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Navy Veteran Rep.-Elect Dan Crenshaw: 'Stop Looking for Reasons to Be Offended'

A culture of outrage doesn't help anyone.

YouTube Screenshot via Saturday Night LiveYouTube Screenshot via Saturday Night Live

Navy SEAL veteran and congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw (R–Texas), whose eyepatch was the subject of a much-maligned joke earlier this month, says people need to stop getting offended so easily.

First, some background. On November 3, Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson made a joke about the eyepatch, which Crenshaw started wearing after losing an eye in Afghanistan. "You may be surprised to hear he's a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hit man in a porno movie," Davidson said. "I'm sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever."

Davidson was roundly criticized for the bad-taste joke. And then, this past Saturday, the comic apologized on the air to Crenshaw, who by then had won his election. Crenshaw showed up to accept the apology in person. It made for an entertaining segment, as Crenshaw got a bit of revenge with some jabs of his own.

This morning, Crenshaw spoke with the hosts of NBC's Today about his SNL appearance. "It felt like the right thing to do," he said. "I would appreciate it if everybody would stop looking for reasons to be offended, and that's what this was all about":

Crenshaw has handled the controversy admirably from the start. The day after Davidson originally mocked him, Crenshaw wrote on Twitter: "I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended."

His reaction has been a breath of fresh air in the midst of a 24-hour news cycle that likes nothing more than fresh outrage. As Reason's Robby Soave pointed out in May, too many conservatives and liberals love to one-up each other when it comes to finding things to get outraged about. This is particularly pointless when it comes to comedians. Some things (like baby rape or war wounds) don't make for good jokes. But telling a bad joke should be neither a crime nor an unforgivable offense. Searching for things to get offended over just perpetuates a culture of outrage, which doesn't help anyone but professional outrage-mongers.

Bonus link: Remy is OUTRAGED over outrageous outrage:

Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot via Saturday Night Live

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  • John||

    Your programmers fucked up dipshit. This was not on the weekly talking points.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Crenshaw is not the spokesman for all military veterans.

    Just like Jesse Jackson is not the spokesman for all black people.

  • James Pollock||

    "Crenshaw is not the spokesman for all military veterans."

    No, but he IS the spokesman for all the people who are A) allowed to take offense because somebody made a joke about the way Mr. Crenshaw looks, and B) still be taken seriously.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    No, but lc1789 is the spokesfaggot for everyone longing to have Trumps cock shoved up his ass.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    What is it with you and Trump's genitals anyway?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We love winning!

    Defeating Lefties is so much fun.

  • James Pollock||

    How would you know?

  • No Yards Penalty||

    You won bigly last Tuesday, Lovedouche69. Bravor.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Link.

  • John||

    Unless it is a guy who wears an Obama mask at a rodeo. That needs to be banned for life

    Right Shreek.

  • Jerry B.||

    If course, for SBP, 'everyone' equals Nob-Democrats.

  • DiegoF||

    Crenshaw for President! He can be our Obama. Looks and charm wise I mean; I have no idea if he nurses a deeply seated desire to order the deaths of Americans and children.

  • DiegoF||

    That second person plural is like the bat signal for the superficial.

    I mean "our" as in people here, who I am talking to, who are concerned with liberty and are looking for a candidate who has actually demonstrated some political viability, and is going to be less threatening overall to liberty than what is likely to be the alternative.

    I did not ever say anything, at any point, to suggest any importance to the fact that he has an R behind his name. (Because I assign none.) That was you, just now. Because apparently I am the one who does not care about that kind of thing (I remind you yet again that I am a Democrat); whereas you are the one who apparently thinks it does--that in fact no one with an R beside their name can ever be considered by a person who cares about liberty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He made you Lefties jump. It was hilarious.

  • JesseAz||

    Yeah. Crenshaw needs at least 4 years of voting present so we can get a feel for his beliefs. The Obama path.

  • DiegoF||

    *First person, of course. Jeez, Diego.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I have no idea if he nurses a deeply seated desire to order the deaths of Americans and children.

    I'd never heard of him before this, so no idea what his foreign policy views are. But in general, it general, war vets often time don't have that desire. Must have something to do with having seen it first hand.

