Does Obama Bear Some Responsibility for Intimidation of Comedy Central?

Muslim extremists bullied Comedy Central into censoring a recent South Park episode, but the Obama administration must take a major share of the responsibility for allowing an atmosphere of intimidation that diminishes freedom of speech to thrive.

In his soon-to-be-released book The Grand Jihad, former Bush attorney Andrew McCarthy argues that the government won’t act because of political correctness and a policy that reflects a fear of the jihadists.

Comedy Central, which airs South Park, censored a 2010 episode by bleeping out a segment that originally depicted the Prophet Muhammad in a bear costume before turning into Santa Claus. The group, "Revolution Muslim," warned South Park's creators that they would "probably wind up like Theo van Gogh” for insulting their prophet. Theo van Gogh was a Dutch filmmaker whose movie Submission criticized the treatment of women under Islam. He was brutally murdered by an Islamic extremist.

Granted, South Park has a penchant for obscene language and violent, offensive content. No group is spared “bad taste humor.”  Jewish people are made fun of in almost every show. For example, in the episode Passion of the Jew, Jews are referred to as devils. In one episode, the “N-word” was used over 40 times. A Christmas episode depicted Christ and Santa Claus fighting.  None of these episodes were either censored or removed from the airways.

Were the extremists able to hold Comedy Central hostage because of President Obama’s policies? This administration’s strategy is to appease the Muslim world. They have done it by eliminating certain terms from official documents and statements, such as "Islamic extremism" and “war on terror.” They also apologize for America’s past actions, as President Obama did in his Cairo speech.

John Yoo, a former Department of Justice attorney in the Bush administration and author of the book Crisis and Command, agrees. He told Pajamas Media: “President Obama’s speech in Cairo projected a vision of American weakness where people think they can make violent threats and get away with it. He does not make strong statements that America will not tolerate these threats, but instead is conciliatory.”