NBC announced on October 19 that it would cut the “Mock Crucifixion” segment from its November 22 airing of Madonna’s “Confessions” concert.

NBC did the right thing, but the fact that it did not say why the offensive part of Madonna’s concert was cut showed cowardice. What NBC should have done is to admit that since it refused to air the Danish cartoons that Muslims objected to earlier in the year, it felt obliged not to treat Christians in a discriminatory manner. On September 20, Bill Donohue wrote to NBC chief Bob Wright making this point.

Pressure politics were at work, too. On September 29, another letter was sent to Bob Wright by Brent Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council, and Donohue, warning him that they would organize a boycott of one of the sponsors of the Madonna concert if the “Mock Crucifixion” part were not excised; a decision would be made via a conference call the following day on which sponsor would receive their Christmas present. In addition to the Catholic League and the Parents Television Council, the following groups said they would join the boycott: American Family Association, Morley Institute, Christian Film and Television Commission, Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, Traditional Values Coalition and Women Influencing the Nation.

This is a great victory, one that all our members should relish. To beat both NBC and Madonna is no small feat.

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