    Or in this guy's case, having seen half of if firsthand, amiright! /too soon?

  • James Pollock||

    "Or in this guy's case, having seen half of if firsthand, amiright!"

    He saw all of it firsthand, he just had trouble judging how far away it was.

  • NashTiger||

    Except McCain, who spent the war in the Hanoi Hilton, never met a war he didn't love, or an opportunity to start a low level one that should never let pass. He was aghast at pouring water on someone face tho

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    He also frequently obstructed efforts to resolv the status of unresolved POWs.

  • Fredar||

    ...

    Nobody, except terrorists, have a "desire" to kill Americans and children. Especially republican war vets. What they often have, is the desire to kill America's enemies before they kill Americans and children. But war isn't clean or simple, and you can't just stick your head in the sand like some libertarians want to do. You can of course disagree with that position, but would be nice if people would actually argue the correct position instead of attacking straw men. Assume good intentions instead of automatically believing everyone else is evil. That's one of the reasons we have such a polarized political enviroment.

    Leftists do that a lot (these capitalists pigs must enjoy seeing poor people suffer!) and conservatives sometimes too. It's sad to see even libertarians fall for it. Especially in a site called "Reason".

  • DajjaI||

    Pete Davidson is trying to make himself completely unwatchable. Which is quite a feat. I thought his Netflix routine a few years ago was pretty funny.

  • DiegoF||

    He did a good job at a Comedy Central roast I saw him on. And he seems to do rather well when paired with one of the best comedic actors of our time.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Nope.

  • Zeb||

    That was pretty good.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm offended by his lack of offense.

  • Dillinger||

    one cannot *be offended*, one can only *take offense*

  • Zeb||

    Well, that depends on whether "be offended" is a passive voice construction, or a description of a person's state of mind. In the former case, I think I see your point.

  • Dillinger||

    yeah I meant it as "I can punch you in the face I cannot offend you in the face. you can be punched you cannot be offended."

  • Eddy||

    Since he's not easily offended, let me ask: Why not some kind of glass eye instead of an eye-catching eyepatch?

    Or is he going for the pirate/Moshe Dayan look?

  • Eddy||

    With a glass eye, wouldn't he be able to get out of awkward conversations by pretending to sneeze, and then holds up his eye and say "oops, I sneezed too hard, I gotta go."

  • Echospinner||

    +1

  • Ron||

    could be too much damage to the area to hold a glass eye or worse he's waiting for the VA to confirm it was a battle field injury before they give him one. the Va has done that to other veterans who were injured in the field but you know its all about the right paper work not the facts

  • Eddy||

    Hey, that wasn't funny at all!

  • DiegoF||

    That is a problem but Crenshaw does have a prosthesis, and looks like a rather total success story from the cosmetic point of view. That may be the second miracle, after regaining sight in his intact eye good enough to redeploy (albeit in what job no one ever seems to get into) after being totally blind.

  • ipsquire||

    Um, it's the "hit man in a porno" look, apparently.

    If THAT was the offensive part of the joke (vs. "war or whatever"), Rep. Elect Jr. Cmdr. Dan is a hypocrite for agreeing to tell the SNL writers 3 jokes at Pete's expense.

  • DiegoF||

    I talked about this a bit on the original HnR post. He has a prosthesis that doesn't bother to simulate an actual eyeball; his flesh seems to have been rather well repaired around it so it would not ordinarily unsettle anyone. I think he didn't wear a patch before this as he went about his life, but that he was wise to go with this look for the cameras. And maybe he does know that he looks rather fetching in the patch--as I mentioned this was probably what struck Davidson--and it could prove to be a good "trademark" for his political brand as he goes on. I bet Dayan didn't mind all these factors too much either.

  • Eddy||

    You may be onto something; take a look at these.

  • DiegoF||

    Ah good point. Maybe he and Ms. Hannah can meet up and have some kids for whom the second eyeball is entirely superfluous to looking ridiculously attractive. Talk about designer babies!

  • Eddy||

    Peter Davidson was a good Fifth Doctor, even though he was in the shadow of Tom Baker.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>in the shadow of Tom Baker

    aren't most?

