Jewish World Review Aug. 7, 2003 / 9 Menachem-Av, 5763
Kobe judge bans reporters from making idiotic "court" puns
ESPN protests anti-punning order
The judge in Kobe Bryant's sexual assault case today banned all reporters from making puns on the word "court," creating an uproar among media outlets whose coverage has consisted almost entirely of idiotic "court" puns.
Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett issued the unusually specific gag order after reading a headline on the ABC News website that read, "Kobe Bryant Faces an Unfamiliar Court Today - a Court of Law."
"The temptation to make annoying puns based on the word 'court,' apparently, is just too great for these morons," Judge Gannett said, explaining the rationale behind the gag order.
In addition to "full-court press," "courting disaster," and "half court shot," Judge Gannett is considering expanding his order to ban such other basketball clichés as "slam dunk" and "at the buzzer."
But ESPN, the sports network whose coverage depends almost entirely on the use of cringe-worthy puns delivered by smirky anchormen, said today that the judge's actions might be unconstitutional, since the First Amendment protects the right of the press to make really stupid puns.
"He's way out of bounds," said ESPN vice-president of programming Jonas Crandall. "We cry 'foul.'"
Mr. Crandall added that the judge had no right to "blow the whistle" on ESPN's penchant for punning and accused the judge of "goal-tending."
In other sports news, boxer Mike Tyson today announced plans for another comeback, saying that he would first participate in several tune-up bouts with waiters, coat check girls and parking attendants.
ESPN's Crandall said he expected the International Boxing Federation to give Tyson's plan "a technical knockout."
"Hey, that was a good one," Mr. Crandall said.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author of the just released "Who Moved My Soap? The CEO's Guide to
Surviving in Prison and
"Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" , "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2003, Andy Borowitz