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Old 16 July 2008, 03:53 AM
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Icon84 Did McCain tell this joke?

Comment: Did McCain tell this joke?

In an appearance before the National League of Cities and Towns in
Washington D.C., McCain supposedly asked the crowd if they had heard "the
one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten
senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die?"

The punch line: "When she finally regains consciousness and tries to
speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask,
"Where is that marvelous ape?"
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  #2  
Old 16 July 2008, 08:01 AM
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Googling "National League of Cities and Towns in
Washington D.C. +mccain" turns up this:

Quote:
I managed to dig up this gem from his 1986 race for US Senate, as quoted in the Tucson Citizen:

" Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’"

I find rape jokes are always a sign of class, don’t you?
There's also a PDF of a copy of the original Tucson Citizen article of Monday, October 26, 1986.

This page has a link to an interview with the reporter who wrote the article, as well as a link to another PDF.

Quote:
"I'm not sure exactly what the wording was of the joke, but something was said. Some joke involving a rape and ape was said. Enough women repeated it to me at the time and the McCain campaign had a non-denial denial," said Coile, now with the Arizona Daily Star. "It came after his 'Seizure World' joke, in which he referred to the [retirement community] Leisure World as Seizure World... I just think it reinforced this idea that John McCain is humor-challenged. Whatever his qualities, he seems to have a tin ear for how these jokes will go over."
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Old 19 July 2008, 10:01 PM
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Maybe she meant guerrilla, not gorilla. And maybe the part about the marvelous ape, meant that the doctor misunderstood her.

The misunderstanding no doubt leads one to think that this is a bestiality joke.


B. A. Rainey
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Old 19 July 2008, 11:00 PM
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Kathy Griffith tells this joke in her "m life as a d lister" show as well.
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Old 20 July 2008, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbrainey View Post
Maybe she meant guerrilla, not gorilla. And maybe the part about the marvelous ape, meant that the doctor misunderstood her.

The misunderstanding no doubt leads one to think that this is a bestiality joke.


B. A. Rainey
The objection to the joke (at least on my part) has less to do with the bestiality and more to do with the way it portrays rape. It's the old "she really wants it and just is too timid to ask" deal. It's disgusting and misogynistic and, frankly, I wouldn't associate with someone who told that type of joke, let alone vote for him/her for president. However, since John Mccain is not my preferred candidate anyway, this does not cause me any dilemmas.
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Old 20 July 2008, 12:02 AM
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Okay, I've seen this appearing all over the place recently, and well, I don't get it. I mean, for one the subject matter seems entirely innapropriate, but on top of that I don't actually see where it is supposed to be funny. Is the humour purely supposed to be "Hur, Hur, she was raped by an ape and liked it!" or is there also some word play involved, or a reference to some cultural meme I am unfamiliar with. I'm usualy able to pinpoint the humour (or intended humour) in an offensive joke, even if I don't find it amusing, but in this case I'm drawing a blank.
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Old 20 July 2008, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James G View Post
Is the humour purely supposed to be "Hur, Hur, she was raped by an ape and liked it!" or is there also some word play involved, or a reference to some cultural meme I am unfamiliar with.
I think that, in a verbal telling, one would assume that the speaker was talking about a guerrilla, as barbrainey pointed out, so the punchline is "Hur, Hur, she was raped by an ape and liked it!" With the ape bit being a surprise bonus to the joke.
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Old 20 July 2008, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallTownKid View Post
I think that, in a verbal telling, one would assume that the speaker was talking about a guerrilla, as barbrainey pointed out, so the punchline is "Hur, Hur, she was raped by an ape and liked it!" With the ape bit being a surprise bonus to the joke.
Ahh, okay. Yes, that makes sense. It doesn't make it any better of course. (I must admit, even when in the context it should be obvious, I tend to think of gorilla before guerrilla. I've given several people odd looks when they've been recounting a news story to me.
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Old 20 July 2008, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James G View Post
Ahh, okay. Yes, that makes sense. It doesn't make it any better of course. (I must admit, even when in the context it should be obvious, I tend to think of gorilla before guerrilla. I've given several people odd looks when they've been recounting a news story to me.
Me too, actually. I remember when I was little and they were explaining guerilla warefare for the first time (in the context of Bleeding Kansas). I was like "... Gorillas? In Kansas?" for a few seconds before I figured it out.
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Old 21 July 2008, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbrainey View Post
Maybe she meant guerrilla, not gorilla.


B. A. Rainey
But she's not the one who refers to the attacker as a gorilla, that's the narrative.
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Old 23 July 2008, 12:17 AM
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And it's always been "gorilla" (and not "guerilla"), though the punchline varies. The joke "works," I guess, because it tells us that what women really want, and can't admit to themselves or to men, is to be knocked around and screwed like an animal. Even if they don't know it yet.

From "Hatfield Swears McCain Told Joke," The Casa Grande [Arizona] Dispatch, 31 October 1985, pp. 1-2.

Quote:
A former Casa Grande City Councilmember has signed a sworn affidavit that U.S. Senate candidate John McCain told a "rape" joke during a luncheon in Washington in 1984.

Jim Hatfield said he heard the Republican candidate tell the joke to a luncheon for the Arizona delegation to the Conference of National League Cities and Towns in the Spring of 1984.

[...]

