The South Park incident
Here is the Los Angeles Times on the Comedy Central network’s bleeping out of the name “Muhammad” in a South Park episode after a fringe pro-Muslim site, “Revolution Muslim,” threatened to slaughter the show’s producers a la Theo van Gogh:
The network may have thought it had no choice after revolutionmuslim.com, the website of a fringe group, delivered a grim warning about last week’s episode, which depicted Muhammad dressed as a bear.The Times delicately describes the erasure of Muhammad’s name as the “latest example that media conglomerates are still struggling to balance free speech with safety concerns and religious sensitivities.”
It evidently didn’t occur to Comedy Central that instead of caving before such threats, and it evidently didn’t occur to the Times that instead of wringing its hands about “balancing free speech with safety concerns,” they should call on the FBI to shut down the website and arrest the persons who made the murder threats. After all, the identity of the main actor at Revolution Muslim is known:
The ADL has identified Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, the blogger who posted the warning about “South Park,” as Zachary A. Chesser, a former student at George Mason University who lives in Virginia and has become more active with Revolution Muslim in the last several months.Why isn’t there a warrant out for this person’s arrest? I had not heard that the First Amendment includes the right to publish statements threatening to kill people.
But neither the Times nor the FBI seem to think that’s a high priority. All we hear about the FBI in the story is: “The FBI was aware of the matter, but declined to comment.”
Hmm, so Comedy Central bleeps out the name Muhammad, and the FBI is silent on the Muslims who threaten to kill in his name—a very different FBI from the chest-beating FBI that has gone after various white extremist groups over the years. Muslim murder threats are made with impunity, while the mainstream goes on blabbing about the problem of “balancing free speech with safety concerns and religious sensitivities.”