Four minutes into Bill Maher's monologue, he took on the Kelly Tilghman episode. If you don't want to go through the first four minutes, here's the joke:
And of course Al Sharpton got involved. I was shocked. And he said this was offensive to all black people. You mean black people are watching the Golf Channel?
A couple of more interesting perspectives on the Tilghman ordeal. Lorne Rubenstein, courtesy of reader Taylor:
Even if Tilghman were absent on the days when the tragic legacy of lynching was discussed in her high-school history class, she seems equally out of touch with current affairs. As recently as last fall, the racist symbol of the noose resurfaced in places as disparate as Jena, La., suburban Chicago, and Columbia University in New York City. CNN aired a special investigation entitled The Noose: An American Nightmare in response to these sorry episodes.And Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock writes:
Set against this background and the history of lynching in America, it's easy to understand why Tilghman's comment has generated a firestorm in newspapers, radio, television, the blogosphere, and casual conversation. Meanwhile, Woods, through his agent Mark Steinberg, said quickly that the matter is a non-issue and that he believes Tilghman, with whom he has a friendly professional relationship, meant nothing malicious. But Woods's statement has done little to allay the controversy that continues to expand in the media and the court of public opinion.
One would hope, however, that the discussion would expand reasonably, and recognize that more can be accomplished by engaging Tilghman in a discussion that provides insight rather than by personal attack. What can be accomplished by continuing to go after Tilghman? Golf Channel president Page Thompson injected some rational thinking into the matter when he told The New York Times that there are no plans to discipline her further.
What Tilghman did, despite her 12-year friendship with Woods, was much worse than what Imus did. Imus, a radio shock jock known for crude attempts at humor, cracked a bad joke on a morning radio show. Tilghman is an anchor on the Golf Channel. No one expects her to be racy, controversial or stupid.
Also, Tilghman can't argue that she picked up the notion of "lynching Tiger in a back alley" from black popular culture. She came up with that nonsense all on her own.
Do I think Tilghman is some bigot extremist? No. I think she's incredibly stupid and perhaps unqualified for her job. She's in good mixed company in that category.