Daily Archives: April 27, 2010

The evil of censorship. And a tribute to Rod Belding of “Saved by the Bell.”

As a writer, and as a liberal, I take censorship pretty seriously.

The fact that our freedom of speech and freedom of the press are sometimes compromised, and that forces act to restrict free expression, pisses me off.

This weekend I learned about censorship in two very different cases, but both

made me angry.

The first was this Lane Bryant ad being censored. Lane Bryant, a women’s clothing store for plus-size females, shot a commercial with one of their models in her bra and panties. No big deal, right? Half of the commercials on TV show women in that “outfit.”

But ABC refused to air it without edits, as did Fox. Apparently they thought it was too racy. I’m not buying it; I think they didn’t want a woman who didn’t weigh nine pounds wearing lingerie on TV. Crazy and wrong.

Here’s the ad, tell me is it any worse than the crap Abercrombie and Fitch, and Victoria’s Secret, put out?

**Then there’s the “South Park” Muhammad controversy. I’m not a big fan of “South Park,” though a few people in my life who have almost nothing in common all swear it’s the funniest thing on TV. One of South Park’s themes is to make fun of every sacred cow, be it religious, societal, or historical.

So apparently they’ve made fun of Muhammad a few times now, without too much controversy. But then they shot an episode that Comedy Central, and Muslim groups in the U.S., thought went too far. An Islamist group has basically threatened that Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the show’s creators, will be killed, and Comedy Central severely censored the episode in question.

Why is it that Muhammad is the one figure that absolutely cannot be satirized, even here in America? And Comedy Central, who knows what it has in “South Park,” decides now that certain mentions and commentary about Muhammad are off-limits.

Very disappointing for a network that hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Andrew Sullivan, as usual, has a great take on this controversy here.

**OK, this cracked me up tremendously. Remember the “Saved by the Bell” episode with Mr. Belding’s brother, Rod? Of course you do.

Well, here’s a kick-ass tribute to a great TV character who was only in one episode.