Public Editor

Was writing about Joan Rivers’ KC insult in bad taste?


The angriest reader response I’ve heard in the past few days has been over a story that was published on yesterday afternoon, not long after news of insult comedian Joan Rivers’ death broke.

In a 1985 performance, Rivers launched into one of her trademark verbal attacks, and the target was Kansas City. “The apex of stupidity is Kansas City,” she said, among other knocks.

And a great number of readers were upset by that. I have to be honest here that I’m not positive I understand the objections, but I think it’s partly that they perceived bringing the jokes up as some kind of attack on the recently deceased. And I think others were simply offended at Rivers’ remarks themselves.

This is one of those rare times where I can’t really get on board with the criticisms, though. If you have even a passing familiarity with Rivers’ career, you know that mock hate was her medium. I rather imagine she’d take great pleasure in fans and journalists alike bringing up some of her most outrageous zingers.

But even if I can’t identify with the critics, I have passed their feedback along to the editors.