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    He was terrible. He was a great vet's little brother and budding bureaucrat. He might have been a great Doctor, but whoever was the producer then didn't let him have any spark of fun.

  • Eddy||

    Eh, I just remember that vet show as one of those things I was *supposed* to like, versus Dr. Who as one of those shows I actually *did* like.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Whether or not the show was any good, he had fun in his role and took the stuffing out of big brother often enough to be worthwhile. Compare his looseness and fluidity with his stifled and uptight Doctor who seemed to be afraid to have any fun.

    The vet role was the kind I expect would have had a great bloopers bonus feature. The Doctor role probably was devoid of such fun on set.

  • Eddy||

    To be fair, he needed to differentiate himself from Baker.

  • Zeb||

    I think he might actually be my favorite Doctor. Him or John Pertwee.

    Tom Baker was great in his way, but is really a pretty terrible actor.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    What I liked about the old Doctor Who was the crummy sets, the hammy actors, and the drive-in movie cliffhanger scripts. It was fun. The new series simply takes itself too seriously, spends way too much on sets and CGI.

    It's like the difference between a Corvette and an MGB. Sometimes fun is more fun when it's not so serious.

  • Zeb||

    I agree about the old series vs. the new. Changing it from a low-budget, silly serial adventure to the (still silly and inconsistent) sci-fi extravaganza it has become made it a whole different thing.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I don't know. They had Missy poking fun at the whole 'Doctor Who' riff at the beginning of 'World Enpugh amd Time'. Even introducing The Doctor's companions Bill and Nardole as "my companions, Exposition, and Comic Relief".

  • Eddy||

    "Tom Baker was great in his way, but is really a pretty terrible actor."

    Find out how he became so "terrible" and teach it to others, and I may watch TV again.

  • Eddy||

    Oh, and insert some joke here about voting "eye."

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    If he used a glass eye, he could hold it in his teeth and say "Eye under the nose."

  • DiegoF||

    Oh, never even thought about that. Unfortunately they have not done voice votes for roll call in the House since developing the electronic technology to save all that time. So we will have to wait for Crenshaw to take Cornyn's seat before we get to see which senators can stifle giggles the first time they hear the clerk say, "Mr. Crenshaw: Eye."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He was Navy.

    We say "aye aye" to acknowledge understanding a command.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There are endless jokes available.

    The point is that Lefties on SNL doing what they call humor to get Lefties elected by making jokes of military veterans. Not jokes about military behavior. Big difference and military vets act and vote accordingly.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Davidson was roundly criticized for the bad-taste joke.

    He was criticized because the joke was not funny and Lefties treat military veterans like shit.

  • James Pollock||

    How about the Lefties who ARE military veterans?

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Were you always a humorless bitch, lc69?

  • Zeb||

    Bad jokes are often good jokes.

    Though this case seems to be not particularly good, and not particularly offensive.

  • James Pollock||

    The joke was SUPPOSED to be dumb, that's Davidson's shtick. It wasn't particularly funny, it wasn't particularly unfunny. They gave the gentleman the opportunity to respond, and he did, and Davidson took it like a man.

    Pretty much everybody involved acted like an adult.

  • handsoffmypineapples||

    Except the people offended on Crenshaw's behalf... But I guess that's obvious.

  • Fats of Fury||

    What's he doing with Ellen Degeneris in that first picture?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    If Davidson was half the man Degeneris is...

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The pink hoodie really ties the ensemble together.

  • Arizona_Guy||

    "hit man in a porno movie"

    sounds like a compliment to me.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Is it acceptable to be offended that SNL has not been funny in decades?

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    It is acceptable to me that you can feel any way you like about SNL, or grapefruit, or black socks with white sneakers, or pineapple on pizza, or...

  • Arizona_Guy||

    On a related note, I stopped watching SNL about a year and a half ago.

    The Trump jokes were funny at first, then it became repetitive, low-effort, and unfunny.

  • Arizona_Guy||

    I think they've done more material about Trump than Bush and Obama combined.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is a walking joke creating 8-Ball.

    SNL does not really do jokes that are funny because they are universally appealing. SNL does political commentary in what they call humorous form.

