Southpark creators' Republican agenda?
Posted by Pile
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|Many people seem to think that Southpark and its creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, are somewhat bipartisian and indescriminatory when it comes to picking on demographic groups or political issues. The reality is much different. Southpark's creators are Republicans and are politically-active, albeit in a low-key way.|
This would be fine and dandy had the pair continued to quietly promote their conservative agenda of subtle stereotype reinforcement, but they've become more bold as the election approaches.
Republicans love Southpark. There have always been hints at the right wing agenda, specifically in the further pomotion of exagerated stereotypes (i.e. "Big Gay Al", Jew-jokes, etc.) but Parker and Stone have traditionally been crafty in also making fun of themselves and conservative ideals at the same time, though typically in a more innocuous manner that usually resolves itself by the end of the episode. The same techniques are obvious when you examine their latest movie, "Team America" where the main characters are a rag-tag group of trigger-happy Americans who destroy half the world and in the end are recognized as heroes.
Even the show "That's My Bush" which Parker and Stone used as a vehicle to make fun of Bush ultimately does its most vicious skewering against liberals. There is a consistent formula to Parker and Stone's work.
However, the duo's conservative slant is becoming more and more obvious. The most recent episode of Southpark is a prime example: "terrorists" from Peta break into the school and throw blood on children and force the school to give up its cow mascot. They are then forced to vote for a new mascot, which ends up being a run-off between a "giant douche" and a "turd sandwich".
The obvious parallels between the Southpark episode and the presidential election are anything but vague, and we are treated to another Nader-esque, sleazy, underhanded attempt to convince Americans that there is no difference between Kerry and Bush.
This latest episode of Southpark really crosses the line between playful parody and rather insideous political propaganda designed to convince its younger audience that all politicians are the same. Stupid people fell for this four years ago listening to Nader's bullsh*t and now 100,000 civillians and 1100+ American soldiers are dead because of it. Has anyone learned anything since then?
Cop-out comments from Trey Parker
In an interview during the Team America junket, Trey Parker had this to say about the notion of "South Park Republicans":
Yeah, we have seen that. What we’re sick of — and it’s getting even worse — is: You either like Michael Moore or you wanna f***in’ go overseas and shoot Iraqis. There can’t be a middle ground. Basically,if you think Michael Moore’s full of s***, then you are a super-Christian right-wing whatever. And we’re both just pretty middle-ground guys. We find just as many things to rip on on the left as we do on the right. People on the far left and the far right are the same exact person to us.
Again, I have to interject here and call bullsh*t. First and foremost, Parker and Stone have a field day with leftist imagery exponentially more than they pick on conservative ideals. Parker may claim he's not left or right, but the approach they take, of trivializing social and political issues is the antithesis of the liberal ideal and therefore plays into the conservative mantra that our society is basically a capitalistic survival-of-the-fittest.
It may very well be that the two enjoy picking on the left, which tend to protest in a less destructive and threatening manner than the right.
But just how safe are the right-wing ideals in Parker and Stone's work? A lot safer than the left in the opinion of this writer. Sure, he turnes Mohammed into a campfire ghost and has Jesus battling Santa Claus, but in the end, Jesus still comes out a good guy. Whereas the liberal icons are often left in a bloody pulp with no attached remourse or reflection.
Yes, in Southpark they take turns at belittling the left and the right, but if you pay attention there is a difference. When the creators attack the right, such as a stab at Saddam or Jesus, they do it in a somewhat caricature-centric, humorous manner that doesn't make personal indictments against the institution these people represent, but just plays them off as funny characters. In contrast, going after the leftist icons rarely has a comparable moral resolution or balance. The leftist targets on Southpark are minimally characterized - it's their agenda (i.e. "Peta") that's on trial, compared with their "goofy personality" (i.e. Mel Gibson) when the right are targetted. And the most popular character on the show is Eric Cartman, the epitomy of a self-absorbed, manipulative, bitter, hippie-hating, insecure narcissist. Ten bucks says I can tell you what political affiliation Cartman would be in real life.
