“Anti-Semitism” is rooting for Hamas. Making fun of your nebbish boyfriend is lame, but it should not make any rational person think of Iran’s Supreme Leader. I’ve heard plenty of malicious and offensive anti-Semitic jokes in my life, but it would be tough to conjure up the indignation to believe Dunham was flirting with anything resembling bigotry. Making fun of innocuous stereotypes – and Dunham is part Jewish and lives in a world teeming with Jews – in the pages of a friendly publication evokes memories of subpar Catskill comedians, not long-dead nativists.
In fact, why should Dunham, or anyone else, have to worry about inadvertently evoking memories of ancient wrongdoings that disturb the sensibilities of the professionally aggrieved? She’s a 28-year-old actress.
Sure, the media treats Right and Left differently. (You may remember the kerfuffle surrounding Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel,” but there are countless other examples.) But conservatives don’t have to become professional prigs in retaliation. Not every ethnic, religious, regional, and racial idiosyncrasy has to be off-limits. If both sides are going to prosecute entertainers for thought crimes and failed jokes, our culture is going become even more tedious. Put it this way: humor without risk is Andy Borowitz.