were scared.

    That’s better than CNN or MSNBC or CBS, etc, that tried to argue sensitivity or that the Danish cartoons had no news value in being shown.

  3. Phead says:

    I like how MSNBC goes on to mention Jesus and the American Flag. No defecation, of course. Minor detail!

  4. Brendan Loy says:

    I like how MSNBC goes on to mention Jesus and the American Flag. No defecation, of course. Minor detail!

    Yeah. Absolutely absurd. Not MSNBC, though — the AP.

  5. Phead says:

    True, Brendan, true!

  6. And that detail seems to have been added.

    I think this made the double standard quite clear.

  7. 4-7 says:

    looks like my rant got lost in cyberspace. Reynolds private censorship point is unfounded. Let groups protest all they want. Catholics have a right (hell, an obligation) to be offended at the Bloody Mary bit, and Muslims can be offended at Muhammad. Why berate them (or call them extremists) for holding to something sacred for their own part and using that marginal power of their dollar votes to change the content of shows which, in their opinion, demean their faith. It’s competition, not censorship. If South Park can’t survive on Comedy Central with Catholics, Muslims, and Jews, occasionally taking balls out of the tank, Parker and Stone can fund it themselves elsewhere. I may not agree with every offended group, read Scientology, but I don’t fault them for not holding, as poor-victimized Reynolds would seem to, that we all must accept the universal “anything goes.”

  8. Lojo says:

    4-7:

    I agree with you except in that they only banned Mohammed, but let everything else eith Jesus defecating and so forth on the show. Why is the hurdle put at, “If a group makes enough fuss we’ll do as they ask, but they have to make big enough impact first?”

    As Matt and Trey said, either its all fair game or NONE of it is. You can’t selectively choose this one or that one to ban anything said simply because your afraid of the associated interest group its tied to.

    And though Glenn is getting too overwrought on the previous advocacy groups, I think the bigger point is that the Catholics, Christians, and Scientologists were threatening CC with boycotts and financial ramifications. Muslims threatened with violence. And CC ended up, like all the others, rewarding violence.

    VERY bad precedent to set there guys. That one will REALLY come back to bite you in the ass someday soon. Someday soon, some fanatic is going to get tired of just protesting and boycotting and will look to take more aggressive measures to get what they want.

  9. I Heart Jeric says:

    Apologies if it’s been posted, but Volokh has a picture of the deleted scene.

  10. Brendan Loy says:

    Lojo, a couple of points:

    1) As David and I discussed earlier, I don’t think “its all fair game or NONE of it is” is accurate. I mean, would an episode on 9/12/01 making fun of the WTC victims have been “fair game”? Of course not. It’s fine for private corporations and individuals to have content-based, and even viewpoint-based, standards. What isn’t okay is for those standards to be the result of intimidation and fear, because then they truly are letting the terrorists win. Moreover, you should be true to yourself and your own principles and standards. As you say, “If a group makes enough fuss we’ll do as they ask, but they have to make big enough impact first?â€? is precisely the wrong way to make these decisions. Either the Virgin Mary episode is too offensive to air, or it’s not too offensive to air. It doesn’t become more offensive just because a bunch of Catholics write letters. Comedy Central should be exercising independent judgment, not allowing itself to be subject to the whims of interest groups and angry mobs.

    2) It isn’t true that Comedy Central only responded to threats of violence but not to the boycotts and such. They caved to both the Catholics and the Scientologists. Nor is it true, so far as I know, that Muslims specifically threatened Comedy Central with violence… or with anything. I’ve done numerous Google News search and haven’t found anything describing even a statement from CAIR or whatever. That’s part of what makes the censorship so baffling, and makes me continue to wonder if this isn’t all an elaborate publicity stunt: Comedy Central betrayed basic principles of free speech becasue of a non-existent threat. There hasn’t been a single Muslim riot in this country over the Danish cartoons, and nobody was threatening Comedy Central with anything! If the censorship is legit, the terrorists and extremists won this battle without firing a shot… even a rhetorical shot!

  11. 4-7 says:

    What if CC in its independant judgment ran a 9/12 episode ? or something similarly ‘out of bounds’ ? Is it then that a private group has a more legitimate role in raising a ruckus ? I just have a hard time seeing the slightest bit of wrong with private people or groups putting the thumb on the scale the ratings game is naturally playing in deciding what gets aired. We are graced with all thes entertaining shows because Crest and McDonalds pay millions of dollars to fund them. I think it’s beautiful when a show denigrates a faith or belief that I am living out without hurting someone else and I can walk into McDs and say ‘give another dollar to that show and you’ll never see me again.’ (speaking as a Sometimes offended Catholic here). It’s a quid pro quo for having to hear ‘ba dah bum bah dah, I’m loving it’ three times in 30 minutes.

