Woman producer friend to HE: “That quote is jaw-dropping-level offensive. If I was at NPR, I would have cut him loose. It’s a ‘no going back’ quote. And if I were Tamara Jenkins, I would have cancelled the q & a unless he was out. Should he be put out to pasture at New York? Minimally a time-out to mull the insensitive fucking idiocy of his quote. Should he be let go permanently? Maybe. Probably won’t save his misogynist soul, but it would make a good point. Rape jokes aren’t funny. I’m not part of the twitter mob, and this is not just about one quote either. It’s about the institutionalization of misogyny. This was a line crossed. Caning is not enough.”

HE to producer friend: “Was there something in what I wrote that suggested people should automatically give rape-jokers a pass? Or that Edelstein wasn’t or isn’t an idiot for having posted what he posted?

Do we really have to kill people when they say something callous or hurtful or grievously misjudged?

Your attitude is exactly that of the ’50s commie haters and the witch-burners of Salem. Fire them, burn them, wipe them out, firing squad, zero tolerance. The Bolsheviks had the same thought about the Czar’s family. Do you honestly think that urban lefty culture is 100% behind the idea of instantly lopping off heads whenever someone says something thoughtless or stupid? The applicable terms are (a) ‘purist political hysteria’ and (b) ‘excess of zeal.'”

Producer friend responds: “You’ve missed the point. Then again I just read a good quote: ‘Maybe getting fired is better with butter.'”

Listening-in friend (also a woman): “Ugh…I just can’t. My eardrums are bleeding from having been shrieked at by people like this. I swear to God. It was a stupid joke. Gross, dumb, icky…but it was on Facebook. If it’s on NPR, sure, it’s a problem. But Facebook? They’re going to police everything people think, say and do in their private time? Really?”

Just posted: A Salon piece by Andrew O’Hehir — “David Edelstein, the ‘butter scene in Last Tango and the darkness of the internet.”