After the uproar caused by columnist Stephen Lewis' "Ode to President Obama" in yesterday's Murfreesboro Post
, publisher/editor Michael L. Pirtle offered this apology
. Pirtle's response is a classic example of the "sorry you were offended, but not sorry we said it" defense. Consider this sentence: "We sincerely regret that Mr. Lewis’ attempt at humor crossed the line from funny to offensive for many readers."
Furthermore, in the "I'm sorry...but
" category: "While not abdicating responsibility for its publication, the Post
notes a columnist’s opinion should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or beliefs of the newspaper, its staff, advertisers or the community."
But most amusing was this parry:
In no way attempting to justify or mitigate the situation but to provide some perspective, I would note that Mr. Lewis writes a weekly humor column in which he constantly pushes the envelope with large amounts of sarcasm and hyperbole.
Humor can be a dangerous thing as the line between funny and offensive can be a moving target as was certainly the case in this presidential campaign. In Sunday’s column Mr. Lewis pushed past that line, but only, I honestly and fully believe, in the pursuit of humor.
Mr. Lewis writes a weekly humor column? That guy's funny? I don't even think the guy is a racist so much as a bonehead with poor writing skills, a lame sense of humor and extremely poor judgment.
It's like the classic Seinfeld
episode wherein Jerry's dentist, Dr. Whatley, converts to Judaism and starts telling off-color Jewish jokes. Miffed, Jerry confesses his frustration to a priest: "I have a suspicion that he's converted to Judaism just for the jokes."
"And this offends you as a Jewish person?" the priest asks.
To which Jerry responds, "No, it offends me as a comedian."
If nothing else, I'm sure the newspaper's website got more hits today than ever before. That's one way to drive web traffic.
And it could be worse. At least the Murfreesboro Post
isn't the Sapulpa, Okla., Daily Herald
h/t: Pith reader Lance