  12. 4-7 says:

    But if I ever find out who ultimately was behind the cancellation of Firefly and the systemic inability to DVD Big Wolf on Campus, it’s over for you ! jihad jihad !

  13. David Kreutz says:

    But if I ever find out who ultimately was behind the cancellation of Firefly

    Now THAT is something worth rioting over

  14. Angrier and Angrier says:

    Not to say it is right, but think of it from Comedy Central’s standpoint. They run the episode, there is a riot in the U.S. Buildings get burned, people get hurt. In this lawsuit happy land, who do you think is going to get sued? Comedy Central. Who is going to lose their jobs if this happens? The people making the decisions at Comedy Central.

  15. Phead says:

    Firefly? As in Festival?

  16. Muhammad says:

    Wizbang isn’t buying it:

    Matt and Trey, with the willing (or unwilling) participation of Comedy Central executives are experimenting with the blogosphere. While it may be true that the network refused to broadcast the image, it’s entirely possible that the they situated Mohammed in an image guaranteed to require censorship. Think bestiality, kiddie porn, goatse.cx, etc…

    They’re probably watching the discussion unfold and getting a good laugh out of it… or some fresh material…

    A commenter provides an plausible-sounding explanation:

    Apparently the uncensored version is already on the internet and the Mohammed model is the same used in their past episode and all he does is hand the helmet to the other character and says jihad a couple of times.

    To be fair though, if he hadn’t said jihad I don’t think they would have censored it. I don’t think anyone could have claimed to be offended by that with a straight face. Having him say jihad at least gives them some grounds though. :\

    I have no idea if any of that is accurate. And the notion that Comedy Central wouldn’t have censored the image without the alleged “jihad� statement would contradict the AP’s account. Anyway, if anyone knows where to find this alleged uncensored version, let me know!

    [UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has confirmation of the “jihad� thing: “Reader Jason E. writes, ‘The uncensored version of the show is already available on various P2P file sharing sites. I just watched the bit with Mohammed. It’s the same Mohammed that is shown in previous episodes, he walks in, gives Peter a salmon helmet?, says jihad, jihad a couple times and leaves.’� I wonder where the uncensored version came from? Did Parker and Stone leak it? Did some disgruntled Comedy Central employee leak it?] [UPDATE UPDATE: It’s fake.]

    P.P.S. Mohammad is in South Park’s opening credits! He’s tiny, but he’s there!

    P.P.P.S. Dr. Steven Taylor at PoliBlog can’t decide whether he cares.

    UPDATE 2: Glenn Reynolds thinks “this episode marks the beginning of the end� for South Park. I’m not sure if that’s true, but if Cartman’s theory is right, it is. Alan, Esq. thinks we’re looking at “a twisted version of Pastor Martin Niemöller’s, ‘First They Came for the Jews.’ However, in this version, the victim is free speech�:

    First, the Catholics came for South Park and I did not speak out because my head was in the sand.
    Then, the Scientologists came for South Park and I did not speak out because my head was in the sand.
    Then, the Muslims came for South Park and I did not speak out because my head was in the sand.
    Then, when I pulled my head out of the sand and turned on Comedy Central to watch South Park, it was gone.

    Alan adds: “While I would certainly miss the show, I am more fearful at how successful extremists are becoming at squelching free speech. Granted, it’s not technically ‘censorship’ since it is not a government ban on speech. However, this private form of censorship is much more insidious and sadly is more effective.�

    Categories: TV, Movies & Entertainment

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    15 Responses to “More confirmation that Comedy Central censored Muhammad�

    1. Texican Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 4:10:58 pm

    I see a DVD release soon.
    2. Lojo Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 4:19:32 pm

    Public… Safety.

    How mighty white of them.

    I guess I should at least give them the credit that they were truthful in admitting that A) Yes they censored it, and B) Yes, we did it because we were scared.

    That’s better than CNN or MSNBC or CBS, etc, that tried to argue sensitivity or that the Danish cartoons had no news value in being shown.
    3. Phead Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 4:25:34 pm

    I like how MSNBC goes on to mention Jesus and the American Flag. No defecation, of course. Minor detail!
    4. Brendan Loy Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 4:27:35 pm

    I like how MSNBC goes on to mention Jesus and the American Flag. No defecation, of course. Minor detail!

    Yeah. Absolutely absurd. Not MSNBC, though � the AP.
    5. Phead Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 4:30:50 pm

    True, Brendan, true!
    6. B. Minich, PI Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 4:37:15 pm

    And that detail seems to have been added.

