Joke's On Those Who Joke About Japan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Joke's On Those Who Joke About Japan

USATODAY.COM STAFF WRITER:  Nothing like a staggering natural disaster to bring out mankind's ... worst? While the crisis gripping Japan has tugged on hearts and wallets, it also has drawn cracks from cultural figures that redefine insensitivity.

• Comic Gilbert Gottfried was fired Monday as the voice of insurance giant Aflac after tweeting jokes such as "They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."

• Family Guywriter Alec Sulkin tweeted that feeling better about the quake was just a matter of Googling "Pearl Harbor death toll." Almost 2,500 died in that 1941 attack; more than 10,000 are feared dead in Japan.

• Rapper 50 Cent joked that the quake forced him to relocate "all my hoes from L.A., Hawaii and Japan." He tweeted in apology: "Some of my tweets are ignorant I do it for shock value."

Is our insta-mouthpiece part of the problem? Don't blame the messenger, says Twitter's Sean Garrett, citing "The Tweets Must Flow." The company blog memo notes Twitter's inability to police the 100 million daily tweets.

Comedians often do get away with emotional murder. That's their job, Joan Rivers tweeted Tuesday in Gottfried's defense: "(Comedians) help people in tough times feel better through laughter."

Too soon, as Rivers' catchphrase asks?

"There's a line in our culture, but it seems to keep moving," says Purdue University history professor Randy Roberts. Before, "a tasteless joke wouldn't make it past a cocktail party. Now it reaches millions instantly. Don't say something stupid if you don't want people to hear it."

Even so, joking about death may be over the line.

"People died here — it's something your parents should have taught you never to make fun of," says Teja Arboleda, a former comedian and founder of Entertaining Diversity, which advises companies on diversity questions. "There's humor that helps us through a tragedy, and humor where you kick people when they're down. There's no reason for the latter."

And yet others have piled on, including Glenn Beck (who called the quake a "message from God") and pro basketball player Cappie Pondexter (ditto). Dan Turner, press secretary for Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, resigned Monday after circulating a Japan joke to staffers.

"Japan is always going to be a target for some, as Germany and the Middle East might be for others," says Shannon Jowett at New York's Japan Society. "But I'd rather focus on the overwhelming sense of support we are seeing."

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grant Co. Sheriff's Office: At least 3 dead, 8 injured in mass casualty crash south of George

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:20 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:20:15 GMT

    GEORGE, Wash. - At least three people are dead in a mass casualty crash in Grant County and at least 8 other people are injured, some seriously. The crash happened around 5am Thursday morning at Adams Rd. South and Frenchman Hills Rd. which is just S. of Quincy and W. of Vantage, WA. Adams Road South will be closed at that intersection for most of the day.

    >>

    GEORGE, Wash. - At least three people are dead in a mass casualty crash in Grant County and at least 8 other people are injured, some seriously. The crash happened around 5am Thursday morning at Adams Rd. South and Frenchman Hills Rd. which is just S. of Quincy and W. of Vantage, WA. Adams Road South will be closed at that intersection for most of the day.

    >>
  • PHOTOS: 4.5 mile beer pipeline to deliver 400,000 liters of beer

    PHOTOS: 4.5 mile beer pipeline to deliver 400,000 liters of beer

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:27 PM EDT2017-05-25 18:27:48 GMT

    KHQ.COM - We've heard of oil pipelines... but beer pipelines? Some metal music fans preparing for the "Wacken Open Air Festival," which happens to be the largest metal music festival in the world, are giving us an insiders look at just exactly what a beer pipeline looks like, how it's made and how it works. Festival organizers are installing an underground, 4.3 mile long pipeline to deliver approximately 400,000 liters of beer.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - We've heard of oil pipelines... but beer pipelines? Some metal music fans preparing for the "Wacken Open Air Festival," which happens to be the largest metal music festival in the world, are giving us an insiders look at just exactly what a beer pipeline looks like, how it's made and how it works. Festival organizers are installing an underground, 4.3 mile long pipeline to deliver approximately 400,000 liters of beer.

    >>
  • Wet spring brings black flies out in force in the Inland Northwest

    Wet spring brings black flies out in force in the Inland Northwest

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:20 AM EDT2017-05-25 06:20:21 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nothing beats being outside in this great weather right now, but this wet spring has brought a lot of pests. We’ve been talking about wasps and ticks, but black flies are coming out in force too. Jenny Zhang says she’s noticed black flies a lot more in her neighborhood. Her 2-year-old son Liam was bitten.  “Actually, when he got bit he thought it was a bumblebee and then he was afraid of them,” she says. The bites 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Nothing beats being outside in this great weather right now, but this wet spring has brought a lot of pests. We’ve been talking about wasps and ticks, but black flies are coming out in force too. Jenny Zhang says she’s noticed black flies a lot more in her neighborhood. Her 2-year-old son Liam was bitten.  “Actually, when he got bit he thought it was a bumblebee and then he was afraid of them,” she says. The bites 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/