Bowing to bigots

Well, the prudes and prigs and closed-minded bigots of the allegedly religious right won one. No, two.

Two spineless, dickless, unAmerican NBC affiliates — KARK-TV in Little Rock, and WTWO-TV in Terre Haute, both are owned by Nexstar Broadcasting — dropped Book of Daniel after the so-called American Family Association (I’m an American and I have a family but I wouldn’t associate with these hatemongers) complained that the show might find humor in churches. Well, actually, the real reason is that the AFA hates gays and Book of Daniel doesn’t.

So these NBC scumbags went along with it. Would they have gone alone with the KKK trying to kill I Spy because it had a black star? Same thing. Bigotry is bigotry. One station tried to make up a spin that it’s a protest again the regulatory environment. Well, bullshit. Shows with homosexual characters are not — yet — a subject of regulation.

The affiliate in Salt Lake City — which previously would not air Coupling, God, the Devil and Bob, and Stressed Eric. — is airing Daniel.

“There’s been an enormous amount of discussion about the show,” said Steve Poulsen, vp marketing at KSL-TV, NBC’s affiliate in Salt Lake City. “This one happens to have religious overtones to it and is causing a little stir. We determined on this one to let the viewers determine the success or failure of this show.”

Well, now, wouldn’t that be a fine policy every day of the week?

  • Angelos

    3 more years! 3 more years!

  • http://robertdfeinman.com/society Robert Feinman

    Slightly out of date, but I think the sentiments are probably similar today [August 30, 2002]:

    Support for the First Amendment has eroded significantly since Sept. 11 and nearly half of Americans now think the constitutional amendment on free speech goes too far in the rights it guarantees, according to a new poll.

    The sentiment that the First Amendment goes too far was already on the rise before the terrorist attacks a year ago, doubling to four in 10 between 2000 and 2001.

    The poll released Thursday found that 49 percent think the First Amendment goes too far, a total about 10 points higher than in 2001

    Most people want freedom of their speech, not opposing views…

  • Rob

    Well, I haven’t seen the show, but I have seen the commercials. I don’t favor censorship of the show, but the commercials for it did make me think:

    What would happen if you did the same show with essentially the same jokes about Islam instead of Christianity? I think there would be alarm, general outrage and a charge of bigotry and racism aimed at the producers.

    Whether it’s TV news shows or Hollywood, our culture seems to have a lot of fun belittling Christianity. I’m an atheist, so I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but it still makes me wonder just what has everyone so mad about Christianity.

    Most of the honestly religious people I know seem to be decent sorts who get a good deal of solace and joy from their beliefs. Why would I want to mock that?

  • Cody

    It’s not that there are gays in the show that is being protested here…and has nothing to do with “bigotry”…You serving a huge injustice to readers of this blog by using examples like your KKK one.

    If ConservChristians were out in full force get homosexuals off TV, there would be more of an outrage (than there is) to Will&Grace, Queer Eye, Desperate Housewives, etc, etc.

    The big issue with the Book of Daniel is the mockery and blatent misrepresnetation of the church.

    Look at it this way…what if there was a show called “The Clinton SHow” (on must see TV Thursday night!) that featured an ex-Democratic president who had a daughter who was a member of the College Republicans, a wife who was a card carrying member of the NRA, and had visions/conversations with Rush Limbuagh? (BTW…I am in NO WAY associating Rush with Christ…he’s more like Judas maybe)

    The point is the show doesn’t make sense…and issues the wrong message about the group they’re mocking.

    And I agree with the above comments (and previous ones in your other post) that we don’t see shows called Mecca Legal…or Desperate Jews…or whatever. It’s OK to mock and make fun of Christians…but not other religious groups.

    My 2 cents.

  • Claude Brunel

    All I know, strippers don’t kill. Religions did and still do. It is okay to be outraged by a stripper on a billboard. What about by massacres in the name of God ?

  • Ravo

    It’s OK to mock and make fun of Christians…but not other religious groups.

    Exactly.

    Well, actually, the real reason is that the AFA hates gays

    Yes, please do explain how Will and Grace’s long run fits into your agenda.

  • Kurt

    Well, actually, the real reason is that the AFA hates gays
    ————
    Yes, please do explain how Will and Grace’s long run fits into your agenda.

