Last night’s South Park episode, the second of a two-parter, was fascinating in the amount of targets they were able to include. The surface level of course was slamming Family Guy, which seems to be every cartoon show’s favorite punching bag. I always been apathetic to Family Guy, but the revelation that every joke was written by Manitees who constructed them by randomly selecting balls with words on them to be a little cheap but surprisingly accurate. Best of all, was South Park not sparing itself. There were a fair amount of jokes about cartoon shows getting preachy, a major complain about South Park’s later seasons from some.
Family Guy was really just collateral damage here though, South Park’s real target was censorship and terrorism. I found the cut to Comedy Central’s refusal to air Mohammad chilling. According to National Review’s media blog, this was an accurate reflection of Comedy Central’s position. The final bit, showing a cartoon featuring Bush, Jesus and other American crapping all over themselves and an American flag, has been taken by many to reflect the hypocricy in our media and in some ways giving ammunition that there’s anti-Christian bias there. South Park’s point how either all targets are good or none of them are has never been so smartly rendered.
It’s still to Comedy Central credit that they would put such a critique on the air, but sad considering Comedy Central previously had no problem with showing Muhammad in the episode “Super Best Friends” featuring Mohammed and a member of a superhero team made up of relgious figures as part of South Park’s Fifth Season Some have argued that the best thing to do is write Comedy Central about not showing Muhammad, but what our media understands most is money. If it burns you that much, buy the box set for the Muhammad episode. Then write Comedy Central and tell them you are disappointed with their decision on “Cartoon Wars” and that you bought the DVD set specifically because it shows Muhammad. It may sounds strange to support a company that makes a decision you don’t like, but voting with our wallets for the media we want is one of the few effective ways to reach decision makers.
Also noticed on wikipedia’s entry for South Park, that Muhammad did sneak by on last night’s episode as part of the opening cast shot. Check against my copy of the episode itself and sure enough, he’s there. Full pic shown after the jump…