Bob Hope’s Joke About Miss Liberty

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John H. Bunzel’s heated condemnation of Bob Hope (Letters, July 30) was unnecessary and unseemly. A letter to the editor should be either constructive or entertaining, but Bunzel’s letter was neither--aside from suggesting strong antipathy toward Bob Hope.

Bunzel grossly overreacted to Hope’s joke about Miss Liberty (the Statue of Liberty) having AIDS: “Nobody knows if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island Ferry.”

In his extravagant tirade, Bunzel says: “tasteless and offensive remark . . . worse than obscene . . . abusive and unworthy . . . he was profane . . . sad and shameful . . . besmirch Miss Liberty . . . glibness and vulgarity . . . only brings discredit to him . . . morally crude and indecent language.” Wow!


This patently does not describe the Bob Hope that America knows and loves.

Bunzel also says: “The Statue came through everything with its dignity intact. Regrettably, that is more than can be said for Bob Hope.”

Bunzel vehemently attacks Bob Hope himself. Why? Would he write this way about somebody he admires? This is a clear case of a letter based on subjectivity and emotion rather than fact and reason.

It is possible to miscalculate innocently in formulating and telling a joke. Bob Hope, who is a real patriot and clearly a very decent person, obviously did not intend to besmirch the Statue of Liberty!

But, it is abundantly clear that Bunzel intended to besmirch Bob Hope.