    Good point. After all, Will & Grace’s long run was due in no small part to the AFA’s enthusiastic support of it. The AFA’s love of gays just spills off that page, doesn’t it?

  • Ravo

    And the AFA was powerless to stop Will and Grace or the others.

    The reasoning this time is a strong one…. standards should be applied equally.

    Again, we haven’t seen shows:

    called Mecca Legal…or Desperate Jews…or whatever. It’s OK to mock and make fun of Christians…but not other religious groups.

  • kat

    Yes, Claude, it is ironic that there has never been a massacre that was not in the name of God. There is not an officially atheistic regime which slaughtered its people , but religious nuts like Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot,Kim Il Sung and Enver Hoxha killed and slaughtered their own people at an unheard-of rate.

  • Claude Brunel

    Kat, I did not say that all massacres have been done in the name of God. Did I ? Then, do the massacres perpetuated by crazy communist regimes erase the ones done in the name of God ? By the way, all these guys believed or believe that they were or they are god. And, if I my memory is good some of the recent crazy dictators on this world were Christians. You don’t need names. Don’t you ?

  • http://blowingsmokethemovie.com Jim Treacher

    It’s official: Jarvis thinks Stern is Jesus!

  • Gaius Arbo

    A thought experiment:

    Change the title to “The Book of Abdul” and make the show appear to be mocking the Muslim religion. (As the trailers appear to be showing the show making fun of Christianity).

    Who would be howling the loudest?

    BTW – should the show be aired? Yes. It will succeed or fail on it’s own merits.

  • Nick

    Future TV Guide Listing

    The Book of Abdul
    A crazy sitcom about Osama and Paula Abdul as they audition potential suicide bombers? Hilarious hijinks follow…NBC Thursday 8/7c

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    I say let ‘em win, they’ll just encourage people to switch to less restrictive forms of media like Satellite TV/Radio, podcasts, etc. Not only that but they’re stirring up a bunch of free press coverage of the show.

    Some rich person should contribute $100,000 to a gay rights movement for every station that decides not to run the show, just to rub it in.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    I think it’s fine to laugh a little at everything in life, even religion. What’s curious is that Christians don’t mind if fun is poked at Muslims or Jews, just so long as it is not poked at them. Or is it that Christians would consider it okay to have their beliefs laughed at just so long as the Muslims and Jews are given the same treatment? Could we expect Christians to find their funny bone if the equivalent of the Book of Daniel for the Muslim and Jewish faith gets aired?

    In that case, let’s roll the shows out. Beats the hell out of always having to be serious and not tease or joke or laugh. After all, no one is trying to stop Christians from producing a show that laughs at science. And there’s plenty to laugh at there. How many pill companies skew the results of their testing? Great capital could be made out of power hungry pharmaceutical scientists as they vie for position in the hierarchial pyramid of profit.

  • Ravo

    re:
    massacres done in the name of God

    Christians, like everyone else, lead sinful lives.

    The difference is, Christians can’t honestly claim to kill in the name of Christ, cause to go out and kill was never part of Christ’s New Testament preaching.

  • Ravo

    Great capital could be made out of power hungry pharmaceutical scientists as they vie for position in the hierarchial pyramid of profit.

    That argument belongs against the drug store chains. Costco sells some meds for $40, while the price of the exact meds at some drug store chains can be as much as $200.

    At five times the mark up of Costco, it ain’t the drug making companies that deserve your ire Noel, but perhaps the drugstores/i>.

  • Ravo

    Christians don’t mind if fun is poked at Muslims or Jews, just so long as it is not poked at them.

    So where are all these shows?????

  • W.J. Jones

    Funny, I never figured Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Kim Il Sung as “religious nuts.”

    I must have skipped the “revisionist history” chapter in my history book along with the “How to look like a desperate fool” in my oral communications class.

    I did, however, take a few English courses and could probably come up with a fine sitcom based on a Muslim cleric and his homosexual son, horny wife and frequently appearing Mohammad. Let me listen to Stern for some great material that appeals to the worst of our nature.

