Good jokes dance on the line between funny and offensive—bad ones cross it. The Internet is in an uproar following an inflammatory joke by Republican Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr., whose sly quip mocked fun at the idea of the president’s assassination. The punchline of the joke centered around Abraham Lincoln paying a visit to Obama and proposing that he go to the theater. The Massachusetts sheriff spoke out in defense of his wisecrack Wednesday, calling the controversy surrounding it “absurd.” McDonald said the joke was the equivalent of Democrats suggesting George W. Bush go hunting with Dick Cheney, who once inadvertently shot his hunting partner in the face.
I WAS KIDDING Tom Herde/The Boston Globe/Getty