In a world where shysters replace leaders and TV pundits and DJs supplant experts, certain problems arise. Two of these problems — ones I’m seeing more and more — are fake apologies and manufactured outrage.
Last week on Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson made a poor joke at the expense of newly elected Congressman Dan Crenshaw, a retired Navy Seal who lost his eye fighting in Afghanistan. I tend to be of the opinion that comedy should push boundaries and, on occasion, offend, but this joke was just plain bad. Davidson was roundly criticized, and rightly so.
I didn’t expect to hear anything else of it, so I was surprised to learn that Pete Davidson and Dan Crenshaw appeared together last night on Saturday Night Live.
Davidson apologized. He’s a comedian, after all, so he could have done nothing. Instead he made a real apology, not some contrived bit of doublespeak that doesn’t admit fault. Crenshaw could have used the bad joke to his advantage, manufacturing additional outrage to stir up support. Instead he accepted the apology.
Together they used the opportunity to create something positive, and in doing so they provided one of the best examples I’ve seen in a long time. And it was funny, too.