South Park has “apologized” for mocking super serial Al Gore in its ManBearPig episodes. Naturally, the liberal media is going wild with righteous jubilation.
According to one sanctimonious commentary in the Guardian, it’s a sign that South Park has finally seen the error of its ways – part of a growing recognition by TV that politically correct snark has no place in this more enlightened, caring, woke modern world of ours.
Many TV shows which felt groundbreaking even a decade ago now appear problematic. Friends, Seinfeld and Ally McBeal: all have been criticised for demeaning attitudes to women and a lack of minority characters. But they are still celebrated as products of their time.
Shows which began in the 1990s and are still going to face a different, more complicated reckoning. The most high-profile example has been The Simpsons, in which the character of Apu has been severely criticised for stereotyping south-Asian Americans. The makers of the show have responded bitterly and a dispute continues.
South Park has demonstrated more humility, while managing to stay funny. It acknowledged a major misstep without any pressure to do so and found a way to apologise while remaining on brand. And for good measure, it had an episode this season which mocked the Simpsons’ saga.
Then again, it could just be another example of a phenomenon that has featured quite a lot in South Park over the years and which left-wing journalists often have trouble appreciating: a joke.
Maybe it was Wikileaks, the evil blond rat in South Park, that did it – but suddenly no one seems to care about the fate of Julian Assange.
I remember when I first broached the subject in 2010 feeling rather as I do when writing now about Gaza: “I’m about to alienate at least 50 per cent of my readership.” That’s because back then, even intelligent, informed, libertarian types couldn’t quite make up their minds what to think about the weird Australian. Was he liberating us all from the tyranny of the surveillance state? Or was he just a grubby, manipulative egoist, traitor and alleged rapist?
Now though, no one seems to have been even slightly moved by Assange’s revelations over the weekend that two years stranded under effective house arrest in the Ecuadorian embassy in London has given him a heart condition and caused his skin to go even more vampire-pale. (Personally, I was more concerned about the fact that the Ecuadorians seem neither to have a sun roof nor a garden.)
Nor is there much interest in the fate that awaits him. I looked at the Tweets responding to his press conference announcement that he would be giving himself up to the police “soon.” They were all callously flippant.
Even his rich celebrity friends – among them Michael Moore, Ken Loach, and Jemima Khan – have gone strangely quiet. (But then, maybe Khan can only deal with one skanky, lefty freak show at a time, and she’s got her hands full right now with Russell Brand.)
Assange, it seems, is very much yesterday’s flavour-of-the-month. The chattering classes have grown bored with their plaything.
Read the rest at Breitbart London