By now you may have heard about the uproar around comic Artie Lange’s tweets about a female ESPN host Cari Champion. The reason this has even entered your consciousness says so much about what’s wrong with society today. Comedy has always, always pushed boundaries… those Chris Rock jokes on SNL about the twin towers and Boston Marathon did just that.
Those are not funny subjects, but they are not, as Chris Rock showed, beyond the reach of humor.
So today we’re faced with a comedian known for his off-color, in your face humor making some jokes about a pretty woman on TV. On twitter. The comments were pure Artie, raunchy but nothing unexpected. And yet suddenly everyone’s offended… traumatized by a few observations from a comedian not known for his political correctness. With all the trouble in the world, all the demands of everyday living, you’d think people wouldn’t have time for tizzies like this.
It is a shame that an explanation even has to be given…
Lest we forget these are 144 character attempts at humor from a comic who makes no apologies fro being what he is. If you follow him on Twitter you know exactly what you’re getting — politically incorrect, guy humor. In the interest of full disclosure, I loved Artie on the Howard Stern show, worried for him during his publicized 2010 suicide attempt and cheered him on as he came back. I don’t find the tweets in question very funny, but then not every joke is a winner. Nothing I read surprised me, or offended me.
Of course this incident will likely serve as a warning to those who push boundaries to beware. Comedy suffers, free speech is tempered and we as a society get softer… so easily offended.
As to the woman in question, I know nothing about her but her name and face. I’m sure, that before this incident, she had no idea who Artie Lange was. She’s beautiful, talented and holds a top job — a few comments made by a bawdy comedian on Twitter probably would have gone unnoticed, until someone saw and was “offended”. Now ESPN, in an effort to look supportive has banned Artie from appearing on the network
Funny how nobody gets nearly this upset over the bad behavior and poor examples set by the professional athletes who make ESPN what it is. Not to mention what exactly (beyond looks and training) qualifies this woman to host a sports show. The network is using her looks and personality to draw male viewers — why all the shocked surprise when one of them made some sexually charged comments. Isn’t that what you were after ESPN?