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Monday, April 4, 2011
So When DOES The MRC Like Christianity Being Crititized?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is trying to become enforcers on when the media is permitted to write anything less than flattering about Christianity.

A March 29 MRC Culture & Media Institute article by Matt Philbin complained that Showtime's new miniseries "The Borgias" -- in which family patriarch Rodrigo became pope -- was airing during Lent, complaining that Showtime was "getting into the spirit of Lent and gleefully calling to mind some of the Catholic Church's centuries-old sins," adding that the series is "a thumb in the eye to the Church during holy season."

Philbin doesn't really question the historical accuracy of the content; he concedes that Rodrigo Borgia "bought the papacy, becoming Pope Alexander VI in 1492, and misused his office in a variety of distinctly unholy ways." Instead, he grouses only about the timing of the series (but does not offer an alternative time that the show could air and not draw his criticism) and highlights Bill Donohue's attack on the series, failing to disclose that his boss, Brent Bozell, is on the board of advisors of Donohue's organization, the Catholic League.

In the same spirit, an April 3 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham bashing the Washington Post for running a feature article on the creators of a new Broadway musical about Mormons (emphasis in original):

The Washington Post obviously doesn't observe the idea that Sunday is the Lord's Day. It's apparently the Atheist's Day. The  entire top half of the front page of the April 3 Sunday Arts section is an enormous picture of "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Just below the fold is a huge headline: "No, nothing is sacred." Another huge picture of Parker and Stone is inside, dominating most of E-7. The text around these publicity shots [Jennifer Altman for The Washington Post] is another promotional piece by Post theatre critic Peter Marks. Saying their new play "The Book of Mormon" actually "deserves worship" wasn't enough. A second helping of goo is required.


Marks and other South Park shoe-shiners don't seem to understand that Parker and Stone toe a hard line. Just because they giggle a lot and make butt jokes doesn't mean they aren't taking a very firm stand on the near-mental illness of religious people. They also fail to note that this pair is picking on people who don't fight back. If they wanted to make fun of a buffoonish religious figure, where is "Al Sharpton: The Musical"? It wouldn't happen because Sharpton would sue, and someone's building might get burned down.

Graham offers no evidence that he would be any less incensed about his article had it run on any other day of the week. He also offers no evidence that he has actually seen the musicial, which hasn't stop him for attacking it before.

Graham also slips in a bit of his omnipresent gay-bashing: "Don't miss that this show has a serious political meaning for the gay lobby. As reported last year, "It's a project the duo first announced back in 2008, after the passage of the gay-marriage-banning Proposition 8 in California (for which the Mormon Church campaigned heavily)."

Here's an idea: Why doesn't the MRC issue a calendar detailing excactly which days -- if any exist -- the media is permitted who publish or air things that are less than flattering to Christianity?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EDT

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