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Oliphant joins in condemning threats to South Park creators

The 17 Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonists who condemned the alleged threats against South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker after their 200th episode aired depicting the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit can add one more cartoonist to their ranks: Pat Oliphant.

The full statement:

“We, the undersigned, condemn the recent threats against the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, by the extremist organization, Muslim Revolution. Freedom of express is a universal right and we reject any group that seeks to silence people by violence or intimidation. In the United States we have a proud tradition of political satire and believe in the right to speak or draw freely without censorship.”

Download pdf announcement with signatures.

Community Comments

#1 dan reynolds
May/11/2010
@ 11:30 am

I agree with the South Parks’ right for freedom of expression/speech. This is provided for under our Constitution.

Having said that, their use of this freedom in many respects is in bad taste, anti religious, and juvenile.

There. Now I have exercised my Constitutional rights as well.

#2 dan reynolds
May/11/2010
@ 11:44 am

Having said the above comments, let me make it clear the First Amendment doesn’t GIVE us this right. It provides protection for this preexisting right…a right that predates the existence of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

#3 Jim Jackoviak
May/11/2010
@ 12:14 pm

Too many people seem to forget that it’s freedom OF speech, not freedom FROM speech. So long as it is neither threatening of harm nor inciting others to harm, it’s protected.

#4 Ted Rall
May/11/2010
@ 1:23 pm

@Dan: Statements of support for free speech should never be equivocal. Giving even the slightest support for censorship is tantamount to giving aid and comfort to fascism. There is no room for nuance when it comes to support for fundamental human rights. Support for free speech must be uncompromising.

#5 Shane Davis
May/11/2010
@ 8:12 pm

Ted,
I agree, but its not just extreme forces on the right (fascism, as you said) that threaten that right.

Communism is just as deadly to free speech as anything else. Remember Tian’anmen Square? And I doubt many folks in Cuba, Laos or North Korea would get away with any editorial cartoons similiar to yours.

#6 Pat Crowley
May/11/2010
@ 8:19 pm

Can we get the Pulitzer Prize winners to do something about political correctness?

#7 Jim Lavery
May/11/2010
@ 8:56 pm

This whole issue has nothing to do with the Constitutional freedom of speech and/or censorship. The freedom of speech clause in the US Constitution prohibits the US govt. from censoring anyone’s free speech. If Comedy Central wants to censor its creators it has every right to, as do any publishers who choose not to print cartoons THEY might find offensive. Long as the govt. isn’t doing that the First Amendment hasn’t been violated.

Muslims of certain persuasions are also free to protest when they feel their beliefs have been trampled on. They can lobby, protest and campaign against their percieved injustice all they want, that’s their freedom of speech. But they do not have the right to threaten anyone with death or harm no matter how offended they are and content providers across the board should not cave into their threats. Threatening “speech” should be prohibited and those who express it should be prosecuted.

#8 Tom Wood
May/11/2010
@ 9:57 pm

So now we get episodes like this:

Lars Vilks, Muhammad Cartoonist, Attacked During Lecture

#9 dan reynolds
May/12/2010
@ 2:15 pm

Ted…

That’s what I was saying. I agree with you.

I also used that very right to express myself about what South Park does. Sure, I can laugh at it, too. I’m just saying, in my opinion they go into areas that are too much

#10 Art Dawson
May/15/2010
@ 2:15 pm

South Parks creators will never evolve beyond walking up right. The show is more crude and vulgar than funny. They could have used some other (humorous) topic. South Park went too far! SOME THINGS JUST ARN’T FUNNY! Don’t mess with another man’s prophet! Can’t we all just get along?

#11 Tom Wood
May/15/2010
@ 3:40 pm

Lars Vilks attacked again

They set his house on fire.

#12 Art Dawson
May/17/2010
@ 12:41 pm

This is starting smell like a publicity stunt…… No one stupid enough to keep polking a sleeping bear.

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