    First, let me go talk to Salman Rushdie…Wait did he get death threats from Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell or…Okay, never mind.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Ravo, I was referring to your earlier comment:

    … standards should be applied equally … and … we haven’t seen shows called Mecca Legal…or Desperate Jews…or whatever. It’s OK to mock and make fun of Christians…but not other religious groups.

    which implied that you, as a Christian, would not mind The Book of Daniel being aired if the Muslim and Jewish equivalent of such a show was aired too. Since you’re asking where these shows are, it’s obvious you wouldn’t mind seeing them. I’m all in favor of these kind of shows being aired and I’m glad to see that you would be too. Who said Christians couldn’t laugh at themselves and other people of faith?

    If you don’t like my suggestion of how to laugh at science because Pfizer charges more for its brands than Costco does, I’m sure you or other Christians could come up with some other things that are funny about science and that would keep lots of people entertained in a weekly show, no?

  • Bill Henry

    “shows called Mecca Legal…or Desperate Jews…or whatever” …..I hope Mel Brooks happens to read this. If so, the wheels are probably already turning for a movie with this title. IIRC he recently said something to the effect he’s the only Jew to make money off Hitler! Funny guy!

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Bill, do me a favor and hit the Contact Us button on my website. I’ll let you know why in the reply.

  • Gearhead

    Throw the swine more slop.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Hahahahahaha! Wow, gee, I’m underwhelmed.

  • Ravo

    Noel,

    I was raised not to indulge in irreverence to God.

    As a youth, I was raised in a diverse unPC environment where polish, italians, germans, irish, scotch (heritages of which I possess nearly all – so was the butt of a lot of them) had great fun telling each other very unPC jokes about each other’s ethnic backgrounds, as well as those of any and all other races.

    I was quite honestly taken back when the politically corrupt came along and made us stop…under the guise of racism. As a child, I never gave a thought that poking fun at each other was wrong at all.

    The PC police continue to keep it all off limits …. with the only exception being Christianity.

    There’s a lot wrong with that picture.

    And just for the record, yes, I think the subject of God deserves to be treated with reverence and respect. Even if just for the fact that 85% of our population reveres God.

    Yup. Reason enough.

  • Betty

    Not that anything I have to say will amount to a hill of beans But,
    Jeff, you are the bigot, as long as everyone thinks just like you,
    thats what is wrong with the LIBs, if I have a opinion different than yours, mind is wrong, not different, plain wrong. What happen to the good old days being open minded, My inlaws are Dems and have to be the most narrow minds, heads in the sand, and yes name calling (Jeff) mean spirited people.
    that all I feel better, sorry bout the grammar.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Why is it okay to be un-PC in one area and not another? Why should I misrepresent what I believe to be the truth because other people feel different? What if I told you that you did not have the right to speak your point of view because it offended me by going against science and nature? I’m happy for you to speak your point of view, even to laugh at me and my point of view so how come you and other Christians are so touchy on the subject of God? Could it be that deep down you suspect the idea of ‘God’ is a man-made explanation and that this does not sit well with what you told to believe as a child, and makes you therefore uncomfortable? I was taught these things too, but I grew up and thought for myself.

    And freedom of speech does not mean that the majority rule. Freedom of speech means everyone has a voice.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    How devout are those 85% you say revere God because they’re certainly not going to church on Sunday.

  • Bill Henry

    Noel, Why do you come on this board and make a mockery of the Lord Jesus, God, and all that we patriotic Americans hold sacred? Do you have no limits to your vile diatribes? Will you now stoop so low as to blaspheme the Spaghetti Monster?

  • Ravo

    Why is it okay to be un-PC in one area and not another?
    That is exactly what the PC police are perpetrating now.

    If perchance God is real, Noel, I suspect you will be finding out why within the next hundred years. lol

    If I was in another country, I wouldn’t disrespect what the host country reverently believed in. Here, most have a sincere reverence for God, and to disrespect that is to disrespect 85% of us.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    That’s ridiculous. I have the right to disagree with you, Ravo, and you have the right to disagree with me. This is a forum for debate. I have not walked into your church, gestured obscenely and told you to stick your God where the sun don’t shine. Both of us have come to this open forum to debate. If you find it offensive or disrespectful, no one is forcing you to type in http://www.buzzmachine.com.

  • Ravo

    Noel. I thought we were discussing about disrespecting Christianity on a TV show while prohibiting the same kind of disrespect on TV re: PC subjects.

    I have no problem with the debate here…gheesh.

  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Glad to hear it, Ravo. It would certainly put a dampener on the fun.