If you don't believe me, watch any of Parker and Stone's work with an objective eye. Notice how conservative protagonists have a lot more character development in their scripts as opposed to liberal characters, which are usually one-dimensional. In Team America, we learn much about the right-wing heroes, but the liberals in the movie are shallow fodder to be blown up and beheaded without much of a second thought. Michael Moore's caricature cameo consists of two scenes of mere seconds: one where he's got a hot dog in each hand and spilling mustard on his t-shirt, and the other as a crazy suicide bomber who blows up Team America's headquarters. Contrast this to Parker and Stone's comprehensive treatment of Kim Jong Il as a loney and misunderstood tyrant. There's not a single liberal character in Team America which leaves the viewer with any understanding or respect for their agenda. Yet the right-wing ideals are all nicely put back into place before the movie ends.
Ultimately, I wouldn't give these guys credit for being part of any conservative conspiracy - I wouldn't even argue with them about whether or not they have much loyalty to the Republicans or any political party, but one thing is for sure, there is a consistent theme throughout all their work which, whether consciously or subconsciously, undermines the concern people should have for many important social, economic and political issues. This mindset at this point in time, props up the conservative agenda: let the extremists deal with the problem and stay distracted. There's nothing wrong with making people laugh and making fun of icons, but it's getting to the point where there are patterns in Parker and Stone's systematic parody of almost everything in society that might need attention.
They went too far comparing Kerry and Bush to a "giant douche" and a "turd sandwich". That crossed my personal threshold of offensive humor that is tolerable, and even if you're not political, you have to wonder where these guys' limits of bad taste reside?
I'm now seeing a rather specific pattern in most of their work which:
a) makes fun of conservatives in a funny/humorous way by poking fun at their character flaws as being the same as normal/misguided people
b) makes fun of liberals in a more unforgiving manner by showing them as being even more extremist than they are in reality and offering very little character development to explain their motivation
This to me IS the conservative agenda. Discount people by categorizing them and therefore avoiding having to understand who they are or what they're saying. On the other hand, if conservatives make mistakes, then and only then is it justified to look beyond the obvious and consider them as average human beings who need to be forgiven just like me or you.
I'm really getting ticked off with the double standard, and how even more covertly the media is able to promote this.
|Kinda, but not so much|
Posted by wizeGurl on 2004-10-29 18:01:27
|I generally have to disagree...not with the overall argument, but with the force of it, and the reading of Wednesday's episode.|
When I watched that episode, I saw it as primarily making fun of the controversy that arose when they said that they didn't think voting was important. They had Stan refuse to vote, and the whole town violently over-reacts to it, although the election in question is clearly stupid and pointless. The banishment scene was funny. Yes, a lot of very cruel fun was made of PETA, but it's not only right-wingers who sometimes find them excessive--though I agree that the violent attack on them did resemble more than a little the attack on the hollywood liberals in Team America. Plus they made fun of the Vote or Die effort, which again is a funny concept, but you do have to admit that it's generally perceived as a democratic get-out-the-vote effort.
But keep in mind that the piece of clear-headed, good advice that Stan gets--which allows him to "see the light" and return home--comes from the PETA guy. And the message is, I think, not that the candidates are the same or that voting isn't important--after all, Stan does go home and vote--but that sometimes you do have to vote for a candidate who does not perfectly represent your views. (No one I've ever voted for has represented by views 100% of the time.) I think of that election in Oklahoma, where the Democratic candidate's stand on issues sounds like most Republicans, but he's got to be better than the even-further-right Republican. That's how I interpret "Sometimes you just have to choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich." That's exactly how I felt when I had to vote for either David Duke or Edwin Edwards for Governor, but I did vote. (I think I cast my vote for the giant douche in that one.)
