State Department defends Jay Leno speech


Part of the pushback against a Jay Leno joke about a building that is held sacred by members of the Sikh religion in India was a complaint lodged by an official of the nation’s foreign service. A representative of the US stated that Leno’s joke was constitutionally-protected speech and was obviously satirical in nature.

According to a BBC report, State Department official Victoria Nuland responded to concerns from offended parties in India who thought Leno’s attempt at humor had crossed a line.

The joke involved a comment about a summer home of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, which was accompanied by a picture of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.

Nuland said that the United States had the greatest respect for India, the Sikh religion and American citizens of the Sikh religion.

However, she stood by the fact that freedom of speech is a hallmark of American society, and added that Leno’s joke “appeared to be satirical in nature.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We have occasionally made jokes that our readers simply didn’t get – humor doesn’t always translate well (especially if its both dry and in print). If it’s pretty clearly a joke, we suggest you don’t get mad, you get even. If we were India, we’d be making a lot of Jay Leno jokes right about now.