    Alec Baldwin is a very good likeness of Trump just like Will Ferrell was a good look-alike for Bush. SNL always wastes the opportunities they are given.

  • James Pollock||

    Jane, you ignorant slut.

  • handsoffmypineapples||

    No one will ever top Darrell Hammond as Clinton though:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59SyP76K-G8

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That shit was comedy gold.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Everything is sacred. Nothing is sacred. Everything is absolute. Nothing is absolute. Everything is funny. Nothing is funny.

    That tweet by Crenshaw was pretty cool. I find that if one is critical of certain things, there are extremely negative people like certain trolls that lurk here who immediately take the "YOU'RE OFFENDED! LOOK, THE STUPID [GOOBER, ETC] IS OFFENDED!" and tell people what they think rather than try understanding what they actually say. In doing so completely destroy any chance of meaningful discussion because it seems any public forum falls victim to certain actors who offer nothing but empty accusations, vitriol, noise, prejudice, hate. They contribute nothing positive, just try to tear others down to their level. Completely cynical, callous, dishonest, and angry. They hate themselves and take it out on the world.

  • DesigNate||

    Aww, did we offend you, goober?

    /hopefully the sarc was obvious

  • Heraclitus||

    Can we please make explicit the irony here. The guy hoes on SNL to receive an apology for Davidson's offense and is now saying people need to be less offended. Am I missing something here or is Reason trying out hipster irony?

  • James Pollock||

    The guy went on SNL to deliver a few zingers in riposte. Then he went on Today and said it was all in fun, and to stop being offended on his behalf. Some still didn't get that memo.

    You can respect the guy because he was Navy. For some, that's plenty. You can respect the guy because he was a SEAL, and you know how hard it is to become a SEAL. You can respect the guy because he was wounded in the line of duty in service to our country. AND you can respect the guy because he's a politician who got a joke about the way he looks thrown at him, and he didn't whine about it or go looking for a partisan audience to complain about it. He took it with good grace and dignity. These are all admirable qualities.

  • ipsquire||

    How should I feel that his "grace and dignity" required getting professional writers to give him 3 looks about the way the guy who told the joke about him looks, and a professional actor to take them without retort?

    Sorry, not impressed. I know he and his buddies could kill me without breaking a sweat, but the above makes him a twerp.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    If you "feel" anything about it, you're probably a left-wing drama queen.

  • Dace Highlander||

    I'd seriously love to see a limit of say 4 posts per hour for any IP address to limit the "I am troll who wishes to argue" mentality. Make people think about what they want to say, focus it, refine it. Instead we are subjected to certain keyboard warriors who try to one up everyone else because their life is dull, listless and empty.

  • James Pollock||

    Their names appear before any other text. When you recognize a name you don't want to engage with, simply direct your gaze downward to the next comment.

    The trolls and the dull, listless, and empty-livers can still do their thing, but you don't have to pay any attention to them.

  • Eddy||

    There are ways to filter out the comments of people you don't like, something like this:

  • Eddy||

  • Eddy||

    Ta da - now you see me, now you don't!

  • Rob Misek||

    The real racists want to offend, oppress in a very subtle way.

    They use their bigotry as a means to achieve narcissistic ends and political correctness to keep it out of the dialogue.

    But, by valuing virtue, we can have both free speech and minimize hatred and corruption. Empower all free speech everywhere, and as in court and contracts already, criminalize lying.

    All hatred / corruption is based on lies.

    There is no speech from a liar that needs to be heard.

  • Echospinner||

    Professional liars include politicians and comedians.

    Of the two I prefer comedy.

    "My grandchildren now refer to me as Mr. Potato Head"
    Don Rickles

  • TGoodchild||

    The "hit man in a porno movie" is pretty good, and Crenshaw's response was appropriate. Everybody needs to calm the fuck down and get back to work.

  • Echospinner||

    Other than the contested elections, the stock market crashing, the crappy euro tour by trump, debt spending, couple massacres here, it has been a good couple weeks right?

  • loki||

    Dude should totally go for the Snake Blisken look.

  • Lucius Junius Brutus||

    He shouldn't have accepted an apology, it's appeasement. Fight the Stalinists to the death, it's them or us believe me.

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