The David Letterman and Sarah Palin row has brought into question not only the rights and wrongs of telling jokes directed at public figures, but also how these jokes can be used for political gain. And here we go again.

I actually defended David Letterman’s jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter, but I’m not sure anyone could defend this so called “gag”. It comes from a South Carolina Republican activist by the name of Rusty DePass and is clearly racist, ignorant, and deeply offensive.

DePass thought he was being clever by publishing an update on his Facebook page saying, “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless.” He was referring to Michelle Obama, the first lady, and comparing her to the gorilla recently escaped from the local zoo.

DePass has since apologized, saying “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The Comment was clearly in jest.” Comparing a black person to a gorilla on the loose is in jest? Maybe, but it’s neither funny or clever.

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