Sunday, September 21, 2008

Inappropriate Jokes

There's been a bit of a controversy raised over a few jokes that the agriculture minister, Gerry Ritz made during the recent listeriosis outbreak, with calls for him to be dismissed. Apparently, during a private conversation, he remarked that the outbreak was "a death by a thousand cuts - or should I say cold cuts."

Ya. Kinda inappropriate considering 17 people have died. That being said, it was a good joke. Insensitive, but at least he landed it.

It definitely needs an apology (which he has done), but really, a dismissal? It was a private conversation during a highly stressful time, and we don't know the tone of the conversation or the full context. I crack the occasional joke during stressful times, and while I'm not saying that what he said can be appropriate in any circumstances, I also feel that depending on the tone it could have been less inappropriate.

It's insensitive anyway you slice it (now I could easily insert a tainted sliced meat joke here), but the dude has apologized, does he really need to loose his job because of this? I mean, if a job should be lost, it should be over the changes to meat inspection that perhaps allowed this in the first place, as has been mentioned by several people, including simply Dion (of course he did, there's an election coming up). Anyhow, the first article also quotes, "It is going to affect the outcome of the election," which sadly or happily, I don't think it will.

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