From The People’s Cube.
MANHATTAN– The NYPD is reporting that shots were fired at 230 W 49th St. this afternoon into the front of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, which is the site of the Tony-Award winning Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon. It is unclear whether anyone was injured in the attack, but witnesses saw a pair of young men in white short-sleeved shirts with neckties fleeing from the scene on bicycles.
It is being speculated that the young men on bicycles were angry Mormons expressing their outrage at the show’s producers.
Up until this violent episode, the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive: most critics gave the show a thumbs-up and even the Mormon Church did not condemn the satirical parody, but rather took the opportunity to ask viewers to read the Book of Mormon for themselves.
However, in an effort to appear consistent after recent events in Garland, TX, the media is now changing the tune towards blaming the Broadway producers for inciting young practitioners of the Mormon faith to commit violent acts.
FoxNews host Martha McCallum brought up criticisms that The Book of Mormon is “taunting” Mormon extremists, saying, “if you want to make a difference, you do it in a Christian way, you don’t do it in a crass crude way by insulting someone’s religion.”
In an exclusive interview, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota sat down with one of the show’s creators, Matt Stone, who is also a co-creator of South Park:
CAMEROTA: Matt, where were you when the gunmen opened fire, and what happened inside?
STONE: We had just finished Act I, and were preparing for the second act when the NYPD came in and asked us to remain calm. They informed us that shots had been fired into the theater lobby from the street.
CAMEROTA: Didn’t you know just how dangerous an event like this could be?
STONE: Well, it’s dangerous because increasingly, we’re abridging our freedoms, so as not to offend Mormons. The very idea that if something offends me, or I’m insulted by something, I’ll go on a shooting spree and that way I can get my way, is outrageous. But somehow this is okay with members of the elite media and academia, which is just as outrageous.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, but Matt, nobody —
STONE: It’s a Broadway musical. It’s a funny production!
CAMEROTA: Sure. And nobody is saying that this warrants the violence that you saw. I mean I haven’t heard anyone in the media saying that it’s okay for gunmen to show up at an event like this. But what people are saying is that there’s always this fine line, you know, between freedom of speech and being intentionally incendiary and provocative.
STONE: Intentionally incendiary and provocative by singing songs? This is the low state of freedom of speech in this country. I disagree, and I disagree most vehemently. The First Amendment protects ALL speech, not just ideas that we like. But even core political speech, ideas that we don’t like, because who would decide what’s good and what’s forbidden? The Mormon Church? The government? Inoffensive speech, Alisyn, needs no protection, but in a pluralistic society you have offensive speech. You have ideas. You have an exchange of ideas. You don’t shut down a discussion because I’m offended. If something offends me, should I go out and shoot up a lobby?
CAMEROTA: I mean what your critics say about this is that you weren’t just going after, say, Mitt Romney, or Glenn Beck, or Warren Jeffs, but Mormonism as a whole.
STONE: The West must stand up for freedom of speech. It’s the core, fundamental element of this constitutional republic.
CAMEROTA: Sure, of course, but I hope that you will reconsider whether your show contains a bigoted message that is fit to be seen by the public. You have a right to continue running the show, but many will ask whether it’s really appropriate in this age of political correctness. Thank you for sharing your views with me today.