  • Claude Brunel

    I was thinking that the US are a SECULAR State. Did something changed in the last hour? Why should we have a sincere reverence for God? Religion is a personal mater, that should stay a personal mater. Except if Americans vote to have a theocracy. No where, in this country, the law is saying that we have to care about God. Freedom of religion means also freedom of not having one. Respect is due to all of ours believes, not just one of them. And not by obligation, but by respect.

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  • Ravo

    No where, in this country, the law is saying that we have to care about God.

    Of course not…nor should it.

    But while your caring about having the politically “correct sensitivity” about all the left’s little pet groups ,how about giving the same respect to Christians, which only number 85% of the population.

  • http://www.postwatchblog.com Christopher Fotos

    Something there is about Christianity that transforms admirable, rational intellects like those possessed by Jarvis and Christopher Hitchens into rage-spewing maniacs.

  • Jim S

    Ummm….Christopher, Jeff is a Christian. Just not a fundamentalist one.

    I’m fascinated that no one has pointed out that a very simple reality is that it’s perfectly fine for Jews to make fun of aspects of Judaism and Christians to make fun of aspects of Christianity (or at least how some people practice it) whereas pointing the finger at each other won’t be seen the same way for the foreseeable future. I leave Islam out of that equation because let’s face it, far too many Muslims (so far as I can tell) don’t understand enough about free speech and why it’s important when it comes to their faith. Bigotry? I don’t think it is when it is a simple fact that in most (Or is it all?) Muslim nations blasphemy is a crime.

  • http://jlemons.blogspot.com Jason

    I’m not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Jeff.

    Say what you want about the Little Rock affiliate, but according to the Reuters article you cited, it appears that WTWO’s decision not to carry The Book of Daniel has nothing to do with the American Family Association:

    WTWO general manager Duane Lammers said he is not pre-empting “Daniel” due to its content but rather to protest what he views as the networks’ strong-arm approach to affiliates, as well inconsistent federal oversight of indecent content.

    “This has nothing to do with the program and has nothing to do with the AFA,” Lammers said. “I think the system is screwed up. I think the network thinks we are going to do whatever they tell us to do. I think the regulatory environment is flawed.”

    Inconsistent oversight of indecent content? A flawed regulatory environment? That sounds like a man after your own heart, Jeff.

  • Jim Rockford

    Salt Lake City itself (as opposed to Utah in general) is fairly liberal. IIRC it’s Mayor is Democratic, and openly gay. It also has a large illegal population, gang crime, and the usual ills you find in any large city. Went heavily for Kerry in 04; about 75% or so.

    It’s not surprising the Salt Lake City people decided to keep the show. The other stations serve a far more rural area, that is culturally more conservative. The show is not Will and Grace, it mocks the IDEA of Christianity while paying lip service to it. Imagine the guy being Desperate Housewives coming up with his idea of a show to appeal to those Red State Religious conservatives who paid out big bucks to see Passion (ugh not my kind of movie).

    The show is bad TV and designed (because Hollywood can’t help it) to offend the very people the show is supposed to attract. The people in Salt Lake City are likely to be middle class professionals in the suburbs, hip twentysomethings in the central city; mixed with working-class or poor Latinos; and rich urbanites. They won’t watch the show because they won’t care.

    Anyway it’s a mistake to characterize SLC with the rest of Utah. Very different.

    The real story here is that Hollywood cannot for it’s life make stuff that the fairly religious like. The Apostle is about the only thing that ever came close, and Duvall had to push that one himself. They see the money just lying on the table and have absolutely NO WAY to pick it up.

    This isn’t religious bigotry IMHO. AFAIK Will and Grace and the rest of the NBC lineup airs in these cities. The show is just designed because Hollywood can’t help it to offend Christians.

    As far as Christians in general being treated; well world-wide they are persecuted. Three Catholic High School Girls were beheaded in Indonesia for their faith; Christians are routinely killed for their religion in Africa, South-West Asia, South-East Asia (ask the East Timorian Christians) and various other places like China or North Korea. Al Qaeda specifically cited UN Ambassador Mendes’s support for Christian East Timor’s independence against Muslim Indonesia as reason for killing him in Iraq. Sudanese Muslims justify enslaving and castrating Christian men from the south by their religion. So yes, Christians have a VERY good point world-wide about oppression, since it’s well, factually correct.

