Friday, May 27, 2005

VIACOM - Via Contempt

Mother Teresa was a living saint during her earthly travail. I have always believed that no one would contradict that statement and that even non-believers would honor her service to the unclean poor of the streets in Calcutta. Just a year after her death, the Catholic Church began the process of beatification, overriding their usual five-year waiting period following the death of a candidate for sainthood. However, the giant media corporation VIACOM, is traveling the "Via Contempt" when portraying Christian saints and the Catholic religion. (Cartoon from

Today, I am totally shocked to read of the profane charges against such a saintly women and her acolytes, under the sponsorship of an American corporation, VIACOM. According to yesterday's Catholic News Agency, the Catholic League
"is leading a charge, railing against the company, and their subsidiary, Showtime, for airing a program which they call 'a full frontal assault' on the late Mother Teresa and the Catholic Church. The program, 'Holier than thou', starring magician entertainers Penn and Teller, paints Mother Teresa and her Sisters of Charity as 'cruel, exploitative, self-serving nun[s] who ripped off the poor'.
Here is the Press Release from the Catholic League. I cannot write, nor repeat the vulgar, blasphemous, and supposedly humorous comments about her that were aired on VIACOM's television show, "Showtime", however you may read the horrid details at The Anchoress.

At the web site of the Columbia Journalism Review is a listing of all the companies that are owned by VIACOM:
"One of the largest global media empires, Viacom has a financial interest in broadcast and cable television, radio, Internet, book publishing, and film production and distribution. Some of this vertically integrated conglomerate's highly recognizable properties include the CBS network, MTV, Infinity broadcasting, Simon & Schuster, Blockbuster and Paramount Pictures. With such a diverse portfolio of properties, Viacom is one of the most profitable media giants as CBS is a top draw for older viewers while MTV remains the most popular teen orientated media outlet."
VIACOM itself has a web site too, but don't bother searching there for anything about Mother Teresa, as to them she seems not to have ever existed. I cannot help but wonder if VIACOM's "Showtime" is broadcast in Italy. If it is, will they be brought up on charges of defamation against religion, as was author Oriana Fallaci, when she wrote negatively about Islam in her latest book? In Italy, "a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, ... said Fallaci should be indicted" for "inciting religious hatred" and "defaming Islam". Would defaming Christianity or Catholicism be considered a crime also? Somehow, I doubt it.

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