Here's something we could all use, especially today: an example of real class and maturity:
There was a lot of outrage from Republicans and veterans over a “joke” on last weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” During the “Weekend Update” news parody segment, cast member Pete Davidson was poking fun at various political candidates, when he likened eyepatch-wearing Texas GOP Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw to “a hit man in a porno movie,” adding what we now know was his own ad-lib, “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever...”
As I reported yesterday, Crenshaw is a former Navy SEAL who did multiple tours of duty and lost his eye when he was injured by an I.E.D. explosion in Afghanistan. He nearly lost both eyes, but made a miraculous recovery. And while he could have retired with full honors and benefits, he insisted on continuing his courageous service, even after the loss of one eye.
Yet, while many outraged viewers were demanding an apology from “SNL” and NBC, Crenshaw urged them to chill out. He said that while the show “probably should apologize,” he’s not demanding an apology, because it would be “hollow and empty.” He said he has a thick skin and is fine with jokes about him, as long as they’re original, witty and “actually funny.” He went on to offer an observation that applies not just to “SNL,” but to so much of what used to be late night TV comedy before it turned into nightly, unfunny, one-sided political diatribes:
“What passes for humor these days is not what used to pass for humor and that’s the big tragedy in all of this. Why can’t we just be funny again? Why can’t we give the American people a break and separate humor from politics?”
Finally, he suggested that if NBC and “SNL” really want to show contrition, how about pooling their money and making a contribution to some veterans’ organization “that really needs some help”?
Now, that’s someone Americans can really look up to. As for Davidson, I’m sure I surprised some people by saying we should cut him a little slack. He’s a young guy, and he has a dark sense of humor affected by losing his father, a heroic NYFD firefighter killed in 9/11 when he was climbing up into one of the World Trade Center towers. It’s possible he didn’t write the joke, from the almost apologetic ad-lib he added. The people I blame are the multiple writers, head writers, producers, Lorne Michaels and all the NBC Standards and Practices people who sign off on “SNL’s” scripts and who should have enough wisdom and experience to realize that that joke wasn’t “edgy”-funny, it was just mean and offensive to veterans.
They also have a lot more money than a young “SNL” cast member, so their donation to a needy veterans’ organization should be that much bigger.