You know the American public discourse on Somali piracy has bottomed out when the animated show South Park features the most balanced treatment of piracy on TV. While supposedly legitimate pundits call for land invasions and summary executions to wipe out seaborne “terrorists,” in last Wednesday’s episode South Park called piracy for what it is: the result of two decades of humanitarian disaster.
The episode got a lot of details right, from the design of a pirated French yacht to the look of Somalia and its pirates. The only gaffes were forgivable ones:
* South Park has pirates operating out of Mogadishu, but most are, in fact, based much further north, in Puntland
* The episode’s pirates want just a few thousand Euros for several American hostages; in reality, that many Americans would fetch a price in the millions of dollars
(Art: Comedy Central)