Now, on an overall note, you may be right that they skewer lefty types with much more vigor and glee, and less characterization, than they do right-wing types. But I also see much less black-and-white thinking. After all, Big Gay Al is a good guy, who makes a much better scout troop leader than his straight replacement. And if Jesus always comes out as a good guy, well, he's pretty good in the Bible before the fundamentalists get ahold of him and start twisting his words. Hey, even Satan is a nice guy in South Park. And Cartman expresses horrible viewpoints, but he's also clearly an ass when he does so.
I do agree that the media does do a LOT--and amazing, unbelievable, horrific amount--of subtle skewing. I also think that the South Park guy's actual views probably do come out in their comedy. But I just don't see any conscious attempt on their part to change beliefs and minds, except perhaps to the occasional common-sense view. They had a great opportunity to skewer the left when half of South Park was for the war, and half was against it. But they instead basically said that protesters were necessary, even if I thought the reason behind it was not very convincing. I don't always agree with their message. But I also just don't see them as huge right-wing propagandists. It just doesn't ring true for me.
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-10-29 19:24:22
|with a message and usually the message is right.. dont remember the one about afghanistan and the critical message they had about the war..??|
|Posted by Pile on 2004-10-29 22:51:57|
|I just think that the idea of belitting complex social issues is wearing a bit thin.|
|They shot Jesus once...|
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-10-30 12:39:23
|...during their Christmas special. Also had the Satan beat up Jesus once in a boxing ring. Hardly an appeal to the conservatives. They're comic geniunses, IMO.|
Besides, who gives a rat's ass if they make fun of PETA. Those people are lunatics, anyway...
|My kid told me last night he hates PETA|
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-10-30 13:53:40
|I was surprised. Now I know why. Thanks Trey and Matt.|
|You let your kid watch south park?|
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-11-03 06:32:56
|South park is suitable for adults who can understand that it's not all serious. Children haven't developed that kind of judgement yet. By the way Pile: "the most popular character on the show is Eric Cartman, the epitomy of a self-absorbed, manipulative, bitter, hippie-hating, insecure narcissist. Ten bucks says I can tell you what political affiliation Cartman would be in real life" Everyone hates cartman. He's funny as hell, but to laugh at him and his monstrous inhumanity, not to laugh with him. I don't see how the presentation of his character can be viewed as pro-republican. Also, You mention that peta's agenda is mocked while it is Mel Gibson's personality that takes a bashing: Cartman, inspired by Mel, tries to destroy the jewish people, and "Passion of the Christ" is portrayed as the self indulgent crap it was. I don't believe the treatment is as one sided as you think. |
|why should that be a surprise?|
Posted by Pile on 2004-11-04 14:58:09
|Let's get real. Most parents these days use the television as a babysitter; they are more interested in not being hassled by their children than instilling solid values. Call me cynical, and yes there are exceptions but you don't have to travel far too find some kid who obviously has minimal parental guidance these days.|
I said Cartman was the most popular, and this has been proven. I think Comedy Central did a poll on this and in an interview Parker and Stone commented on how people said they could identify with Cartman more than the other character, which they felt was ironic. Cartman's personality is actually modeled after one of the creators.
Personally, I'm sick of hearing about PETA. I don't necessarily agree with their agenda, but even so, portraying the organization as a bunch of nutballs into beastiality is way over the line of decency and humor. And ironically, the M.O. of Southpark's creators is to exaggerate how sensitive people are to social issues to the point of turning socially-conscious people into blathering idiots not worthy of any consideration whatsoever.
The conservative equivalent of that wouldn't merely be to have Jesus in a boxing ring; it would be to have Jesus taking a hot carl from a young GW Bush... granted they had an episode making fun of pedophile priests but even in that episode, there was one good priest who saved the day.