    In this country it is allowable to have something like “Piss Christ” whereas it’s defacto against the Law to offend Muslims. Not on the order of other places but yes Christians are the least valued people in the US. Pat Robertson is an idiot (and it’s good to say he is as often as possible); but it’s not allowed to say that Dallas Muslims are idiots for hosting a celebration of Khomeni and his lunatic Revolution.

  • http://francispage.blogspot.com Chris Francis

    Sigh.

    Only yesterday the extreme religious right complained about people taking Christ out of Christmas.

    Now that the holidays are over, they’re moving on to the next target. Helluva way to start the new year.

    What ARE these people afraid of? That the whole of America will suddenly hold devout Christians up to mockery and ridicule because of a little ‘ol TV show? That suddenly our collective image of Christ will warp into some tripped-out caricature? It’s gonna take a lot more than that…

    If the show is a chunk of fertilizer, it will collapse under the weight of its own vileness. We shouldn’t have to hear anybody tell us that, and especially before the first showing. It’s certainly all right to have worries and concerns, but give the show a fair shot. Thank goodness the bosses at Mormon-owned KSL have enough tolerance.

    And let us not forget this: not one but TWO TV movies recently aired on the late great Pope John Paul II. Christianity is certainly no cheap laugh for the networks… especially when so many of the stars of said religion do it so well themselves:

    Oral Roberts (lost many stations after the infamous “God will call me home” speech, claimed to see a gigantic Jesus behind his City Of Faith in Tulsa)
    Pat Robertson (not on Hugo Chavez’ Christmas card list this year, by any means… and hey, did you hear what he said about Sharon’s stroke?)
    Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker (you know the story)
    Jimmy Swaggart (his episode with a hooker in a motel room brought new meaning to the term “lay ministry”)

    Thankfully, all of this is countered by the dedicated TV ministries of Dr. Robert Schuller (who recently stepped down, bless him) and Billy Graham. And let us not forget the late great Mr. (Fred) Rodgers — how many of us knew he was a Presbyterian minister? — or Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, whose oratory trancended denominations.

    Yeah, TV’s full of saints and sinners. Shouldn’t we be used to figuring out who’s who by now?

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  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    Noel says: “Could it be that deep down you suspect the idea of ‘God’ is a man-made explanation and that this does not sit well with what you told to believe as a child, and makes you therefore uncomfortable? I was taught these things too, but I grew up and thought for myself.”

    Actually I used to believe in Santa Claus and after further inspection I do not anymore. Upon further inspection of Science and textual criticism of the Bible and its manuscripts, I still believe in God–more now than ever. Noel I honestly don’t think you have ever looked hard at Christian Apologetics. I recommend the books I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and The Case for Christ by former atheist Lee Strobel. The first book goes point by point in their approach to arguments for faith. You certainly would be interested, if not persuaded, by both books.

    All that said, your book looks very interesting and I wonder when it comes out and where I can purchase it. I’m hoping it’s along the lines of Kurt Eichenwald’s work on ADM and Enron.

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    Chris–
    Jimmy Swaggart (his episode with a hooker in a motel room brought new meaning to the term “lay ministry”)
    That’s hilarious.

    Also what is IIRC? I’ve seen it a few times and I have no idea. And I agree with Chris even though I am a Christian. It’s airing will do nothing to change people’s perceptions of Christians and their beliefs.

  • Eileen

    IIRC = if I recall/remember correctly.

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  • http://www.bloodandtreasure.com Noel Guinane

    Zoner, sorry, I didn’t see your comment til just now. I’ll take a look at the books you recommend. Our book has just been released though I’m not sure it’s anything like Kurt Eichenwald has written.

    It’s on Amazon if you’d like more information on it.

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  • Andy S.

    Jeff, Jeff, Jeff
    Silencing the billboards of Stern and strippers is against the first amendment but when you talk religion, you do the same thing. You do not want them to have their say. Shame on you.

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    Sweet–thanks Noel. From what your webpage says, it seems you would really like Eichenwald’s books.

  • http://chicagozoner.blogspot.com The Zoner

    Now I’m confused–is it a novel?

  • briatheangel

    christian apoligietics are a one sided biased argument for christianity. i whouldnt waste my time with such tripe.