southparkcensorship2 - Incendiary Salmon Helmets Censored...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Incendiary Salmon Helmets: Censored South Park vs. The Greater Good While delivering the unanimous majority opinion of the United States Supreme Court in the 1919 case of Schenck vs. United States , justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote: The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. Referring to a now-famous analogy of an example of where free speech is forbidden and illegal. The ruling of the case established a precedent that has held up to this day; that not all free speech is protected. If your free speech panics or otherwise hurts a group of citizens, it is not classified as free speech. Applying the “fire in a theatre” analogy to various mediums where the concept is argued becomes a tricky subject; can news organizations overdramatize events to keep audiences glued to their broadcasts? Can an American citizen access and/or post his or her views on an anarchist website dedicated to overthrowing the US government? One of the most debatable subjects is works of fiction; does the government have the right to censor false stories made up by an author? When a fictional work is censored, those who authored the work often cite their freedom of speech and criticize the censorship. Often times, however, a fictional work can bring about the type of reaction akin to yelling fire in a theatre. In these cases, censorship is needed and required if it serves the greater good of society; however now the issue of defining what serves and what doesn’t serve the greater good is brought up. A good case study is the television show South Park , whose recent censorship problems highlight both justifiable and
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
unjustifiable censorship from its network Comedy Central and its parent company Viacom. A show like South Park , though fictional, can at its worst have the same reaction as yelling fire in a crowded theatre, despite it being a fictional program. Many cable television networks attach a persona to their overall programming; be it television for a specific group of people (women, African-Americans, etc.) or a specific type of show (nature programs, networks devoted to food). One such network that builds many of its programming around a central theme is Comedy Central. Viacom-owned Comedy Central has several shows that try and extract comedy from controversial subjects such as race, sexuality, politics, and anything else for a laugh. The flagship show that touts this philosophy is South Park , a television show about a group of boys growing up in a small Colorado town. South Park started out as a show that mostly used pop-culture references and scatological humor for laughs, becoming a fad and gaining popularity with adolescent youths. After the initial grace period ended, the creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone took the show in an entirely different direction. The beginning of the fifth season marked a change in South Park , as the show became darker and started to satirize current events and trends in mainstream American society. The first episode of the new season reintroduced the world to a
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern