On June 21, the Catholic League blasted “Today” show weatherman Al Roker for telling a crude joke about nuns while hawking his new book on talk TV shows. On this morning’s edition of “Later Today,” host Florence Henderson asked Roker about the joke and the Catholic League’s objections. The only problem was she never stated what our objections were. Indeed, she opined that Roker would never be offensive.
Over the past week, Roker told Larry King, et al., the story of his wife’s use of perganol, a fertility-inducing drug that has been tested by using the urine of “menopausal nuns.” Roker said that because the drug is expensive, it would have been “cheaper to adopt a nun” and have her “pee in a cup.” The league corrected Roker’s historical account of the drug testing and criticized his brand of humor. Now Florence Henderson has entered the fray by intentionally misrepresenting the Catholic League’s position. She was given a copy of our news release by Msgr. Michael Wrenn, pastor of St. John the Evangelist, at a New York restaurant on Wednesday.
On “Later Today” Henderson mentioned how Roker’s wife had trouble getting pregnant but that she succeeded “through the urine of postmenopausal women.” She then offered, “you got in a little bit of trouble with the Catholic League because of it. Would you just speak about that, because I know you would never, never mean to be offensive?” Roker’s easy response drew applause from the audience.
Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:
“If anyone at NBC wants to know why so many Americans are distrustful of the media, they should look at the Henderson-Roker clip. How cute it was to have a star from the ‘Today’ show questioned by a star from ‘Later Today’ about an offensive joke he has told about nuns, without ever repeating the joke. Worse, Henderson never said that it was nuns who were the butt of Roker’s insult humor. Some might call this spin. I call it deceit. It might even qualify as incest.”