Irish tenor Ronan Tynan sings a first-rate “God Bless America,” at Yankee Stadium, but his attempt at telling a joke offended a Jewish doctor who found it to be anti-Semitic.
Tynan apologized, telling WNBC, “I would never want to hurt anybody’s feelings. It was stupid of me to be so callous.”
But the Yankees still canceled his appearance at the stadium Friday night.
The trouble started when Tynan, 49, bumped into a real estate agent showing an apartment in his East Side apartment building to a doctor from NYU Medical Center.
The agent told Tynan, “Don’t worry, they are not Red Sox fans,” according to apartment-hunter Gabrielle Gold-von Simson.
“I don’t care about that, as long as they are not Jewish,” was Tynan’s reply.
I'm Jewish, and I'm not easily offended. Without actually being there or hearing how it was said, it'd be foolish of me to embark on any sort of crusade.
That said, for a public figure in New York--and Mr. Tynan, now, certainly is--to make any sort of comment that could even be just even just a little bit anti-Semitic or construed by one as anti-Semitic is a really, really bad idea.
Again, I'm not offended. My gut tells me that it was simply a joke gone awry. However, there are some--such as this doctor fellow--that will be. And, well, when that happens things tend not to end so well.