I maintain the show is insideously right-wing in its message. Just because you throw a bone to the left now and then doesn't negate the overwhelming unanswered, sweeping extremist right wing generalizations that dominate the scripts.
|Posted by Anonymous on 2004-12-24 14:05:50|
|Hi Michael, I watch South Park and i believe that the media does influence political decisions and i think that they tend to lean to the right|
cheers to you
|Posted by Nevar0 on 2010-02-10 09:27:36|
|Yeah, they certainly have a political agenda and anyone who cannot see this is blind. I don't always agree with their ideas, but I find South Park hilarious, even if it is a pretty low-bro form of it. |
Still, it's pretty obvious they take the right over the left. Not that that matters, but I honestly have a hard time taking anything those two do or say seriously.
|Posted by anonymous on 2010-03-05 18:07:13|
|Double standard? Are you f*cking retarded? Well you are a liberal so I'll take that as a yes. The ENTIRE f*ckING MEDIA is liberal! Fox news, south park, and Rush Limbaugh are ALL conservatives have. Liberals have NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, the Daily show, the Colbert Report, and virutally all of hollywood on their side. |
There is no double standard. If you let South Park piss you off then you're an idiot. There are so many more liberally biased outlets in this country to whine about how the media promoted ONE conservative movie that's supposed to be a comedy. How's there a politcal agenda in Team America? They're f*cking puppets you dumbass! It's not like they have an actual news show and feed viewers with slanted b.s. like virtually all liberal news networks do.
|Posted by Anonymous on 2010-08-23 09:10:32|
|I know this is a very old article but I just found it in Google today. I am a moderate and I completely agree with you. I just got done watching the Motivation Corp episode in season 6 where they literally say liberals will do anything as long as the ends justify the means. It was almost comical because they were talking about liberals pushing the war on drugs against marijuana. In reality the multi-billion dollar war on drugs is all the conservative base's war. Liberals take the more obviously 'liberal' approach of legalization. It seems that South Parks creators hypocritically will release any propaganda as long as the ends justify the means.|
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-08-17 05:42:42
|I disagree with this completely. Perhaps South Park does lean slightly (very slightly) to the right. I highly doubt you can find any political comedy that you can't say the same of. South Park is the most politically balanced show I know of, and here's why. South Park makes a good attempt at trying to be perfectly in the center of the political spectrum by ridiculing both sides. If you were to watch a show like Family Guy, for example, you would notice that they make no attempt to keep the show politically balanced whatsoever. All of Family Guy's political jokes offensively and hatefully ridicule the right, rarely ever the left. South Park makes offensive jokes against every side, there's no exception to that. An extremely miniscule and subtle tendency to make fun of one side more than the other is nothing in comparison to all the other shows of its genre. You are an idiot to complain about something so insignificant. In fact, if you felt this strongly about right-wing politics, you would probably be saying the same thing you are now, but about South Park making fun of conservatives more than liberals instead. The only reason you're complaining about this at all is because you seem to be an incredibly strict liberal who can't take a joke. Few other comedy shows make jokes about liberals at all. I'm not even a conservative and I find this absolutely obnoxious. As another person here said, liberals control most of the media. Give the right a damn break, my God.|
Also, you're absolutely right, Cartman would definitely be a conservative a real life. The thing about that is, they portray him as a literal Nazi, and an overall horrible person. It's called satire. Your mention of Cartman in this article only furthers my point that you have no idea what the hell you're talking about.
