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Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Thursday, April 13, 2006

AP's complete misrepresentation of South Park

This tidbit from an AP story on discussing last night's South park episode...


"NEW YORK (AP) -- Banned by Comedy Central from showing an image of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, the creators of "South Park" skewered their own network for hypocrisy in the cartoon's most recent episode.

The comedy -- in an episode aired during Holy Week for Christians -- instead featured an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and the American flag....."

Later in the article...

"....The executive decides to strike a blow for free speech and agrees to show it. But at the point where Mohammed is to be seen, the screen is filled with the message: "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network."

It is followed shortly by the images of Christ, Bush and the flag."


This is taken completely out of context. If you know nothing about South Park, or at least had just missed last night's episode, you'd probably be up in arms about this story...which apparently is what AP wanted.

I saw the episode and I assure you that the whole "defecation" scene isn't nearly as shocking as AP would have you believe (it may be somewhat shocking to unfamiliar viewers, but it's fairly tame by South Park tastes). What AP conveniently didn't elaborate on in their article was exactly what transpired to lead up to the scene in question. In fact the whole, curt line of "it is followed shortly by the images of Christ, Bush and the flag" reeks of deception and effectively rushes you along to their conclusion without giving a proper explanation of why Trey Parker and Matt Stone put them in there.

Since AP refuses to provide context, let me do it for you: after the airing of the picture of Mohammed in a "Family Guy" episode, Al Qaeda retaliates by airing a poorly produced cartoon mocking the common rich white guy in America. After some bad dialogue, the characters begin inexplicably defecating on each other. Shortly afterwards, Al Qaeda goes for the throat by introducing President Bush into the fracas, then Jesus. The joke here is that Al Qaeda tries to offend us on the same grounds that we offended them...only much worse...and they fail miserably.

But AP curiously leaves all of this out...probably because it would detract from their own article's shock value. And this is just a story about South Park. If AP isn't providing the full story here, exactly how many *other* stories are they feeding us with half-truths?


Blogger Darren said...

Hell, it's possible, and maybe even likely, that the AP reporter didn't even see the episode and was merely writting based off of what he/she was told had happened in the episode.

4/13/2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

And that makes it even worse.

4/14/2006 4:26 AM  

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