Offending the uninvited


We’ve taken political correctness to ridiculous extremes in this country, and I’ve ranted about it before. These days you can scarcely say or do anything without offending someone. It just depends on who observes your actions and whether they opt to play the PC card (and these days we have far too much playing of cards).

CNN did so today in what struck me as a really sad excuse for a news story. It seems that recently in Arizona there was a roast of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. A representative of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group, attended the roast and recorded the goings on. According to CNN, the voice recording included some racist remarks by State Sen. John Kavanagh (R):

“Sheriff Joe is the kind of guy that you gotta love, as long as you have papers,” Kavanagh quips in the recording.

“Going out with Joe is always an adventure,” he continues, “because usually when we walk into a restaurant, most of the waitstaff and cooks dive out the back window, and when they don’t, I never know what the hell’s in my food.”

That’s just a sampling.

CNN leaped into action and sent a female Hispanic reporter (to ensure a biased report?) to cover the outrage. Kavanagh declined to be interviewed but Arpaio, never one to shy from the cameras, agreed to talk to her. She asked if he was offended by Kavanagh’s remarks. No. Why not? Kavanagh’s a friend and it was a roast. Well, I’m Hispanic and I’m offended. Goodie for you, lady. You were not an invited guest. Neither, I suspect, was the SPLC member who recorded the evening’s remarks.

Seriously, did she not understand what a roast is? It certainly didn’t sound like it. Roasts, which I don’t care for at all, are intended to roast the guest of honor. Friends tell jokes at the expense of the honoree. During the few roasts I’ve been unfortunate enough to come across on TV, the jokes usually consisted of insults, cheap shots, crude language, bathroom humor, etc.

It seems safe to assume that if you are roasting a man like Joe Arpaio, and the guests are all friends of Arpaio who probably have much in common with him, many of the jokes and insults about him are going to center on his well-known treatment of illegal immigrants in Maricopa County.

It was a roast. Roasts are, almost by definition, politically incorrect. And it was closed to the press. Don’t go to (or sneak a recording of) an event like that sponsored by a group like the Western Conservative Conference for a man like Arpaio and then complain about being offended by what you hear.

15 thoughts on “Offending the uninvited

  1. I agree with your post here, PT. Like you, I don’t much care for roasts in general. The humor is often too edgy and occasionally strays over into areas that are serious for some of the participants. I have to say though that last year’s annual press corps dinner was handled quite well and I don’t remember any cruel slights in it – unless, that is, you count the one the President laid on birther Donald Trump. I’m pretty sure that Trump was the only guy there who was offended. 😀

    1. Trump is offensive; he deserves to be offended. But yes, the press corps dinner was nicely done, although (a) I don’t recall it being billed as a roast per se (could be wrong about that) and (b) everyone knew it was being nationally televised. Most folks mind their PCs and Qs when the nation is watching.

  2. It’s amazing how much adults can seem like grade school kids. In this case, the representative of the SPLC starts the trouble by saying “Did you hear what he said” and CNN being the group on the playground later yelling “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

  3. Any CNN story needs to begin: Dateline: Dumb Down …but in fact I find it hard to watch any of the three cable news outlets, and the nets are just rip and reading and touting which video just went viral three days after the fact. This story seems a silly sidebar to revisit, for a few more cycles, Brewer’s veto.

    1. Nah, they do that because they want to be shocked. Then they can play victim and scream for retribution against the impertinent sockets that dared to shock them.

... and that's my two cents