Catalyst July/August Issue 2005
As Viacom’s flagship holding, CBS bears corporate responsibility for the outrageous “Penn and Teller” episode that was aired on Showtime attacking Mother Teresa. This was not a parody—it was hate speech. Portraying Mother Teresa as a person who plundered the poor was sick enough, but calling her “Mother F—king Teresa” was a kick in the face, the kind of low-class invective that people of all faiths find despicable.
Accordingly, justice demands that those who orchestrated this hit job on Catholicism be held accountable. We have no confidence in Matthew Blank, Showtime’s CEO, and thus we are petitioning CBS to exercise leadership in this matter.
Specifically, we want Leslie Moonves, CBS Chairman and CEO, and Nancy Tellem, President of CBS Paramount Network Television (Showtime is a Paramount studio), to lead the way. Like it or not, what Showtime did reflects badly on CBS.
[Leslie Moonves can be reached at 323-575-2600; or fax him at 212-975-1893. (We originally listed his Los Angeles fax number, but because so many tied up his line with the petition, it was disconnected—so now we're attacking his New York office.) Those who want to contact CBS online, please do so by addressing Nancy Tellem, President of CBS Paramount Network Television at firstname.lastname@example.org on the West Coast and on the East Coast mail to email@example.com.]
Those who would like to simply sign this petition and drop it in the mail, please copy the form below. We provided a P.S. section so that you can sound off in a personal way.
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Mr. Leslie Moonves
CEO, CBS TV Network
7800 Beverly Blvd., Room 23
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2112
Dear Mr. Moonves:
What Showtime does ultimately reflects on CBS, and that is why I am writing to you. The vile episode of “Penn and Teller” that defamed and attacked Mother Teresa was no comedy—it was hate speech. Surely you would have to agree with this assessment, and surely you are in a position to hold those responsible for this obscene assault.
You, Sumner Redstone, and all those associated with Viacom and CBS, have spoken publicly about the need for tolerance and an end to bigotry. We Catholics ask that you now make good on your word and see to it that the appropriate sanctions are applied to the offending parties.