    I think this made the double standard quite clear.
    7. 4-7 Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 5:06:37 pm

    looks like my rant got lost in cyberspace. Reynolds private censorship point is unfounded. Let groups protest all they want. Catholics have a right (hell, an obligation) to be offended at the Bloody Mary bit, and Muslims can be offended at Muhammad. Why berate them (or call them extremists) for holding to something sacred for their own part and using that marginal power of their dollar votes to change the content of shows which, in their opinion, demean their faith. It’s competition, not censorship. If South Park can’t survive on Comedy Central with Catholics, Muslims, and Jews, occasionally taking balls out of the tank, Parker and Stone can fund it themselves elsewhere. I may not agree with every offended group, read Scientology, but I don’t fault them for not holding, as poor-victimized Reynolds would seem to, that we all must accept the universal “anything goes.�
    8. Lojo Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 5:15:17 pm

    4-7:

    I agree with you except in that they only banned Mohammed, but let everything else eith Jesus defecating and so forth on the show. Why is the hurdle put at, “If a group makes enough fuss we’ll do as they ask, but they have to make big enough impact first?�

    As Matt and Trey said, either its all fair game or NONE of it is. You can’t selectively choose this one or that one to ban anything said simply because your afraid of the associated interest group its tied to.

    And though Glenn is getting too overwrought on the previous advocacy groups, I think the bigger point is that the Catholics, Christians, and Scientologists were threatening CC with boycotts and financial ramifications. Muslims threatened with violence. And CC ended up, like all the others, rewarding violence.

    VERY bad precedent to set there guys. That one will REALLY come back to bite you in the ass someday soon. Someday soon, some fanatic is going to get tired of just protesting and boycotting and will look to take more aggressive measures to get what they want.
    9. I Heart Jeric Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 5:24:20 pm

    Apologies if it’s been posted, but Volokh has a picture of the deleted scene.
    10. Brendan Loy Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 5:26:48 pm

    Lojo, a couple of points:

    1) As David and I discussed earlier, I don’t think “its all fair game or NONE of it is� is accurate. I mean, would an episode on 9/12/01 making fun of the WTC victims have been “fair game�? Of course not. It’s fine for private corporations and individuals to have content-based, and even viewpoint-based, standards. What isn’t okay is for those standards to be the result of intimidation and fear, because then they truly are letting the terrorists win. Moreover, you should be true to yourself and your own principles and standards. As you say, “If a group makes enough fuss we’ll do as they ask, but they have to make big enough impact first?� is precisely the wrong way to make these decisions. Either the Virgin Mary episode is too offensive to air, or it’s not too offensive to air. It doesn’t become more offensive just because a bunch of Catholics write letters. Comedy Central should be exercising independent judgment, not allowing itself to be subject to the whims of interest groups and angry mobs.

    2) It isn’t true that Comedy Central only responded to threats of violence but not to the boycotts and such. They caved to both the Catholics and the Scientologists. Nor is it true, so far as I know, that Muslims specifically threatened Comedy Central with violence… or with anything. I’ve done numerous Google News search and haven’t found anything describing even a statement from CAIR or whatever. That’s part of what makes the censorship so baffling, and makes me continue to wonder if this isn’t all an elaborate publicity stunt: Comedy Central betrayed basic principles of free speech becasue of a non-existent threat. There hasn’t been a single Muslim riot in this country over the Danish cartoons, and nobody was threatening Comedy Central with anything! If the censorship is legit, the terrorists and extremists won this battle without firing a shot… even a rhetorical shot!
    11. 4-7 Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 6:25:46 pm

    What if CC in its independant judgment ran a 9/12 episode ? or something similarly ‘out of bounds’ ? Is it then that a private group has a more legitimate role in raising a ruckus ? I just have a hard time seeing the slightest bit of wrong with private people or groups putting the thumb on the scale the ratings game is naturally playing in deciding what gets aired. We are graced with all thes entertaining shows because Crest and McDonalds pay millions of dollars to fund them. I think it’s beautiful when a show denigrates a faith or belief that I am living out without hurting someone else and I can walk into McDs and say ‘give another dollar to that show and you’ll never see me again.’ (speaking as a Sometimes offended Catholic here). It’s a quid pro quo for having to hear ‘ba dah bum bah dah, I’m loving it’ three times in 30 minutes.
    12. 4-7 Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 6:37:09 pm

    But if I ever find out who ultimately was behind the cancellation of Firefly and the systemic inability to DVD Big Wolf on Campus, it’s over for you ! jihad jihad !
    13. David Kreutz Says:
    April 13th, 2006 at 8:31:25 pm

    But if I ever find out who ultimately was behind the cancellation of Firefly

    Now THAT is something worth rioting over
    14. Angrier and Angrier Says:
    April 14th, 2006 at 9:25:22 am

    Not to say it is right, but think of it from Comedy Central’s standpoint. They run the episode, there is a riot in the U.S. Buildings get burned, people get hurt. In this lawsuit happy land, who do you think is going to get sued? Comedy Central. Who is going to lose their jobs if this happens? The people making the decisions at Comedy Central.
    15. Phead Says:
    April 14th, 2006 at 10:16:40 am

    Firefly? As in Festival?