When it comes to being insensitive toward minorities and women and others, sometimes the line between humor and insult is obviously in legitimate dispute, and, in any case, the best course for those offended is to ignore and move on.
But there are cases when, clearly, righties (and lefties) deliver racial slurs and other verbal assaults that I don't want to sit there and accept as okay.
Here's an example from the Jimmy Lakey Show, on KVOR-740 AM in Colorado Springs.
A caller says Michelle Obama reminds her of "one of the main characters in Planet of the Apes."
This comment sends talk-show host Lakey into complete hysterics, howling with laughter.
You really have to hear it to believe it. It's only 30 seconds, and here it is if you're interested:
I contacted Bobby Irwin, Operations Manager for Citadel Broadcasting, which owns KVOR, to find out if he agreed with me that Lakey's behavior crosses the line.
Here's Irwin's response:
Thanks for the opportunity to respond for your blog.
Regardless of whether one is rightie or a leftie, the comment from the caller was unfortunate. Neither Jimmy nor the station could answer whether his laughter following her Michelle Obama observation was out of humor or simply discomfort.
I know how I would have preferred him to respond, but our station can not dictate what callers say, and as long as our hosts are observing FCC guidelines, we will not dictate how they are respond to callers.
Lakey could level some horribly indecent insults and remain within FCC guidelines, but Irwin is correct, isn't he, that we don't really know why Lakey is laughing. Maybe he's uncomfortable. I mean, it's possible.
The easiest way to know what he was thinking is to ask him. Maybe he'll apologize.
I tried to contact Lakey, but he didn't get back to me.