|You sir are an idiot.|
Posted by Steven on 2012-09-16 21:00:26
|They both said they were middle ground guys and that the left and right wing people are the same to them, and you somehow still find a way to believe that they are republican? I dont get that. Your thinking is so stupid its almost disturbing. How can you think theyre republican even though they said that they arent? I watch south park every day and they make fun of republicans just as much but your too far in denial to believe it.|
|Even they admit they are more conservative than liberal.|
Posted by occasional viewer on 2012-10-09 17:30:29
|I think it's pretty obvious South Park leans right. But to the libertarian right and not so much the religious right. Also family guy obviously leans left. The middle class left and not the elitist left. I find it hilarious this is even in question. Even Matt and Trey admit to this. So as does Seth. What's funny to me is that family guy and simpsons are a fox show. but I think each shows creators would admit that they are not above making fun of their own views. This is comedy. Sure it's biased and crude at times. But you have to learn to take it t face value.|
|You Butthurt Liberals is why South Park Creators love to make|
Posted by Soldier on 2012-11-09 03:48:27
|fun of you guys. South Park aims at you guys because you can't take it, while Republicans are used to being mocked. Liberals are not because the media in our Country is biased.|
|Give me a break!|
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-11-12 02:48:04
|Even if this cartoon does lean slightly to the right it is nothing compared to the liberal media that fills the country with lies and twisted versions of reality. It is about time that comedians pick on liberals instead of continually bashing Republicans like they are the antichrist. This artical only made me want to watch South Park more.|
|I used to be a liberal|
Posted by Classical Liberal on 2013-06-19 12:31:42
|But I'm now a Right-Libertarian (Classical Liberal) like the creators of South Park. Many of the ideals of both American liberals and the religious right do not stand up to facts and scrutity. I stopped watching Family Guy because I was tired of having left wing BS shoved down my throat. Parker and Stone once said that they hate conservatives, but they really hate liberals, a position I now concur with. So it doesn't surprise me that the show leans slightly right of centre. And as several other posters aptly pointed out, virtually all other shows have a strong liberal bias. BS like affirmative action, hate crime legislation, unrestricted immigration, softness on crime, negation of personal responsibility, free market interference and free speech limitations are the doings of liberals. While G. Bush was an idiot who betrayed right wing ideals by expanding the size of the government, destroying civil liberties, starting an unjustified war in Iraq and spending irresponsibly, America needs a true ring wing (fiscally conservative) figure in the likeness of Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, or Geert Wilders to come along before the economy irretrievably collapses and we end up like Greece or Spain with 30% unemployment.|
|OMG Something that does not completely agree with me was aired!|
Posted by Anon123 on 2013-09-26 23:13:42
|It is true that they, the SP creators may lean a little right of center. But you have to look at it this way. The "Left" controls most of the MSM. NBC, CBS, MSNBC, ABC, All of the Turner networks, Et Al. The "Conservatives" have pretty much on MSM stream. And that is Fox. Now, to put it in perspective, there were many famous people before that stated that "If you want to control the populace, you need to control the information" And that is what the left is doing right now. They are not meeting in the middle, They are implementing "Common Core" teaching in our schools to indoctrinate the future of America. This episode, and many others have poked fun of both parties. But It's time there is more than a 2 party system, and make America great again. Instead of using Race and Religion o tear us apart for political gain!|
|Posted by jack frost on 2013-11-14 12:07:34|
|Who cares if the show is right leaning. That's their business. If you don't like it. Don't watch it. I mean, the Jon Stewart Shoe is clearly left leaning......it's his show, who f@Q#ing cares.|
|Posted by Ripper on 2014-01-26 11:54:56|
|Whaaah....whaaahhh. What a crybaby this guy is. Don't like it? Don't watch. I'd say 90% of the media is liberal leaning, so it's nice to see the left get skewered finally. And by the way - they are Libertarians, not Republicans. Do your homework, moron. |
Ever occur to you that maybe the left DESERVES to be skewered for being such absolute morons???
|Posted by Elliott on 2014-02-05 00:05:24|
|No kidding they are right wing Libertarians. Thats their way, their methods, their raison d'etre for their show. Its up to you to ignore it.|
|Get your facts straight|
Posted by Serpentor on 2014-02-20 12:21:20
|Matt Stone is a Leftist Jew|
Trey Parker is a Leftist Mormon
Comedy Central is a Liberal Leftist network
All 3 are Zionists
It's called "Controlled Opposition"
To quote Red Foreman "Dumbass..."