Jay Leno’s Serial Bigotry

On the July 16 edition of the “Tonight Show,” host Jay Leno said “it was so hot I saw a priest stop at a kids’ lemonade stand—just got lemonade.” Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded this way:

The man is a bigoted addict. This is the eighth time this year Jay Leno has targeted all priests as child molesters. His previous bigoted outbursts occurred on April 5, April 6, April 21, April 28, May 10, May 14 and July 8. Interestingly, last Friday’s shot at priests was the fifth and last in a string of jokes related to the hot weather, and it was the only one the audience shrugged off with “oohs.” There is a reason for this: it was the only joke which was mean-spirited and damning of a collectivity.

Leno is not given to cracking insulting jokes of a sweeping nature about any other racial, ethnic or religious groups. Just priests. It’s time to find out why his vitriol is tolerated by NBC.

In the past, we have contacted the show’s executive producer, Debbie Vickers, but she has done nothing to abate this ongoing assault.

Contact John Eck, president of NBC TV Network: john.eck@nbcuni.com

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  • fatherjo

    I quit watching Leno and Letterman a long time ago.

  • Richard

    I also find it better to ignore these people. They have become unfunny in a number of ways. Johnny Carson was indeed the “last” of the late night comedians. I remember the good old days of Steve Allen who set a benchmark that these neocomedians have trouble imagining.

  • DWC

    Hard for me to be too angry with Leno and others on this topic. Our church set herself up for eggs to be throw at her …. take your licking, make it better and move on. When your the beacon of truth .. the light shines bright 360 degrees.

  • nearstar

    Good idea, DWC, shoot the messenger! Wouldn’t it be smarter (not to mention more honest), to just own up to it and move on? Leno’s job is to be funny.

  • tomas

    Hello Mr. Eck,

    Can you please tell Jay Lenno to stop mocking the catholic priesthood?

    thank you — future seminarian.

  • nearstar

    Tomas – please tell the current priesthood to stop making a mockery of itself.

  • boleggs49

    Maybe someone should key Leno in on the fact that kids are 3 to 4 times more likely to be molested by a Protestant pastor than a Catholic priest. He uses the Church as the butt of his unjokes because it is an easy and large target. I don’t hear of anyone crying out for the Baptists, Methodist, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, or any other Protestant church to clean up it’s act. I think it is high time for a little fairness, and time for Leno to shut up!

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  • Ismael

    Jay Leno is never been funny.

    Usually this kind of lame jokes are a sign of very bad comedy.

    “Leno’s job is to be funny.”

    He is not working too hard I see :P

    “Tomas – please tell the current priesthood to stop making a mockery of itself.”

    Please tell your brain to start functionig. (hey if Leno can make stupid jokes so can I hé! Too bad this was not really a joke)

  • thomas25

    As was rightly pointed out by bolegs, there is a much higher rate of sexual abuse/contact in the Protestant “churches” than the Catholic Church; and, on top of this, the public school system is even worse. I don’t hear Leno or the other depraved talking heads latching onto this; I wonder why? Perhaps because anti-Catholicism is still a safe bigotry in America, and they’re really cowards at heart. Don’t upset the status quo, keep repeating the same rehashed stereotypes, even if they are untrue, and hope people won’t notice. Well guess what? We’re noticing, and we’re tired of it.

    As to the others who won’t even lift a finger to defend their own Church and priesthood against these false attacks: as Fr. Groeschel said the other day, “With Catholics like this, we don’t need Communists.”

    We’re constantly hearing the sins of the Church, but never the fact that they have been remedied, they are being taken care of, and Pope Benedict has instituted one of the strictest policies regarding sexual abuse in Church history. Not only this, but the Catholic Church as an institution has a much tighter policy than most secular institutions, and the incidents of sexual abuse within the secular sphere is much higher. Instead of cowering in the face of undeserved public ridicule, or jumping on the anti-clerical, anti-Catholic bandwagon because of our lack of backbone, we should rather hold the world to the same standard it’s holding us. I GUARANTEE that what we see will be revealing indeed.

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