Pope Joke Fallout

New York Press editor Jeff Koyen has just resigned from his position after last week’s cover story, “The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of The Pope,” which prompted big outrage from lots of folks — including Senators Schumer and Clinton, the ADL, Mayor Bloomberg, Bill Donoghue from the Catholic League and Brian Saint-Paul of Crisis Magazine — and not a few spin-off lists describing the funniest aspects of Taibbi’s own death (available with and without veiled threat). Koyen argued that beneath “the nasty Pope jokes,” the article was intended as a political argument, and the controversy should be viewed as one of free expression. He resigned rather than take two weeks’ unpaid leave, charging his publishers with cowardice for refusing to stand behind him during the blow-up following Taibbi’s article.