According to Hatfield, McCain addressed the audience and told a joke about a woman being repeatedly beaten and raped by a gorilla and "after several days in the hospital, the doctor asked her why she was so depressed, and the woman replied that she was disappointed that the gorilla 'didn't even bother to call or write'."
(For what it's worth, the national media doesn't seem to have picked up this joke-telling incident in the 1980s.)

The "never calls/never writes" or "doesn't call/doesn't write" version appears to be more popular than the "marvelous ape" version and, I'm guessing, is probably the original. I can't seem to find it in Legman's Rationale of the Dirty Joke, but I wouldn't be surprised if this were an old one (considerably antedating 1984).

Bonnie "even a caveman can do it" Taylor
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  #12  
Old 23 July 2008, 01:00 PM
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Ladies,

I don't want to disappoint you, but as far as I know humans have bigger penises than gorillas.
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  #13  
Old 23 July 2008, 01:38 PM
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Getting off the subject of opsychoanalizing the actual joke and the mindset of one who would think it is funny and getting back to the actual question of whether or not he told the joke, so far, all we have uncovered is a blog that clain it was printed in a newspaper (I've emailed The Tucson Citizen) and a politician who swears that he heard it a year prior, but with a different punchline.

While it is possible that he tells told this joke more than one, IME, people usually keep the punchline the same. It remind's me of Carson's "damn cat" comment.

While it does sound like something he would say, I do not thisnk that we should condemn the mna unless we know that he actually did say it.

We see lots of misattributed quotes here. Why should this be trated any differently just because we don't like the guy?
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  #14  
Old 23 July 2008, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
Ladies,

I don't want to disappoint you, but as far as I know humans have bigger penises than gorillas.
What ladies do you think you're disappointing?
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  #15  
Old 23 July 2008, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
all we have uncovered is a blog that clain it was printed in a newspaper (I've emailed The Tucson Citizen) and a politician who swears that he heard it a year prior, but with a different punchline.
Actually, I mistyped the date of that Casa Grande Dispatch piece (sorry). It was printed on 31 October 1986, a few days after The Tucson Citizen article appeared.

-- Bonnie
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Old 24 July 2008, 01:48 AM
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I do know what you're saying, DemonWolf, and I generally agree with it, but I have to say that I'm intrigued by the near-contemporaneous assertion (1986) from Torie Clarke, then McCain campaign spokesperson, that "John does not recollect telling that joke." (By the way, I know you're looking for authentication of the Tucson Citizen article, but to me, at least, the clipping contained in the PDF looks pretty realistic for an article on microfilm. It'll be interesting to hear what you find out.) In fact, Coile mentions Clarke's statement that "she has never heard McCain tell the 'joke' in three years of listening to 'literally thousands' of his speeches."

So, why not, then, simply disavow the joke? If then Rep. John McCain was so pro-women (as Clarke explained), why not issue a rejection of the joke? What's this "John does not recollect telling that joke" business if there was no possibility that John told that joke?

I suppose it's always possible that Ms. Clarke misspoke or didn't get to tell the whole story and that, in reality, John found that joke, once he heard about it, repulsive and not something he would've repeated privately or publicly. But why, then, no follow-up clarification to that effect? (In fact, Clarke shifts focus away from the joke and to the Kimball campaign.)

Maybe it's me, but "not recollecting telling that joke" if the joke was never told doesn't seem particularly well thought out.

Bonnie "politics makes orang bedfellows" Taylor
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Old 24 July 2008, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonnie View Post
[SIZE=2]. . . Maybe it's me, but "not recollecting telling that joke" if the joke was never told doesn't seem particularly well thought out. . . .
Strategically, that's certainly true. But it does have the advantage of irrefutability. It's a kind of pedantic high road (as snopesters we can admire it!) After all, the spokesman can't be absolutely sure of having heard every word of every McCain speach (we all gotta go to the bathroom sometime...)

But, yeah, a more effective rebuttal would be, "The candidate does not make inappropriate jokes of that type."

Silas

P.S. completely off topic, why do your posts have embedded size tags?
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  #18  
Old 24 July 2008, 02:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
P.S. completely off topic, why do your posts have embedded size tags?
Silas, what are you doing looking at my size tag?

Bonnie "used to be a size 16" Taylor
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  #19  
Old 24 July 2008, 02:51 AM
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In a situation in which one had made that joke in the past (and it seems from the various .pdfs that this assertion is not new, at least), then what should one do about it? Denial (which would have to include a refutation of the sources)? Apology? Brazenness?

I think I'd go for brazenness. Not that I'd tell that joke, but I can imagine telling similar jokes about contentious issues such as vegetarianism, and I think I'd be prepared to defend myself in a vegetarian future. Er, sorry. That's not very relevant. Drunk again. Whoops.
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  #20  
Old 24 July 2008, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonWolf View Post
While it is possible that he tells told this joke more than one, IME, people usually keep the punchline the same.
It's quite possible that, if he told the joke more than once, he did keep the punchline the same, but listeners who had already heard the same basic joke incorrectly recalled his using a punchline from previously-heard versions.

Quote:
so far, all we have uncovered is a blog that clain it was printed in a newspaper (I've emailed The Tucson Citizen) and a politician who swears that he heard it a year prior
You have to admit, though, that a sworn affidavit is a bit more substantial than the usual "I swear I heard him say that!" claim.

- snopes
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