Fiscal Responsibility

TigerHawk has an article about the whole Comedy Central / South Park debacle. The long and short is that Comedy Central, as South Park warned, pussed out. Comedy Central decided that the risk of violence from inanely easily manipulated Muslims outweighed their dedication to free speech. This wasn’t necessarily the wrong decision, as Tigerhawk says:

So I don’t blame Comedy Central, or Border’s Books, or the world’s media organizations, for refusing to depict Mohammed out of fear of retaliation. Their job is not to defend freedom of speech, but to earn profits for their stockholders. Acting as a fiduciary, I would make the same decision. But let us not tolerate these same organizations claiming that they also support freedom of speech. They are lying when they say they do, because in order to defend freedom of speech, you have to be willing to protect speech against the inevitable threat of violence.

I want there to be no misunderstanding about my position on this: It is our fault that this happened. You, me, and everyone else in America. A corporation is a fiction. It follows a (nebulous) set of rules that essentially boil down to this: The corporation does what makes money for the shareholders. That doesn’t mean that the corporation acts unconscionably. It does not because we won’t abide it. When a corporation becomes a bad corporate citizen, they lose customers and therefore have a disincentive to act badly.

That is why it is our fault. We have not provided proper disincentives to corporate America. When Comedy Central does this, they do it because they know that the costs of confronting Muslim agitators outweighs the cost of confronting freedom loving Americans. We cannot change the costs of confronting the Muslim agitators (the clerics and organizers behind the riots) directly, so we have one side of the equation to focus on. We must raise the costs of confronting freedom loving Americans until it outweighs the Muslim agitators.

That means that we must raise the costs on Comedy Central. I was actually brought to this conclusion by the Borders Books fiasco. Because Borders censored the Mohammed cartoons, a boycott was suggested. I poo-pooed it at first, but now I have come around. We must boycott Borders and Comedy Central, because this is the only way to protect the means of free speech. This is not the government censoring people; this is us censoring people because we have supported the weasely with our dollars, and we must stop.

I like Comedy Central. I applaud them for supporting South Park for years, through the Shit episode, for example. But recently, Comedy Central has been caving to Catholic agitators, to Scientologist agitators, and now to Muslim agitators. We have to tell them that this is not acceptable, and that is by taking away the money. Stop buying from Comedy Central. Matt Stone and Trey Parker will forgive you.

Also, don’t miss Terrestrial Musings and Mexigogue on the subject.


  1. R says:

    “We must boycott Borders and Comedy Central, because this is the only way to protect the means of free speech.”

    Wow, buddy. I don’t know what planet you’re from, but around here the means for free speech is the Bill of Rights.

  2. Mexigogue says:

    A boycott is a stellar idea. All hail the almighty dollar!!!

  3. […] For more on this subject also see the Everlastinig Phelps! […]

  4. This isn’t a first amendment thing, Walter. This is more fundamental. The first amendment addresses what the government can and cannot do, because we have granted them a monopoly on the legal use of force. This is different.

    This is about what we will and will not accept as a society. It would be legal for CC to show the episode with Mo; it would be legal for them to not show the episode with Mo. That isn’t what this is about.

    That is why I said “the means for free speech”. It is like the old saying, “freedom of the press only applies to someone who can afford a press.” Comedy Central has the press. This is how we influence how that press is used. Right now, you need to have a corporation to afford to broadcast. To preserve broadcasting freedom, we have to place some things off limits from the corporate executives, and this is one of them.

  5. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    I’ll boycott as soon as this season of South Park is over, it’s the only show I watch on CC anymore. Maybe if we boycott them they will stop showing hte same reruns of Chappelle’s show and wasting whole wekeends on that Blue Collar comedy tour crap. How much longer is git er dun going to be funny?

  6. It is worth noting that Comedy Central makes a significant portion of its money from merchandising, not advertising. Stop buy SP T-shirts, stop buying plush Cartmans, stop buying Chapelle Show DVDs, etc.

  7. Mexigogue says:

    I was seriously considering getting a Towelie towel. Now I’m just gonna say no.

  8. guy in the uNLV jacket says:

    I don’t buy any of that crap anyways and I won’t start. THey will feel my wrath!!!!!!!!!!

  9. R says:

    “Comedy Central has the press.”

    No. Commedy Central has [i]a[/i] press. One of countless millions out there. And they can use their press how they want. Boycott if you like, but it will do nothing more to protect the “means of free speech” than Comedy Central is doing to destroy the “means of free spech.”

    Which is nothing.

    You’re a little more meolodramatic than usual.

  10. If you wish to be less vigilent in your support of the free exchange of information, then please, by all means, bury your head in the sand.