1. I can’t really say that I’m a fan of Jimmy Carr, but I do admire his ability to go certain places, and his willingness to go there (in between corporate gigs). And here he is going there and doing that:
“Say what you like about the servicemen amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan, but we are going to have a fucking good Paralympics team in 2012” – Jimmy Carr
2. The thrust of this joke should be obvious, as should the fact that it has not been made at the expense of the ‘servicemen’ it mentions. It is not a frivolous piffle or a cheap gag at a wounded person’s expense, and I suspect some people are being deliberately obtuse about that. Most of the population probably never think of the wounded that emerge from service in our desert adventures, because the same people who talk with calculated pride about the upcoming Olympics would rather you didn’t look past the figures for fatalities, which are bad enough. This joke drags you right into the middle of that with one deft stroke, and will probably leave you there (and/or echo in your mind), especially if delivered as one of the last jokes of the evening, as this one was.
3. It does this while managing to be genuinely funny at the same time [insert joke at Carr’s expense here], and it has done so for weeks on end without incident. The only outrage has resulted from tabloid newspapers presenting it out of context, and bracketing it with attacks from a range of right-wing rent-a-quoters.
4. Looking at the activity on Twitter, the number and nature of tweets show a small number of people reacting to the tabloid beat-ups, but no overwhelming public outrage driving it. This is, in short, the kind of deliberately manufactured and beat-up campaign that Jan Moir falsely claimed she was the victim of when she refused to apologise for her disgraceful attack on the late Stephen Gately (more).
5. You may recall that, after her hateful and homophobic attack, Jan Moir refused to apologise, while the Daily Mail stood by her, allowing her to keep her job and providing her with legal/PR support. You may also remember earlier this year when Derek Lambie and Paula Murray enjoyed a similar level of support from their tabloid masters after a disgraceful attack on the childhood survivors of the Dunblane massacre in the Scottish edition of the Sunday Express (more). No-one lost their job over either outrage.. but when Jimmy Carr makes a move that is nowhere near as misjudged (or malicious), suddenly the whole mob from both tabloid groups is on deck calling for his career to end. What a bunch of hypocrites.
6. Oh, and take a look at the bloke who’s leading the calls for an end to Carr’s career:
“This was a remarkably dim and foolish thing to joke about. It’s not funny and this man’s career should end right now. I understand his desire to shock but there are certain subjects you just can’t make fun of and one of those is the sacrifice of our troops – especially this close to Remembrance Sunday. It was a very tasteless mistake. Somehow his style of comedy has blinded him to what he is saying. It is too late for an apology.” – Patrick Mercer
Yes, this is the same Patrick Mercer who presents himself as a credible authority on extremism and terrorism, but doesn’t think that placing his trust in two discredited ‘terror experts’ (and then lying about that) should end his career (more | latest). Hell, he doesn’t even think it warrants an explanation.
7. Conclusion: this tabloid campaign against Jimmy Carr is a pathetic deceit of feigned outrage and gross hypocrisy.
8. There may be a joke in this; what some writers will run when they have’t got a leg to stand on and all that…. but being a humourless lefty, I couldn’t possibly comment.