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Free speech for 'South Park'

One wouldn't usually have reason to put Comedy Central and "courage" in the same sentence. But the Viacom cable network really choked in reacting to a Muslim group's threat by censoring a "South Park" episode's references to the Prophet Muhammad, as well as Kyle's culminating speech about intimidation and fear — and without the knowledge of creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. As David Harsanyi wrote in the Denver Post of the show, which has been on 14 years: "'South Park' is the program that featured an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President George W. Bush and the American flag. It's the program that featured the Virgin Mary gushing blood while undergoing menstruation and Pope Benedict XVI inspecting her in a truly distasteful manner." He added: "If those who bankroll satirists can be so easily intimidated, shouldn't we all be troubled about the lesson that sends religious fanatics elsewhere? And what does it say about us?"

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