It’s a bit after the fact, but I wanted to point out this post about an “Ill-Timed Baseball Joke” by David Letterman on Huffington Post’s “Eat the Press” blog. Essentially, it says that the writers for Letterman should have considered triming a segment once they knew that Yankee’s pitcher Cory Lidle had been on the single engine plane that crashed in Manhattan last week. There’s really no reference what about the joke was offensive, just that it was about baseball.
I’d missed the segment myself but after doing some digging on Letterman own site, I found their “Wahoo Gazette” which describes the bit as:
ALAN KALTER’S MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL MINUTE: Alan grabs the microphone and starts singing Fergie’s “London Bridge.”
“All my girls get down on the floor
Back to back, drop it down real low.
I’m such a lady, but I’m dancing like a ho,
Cause you know,
I don’t give a ‘givl’, so here we go!
How come every time you come around,
My London London Bridge wanna go down like
London London London wanna go down like,
London London London, we goin down!”
So first off, it’s pretty specious to claim that a bit should be censored because it’s about a sport a victim played - particularly since at least one playoff game (Detroit vs. Oakland) was played that night. It’s a fair target. The bit leads one to think it’d be about the day’s game highlights. But on top of it, the bit isn’t even really about baseball! It’s not in “poor taste” or “tacky and tone-deaf”, it’s just a bit of nonsense that wonderfully silly.
The post even evokes the silliness surrounding the Conan’s Emmy bit - which not one family member of a plane crash victim complained about, but rather an overanxious local broadcaster. For now on, if there’s a chance someone might get upset a joke, let’s let one of the actual victim or victim’s families complain about it first before we jump in, OK? Maybe they’ll see the humor when you can’t. I understand the need for comics to be sensitive about recent tragedies, but this is horseshit.