Tags: Exclusive Interviews | ISIS/Islamic State | MidPoint | War on Terrorism | satire | religion | paris

'Daily Show' Alumnus: 'Why Is Religion Not Fair Game?'

By    |   Friday, 09 January 2015 06:38 PM

Humor — including ruthless satire that trades in stereotypes and mocks religions — serves a valuable social purpose that should be defended even by those who aren't laughing at the joke, comedian and former "Daily Show" writer Paul Mercurio told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"You need to be able to say things about everything in our culture, because it keeps everybody honest," Mercurio told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner in a discussion of Charlie Hebdo, the Paris weekly that dinged religious and political figures of every stripe and was attacked this week by Islamist gunmen.

Story continues below video.


Note: Watch Newsmax TV now on DIRECTV Ch. 349 and DISH Ch. 223
Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now

"Why is religion not fair game as part of the culture that we satirize?" said Mercurio.

Civilization, he said, has "seen centuries of satirization of all aspects of our culture, and if it were just the Muslims, then I would say they have a valid point."

"But look, I'm Catholic," he said. "There are [Charlie Hebdo] cartoons sitting right next to the one about Muhammad, about the Pope. Am I offended? No! I mean, yeah, you have to have a sense of humor about this stuff."

Now is not the time to fall silent, said Mercurio, because the culture has already shown too much willingness to bow to humorless fanatics.

He cited Sony Pictures' initial cancellation of "The Interview" after corporate computer sabotage and veiled threats of violence apparently emanating from North Korea, whose eccentric dictator, Kim Jong-un, is an object of ridicule in "The Interview."

Sony's first response — since reversed — "sent a very bad signal to the world," said Mercurio.

"On some level, this is a very alarming time," he said, "and now more than ever comedians, satirists, writers, cartoonists can't back down. It would just set a very bad precedent."

He said that self-censorship has also afflicted news organizations, including those refusing to display Charlie Hebdo cartoons, which some observers have called inflammatory and insulting.

"News is supposed to provoke," said Mercurio. "It's supposed to inform and let us decide how we feel about the news. When we start selectively choosing what people should see and read and not, that sort of speaks to a much larger issue of dictating to people how they should think, and that is a place where we should not be going."

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
1Like our page
2Share
Headline
Humor — including ruthless satire that trades in stereotypes and mocks religions — serves a valuable social purpose that should be defended even by those who aren't laughing at the joke, comedian and former "Daily Show" writer Paul Mercurio told Newsmax TV on Friday.
satire, religion, paris, attacks, muslim, extremism
502
2015-38-09
Friday, 09 January 2015 06:38 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved