Just a few days ago I wrote about Bill Simmons' tasteless joke insulting a state school education. The joke, as you remember, went like this:
"I don't blame them for missing the point; after all, Ohio State is a state school. So allow me to teach them a little lesson in reading comprehension."
That's what the text said. But as an anonymous commenter noted, here's what the ESPN text says now:
"I don't blame them for missing the point; after all, Ohio State is a state school. Just kidding. But allow me to give a little lesson in reading comprehension."
Clearly somebody at ESPN, whether Simmons himself or one of his editors, also believed this joke was a bit harsh, even over the line, and so it was softened with the explicit "Just kidding."
Now, I don't exactly want to live in a world where a comedian has to add "Just kidding" after every edgy joke just to avoid offending anyone. I don't suggest people are required to tame down their humor; I only insist that once it's out there, everybody is allowed to respond to it as we choose. But it is interesting that there was a change. I'm not really going to pretend that anybody at ESPN reads this blog, but perhaps somebody emailed Simmons or ESPN.com with a similar complaint.
(Wait...maybe I am going to pretend somebody at ESPN reads this blog!)