- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 4, 2018

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” came under fire Sunday for a sketch that mocked the appearance of a Texas House candidate who lost an eye to an IED blast in Afghanistan.

Cast member Pete Davidson targeted Republican Dan Crenshaw, a retired Navy SEAL who wears an eyepatch, during a “Weekend Update” segment ridiculing candidates, mainly Republicans, over their looks.

“This guy’s kind of cool — Dan Crenshaw. You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Mr. Davidson said.

After the joke met with shocked laughter, Mr. Davidson joked, “I’m sorry, I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”

The segment touched off a wave of fierce criticism on social media as well as a response Sunday from Mr. Crenshaw.

“Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended,” tweeted Mr. Crenshaw, who seeks to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Ted Poe in the Houston-based district.

“That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for back jokes,” he said.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, called the sketch “Utterly shameful,” while Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted “NBC owes him an apology, we owe him our support on Tuesday.”

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Jack Pandol called for Mr. Davidson and NBC to apologize to Mr. Crenshaw “and to the millions of veterans and military families who tune in every weekend—because they’re not laughing.”

Mr. Crenshaw’s Democratic opponent, Todd Litton, also weighed in, tweeting, “No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, Dan’s military service and sacrifice for our country are to be admired and appreciated. Period.”

Mr. Crenshaw lost his right eye and was blinded in his left eye in the 2012 blast, but regained his eyesight in his left eye after several surgeries. He went on to serve two more deployments, according to his campaign website.

Mr. Davidson also mocked Republicans Rick Scott, Peter King and Greg Pence, and one Democrat, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“Here’s a Democrat so I look fair,” cracked Mr. Davidson.

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