Jewish World Review Dec. 4, 2002 / 29 Kislev, 5763
Greyhound reaffirms policy on bus
drivers telling Taliban jokes
No Taliban jokes while bus is in motion, company says
Two days after one of its New Jersey bus drivers alarmed passengers by shouting
into the public address system, "We're going to the Taliban," Greyhound Bus Lines
today clarified its policy on its drivers telling Taliban jokes while its buses are in
"There is a time and a place for everything, including Taliban jokes," said Cheryl
Finster, a spokesperson for Greyhound. "However, the time for telling Taliban jokes is
when the bus is safely parked at the station, not when it is full of passengers and
rolling down the highway."
While Ms. Finster acknowledged that the company was taking special action to
reaffirm its prohibition against in-trip Taliban humor, she insisted that Greyhound's
official statement did not represent a "shift in policy" on its bus drivers telling Taliban
"I think when it comes to Taliban jokes and their effect on passengers' safety,
Greyhound's record has been second to none in the industry," Ms. Finster said. "We
have statistics to back that up."
But public safety advocates claimed today that the company's policy on drivers telling
Taliban jokes, as laid out in Greyhound's official "Driver Safety Handbook," was murky
"When telling Taliban jokes, drivers are urged to use their judgment," one passage
from the handbook reads. "Sometimes, a good Taliban joke can help break up the
monotony of a long bus ride, or relieve passengers' tension when the bus is caught in
traffic. Before telling a Taliban joke, however, the driver should do everything in his or
her power to determine that it is a really funny Taliban joke."
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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, most recently, of "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" and "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2002, Andy Borowitz