On the July 16 edition of the “Tonight Show,” host Jay Leno said “it was so hot I saw a priest stop at a kids’ lemonade stand—just got lemonade.” Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded this way:

The man is a bigoted addict. This is the eighth time this year Jay Leno has targeted all priests as child molesters. His previous bigoted outbursts occurred on April 5, April 6, April 21, April 28, May 10, May 14 and July 8. Interestingly, last Friday’s shot at priests was the fifth and last in a string of jokes related to the hot weather, and it was the only one the audience shrugged off with “oohs.” There is a reason for this: it was the only joke which was mean-spirited and damning of a collectivity.

Leno is not given to cracking insulting jokes of a sweeping nature about any other racial, ethnic or religious groups. Just priests. It’s time to find out why his vitriol is tolerated by NBC.

In the past, we have contacted the show’s executive producer, Debbie Vickers, but she has done nothing to abate this ongoing assault.

Contact John Eck, president of NBC TV Network: john.eck@nbcuni.com

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