by Chuck Ross
Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson mocked the appearance of Republican congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who lost his eye in an IED blast in Afghanistan.
“This guy is kind of cool — Dan Crenshaw,” began Davidson during a Weekend Update segment.
A photo of Crenshaw, who wears an eyepatch, flashed on the screen, eliciting laughter from Davidson, his fellow cast members and the SNL audience.
“You may be surprised to hear he’s a congressional candidate for Texas and not a hit-man in a porno movie,” continued Davidson, who known for his recently failed relationship with pop star Ariana Grande.
Dan Crenshaw was nearly blinded in 2012 when he was hit by an IED blast in Afghanistan's Helmand province, where he was on his third deployment. He lost his right eye in the blast, and his left eye was badly damaged.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) November 4, 2018
Crenshaw’s eyepatch covers an injury he sustained from an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2012.
“One of our Afghan interpreters stepped on a pressure plate right in front of me. About 15 pounds of explosives dismembered him right in front of my face. It blinded me, shattered me and knocked me over,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation in March.
“I woke up about five days later. They took some time to stabilize me in Afghanistan and do the surgery to remove my right eye. I woke up without a right eye and blind in the left. They had little faith I would see again, but the fact they said there was a chance … I really believed I would see again.”
Crenshaw, who also served in Iraq, is expected to cruise to victory on Tuesday. According to the website FiveThirtyEight, he has a 90 percent chance of defeating his Democratic challenger, Todd Litton.
Both Crenshaw and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) responded to the SNL skit.
“Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes,” wrote Crenshaw.
Good rule in life: I try hard not to offend; I try harder not to be offended. That being said, I hope @nbcsnl recognizes that vets don’t deserve to see their wounds used as punchlines for bad jokes.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) November 4, 2018
The NRCC was less reserved.
“Getting dumped by your pop star girlfriend is no excuse for lashing out at a decorated war hero who lost his eye serving our country,” said NRCC spokesman Jack Pandol, referring to Davidson’s high-profile breakup with Grande.
“Pete Davidson and NBC should immediately apologize to Dan, and to the millions of veterans and military families who tune in every weekend – because they’re not laughing.”
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Chuck Ross is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation. Follow Chuck on Twitter.