A reader references the very NSFW joke-telling above:
Jack Shafer gets Gilbert Gottfried completely wrong. A little history: On a Comedy Central Roast two weeks after 9/11, Gottfried was making jokes about planes flying into the Twin Towers. When the audience revolted, he went on to do one of the classic moments of modern stand-up comedy history by performing an elaborate telling the "The Artistocrats" joke, documented in the movie of the same name. This was aired on national television.
What is far more stunning is that AFLAC ever hired him: a usually boring company (insurance) partnered with one of the most fearless comedians of his generations. Not saying Gilbert is in taste, but Shafer is stretching to say that Gottfried has been hiding at dinner parties.
Your response to the analysis on Gottfried's tweeting: "We're all public figures now, whether we like it or not." Bullshit.
He posted it on Twitter, which is extremely public! Posting on Twitter is akin to shouting from a rooftop. The whole POINT is that it's public. Nobody was spying on him. He purposely posted jokes in bad taste on a public forum.
We're talking about Gilbert Gottfried here. He's a well-known star, recognizable comic, and the spokes(duck) for an international ad campaign. That's a public figure. And the only approbation he's gotten that matters is from the major insurance company that does loads of business in Japan. Nevermind the fact that he posted his comments ON THE INTERNET.
Your comments only matter if you matter. If you don't matter, then no one will care when you post offensive things to your Facebook or Twitter.