MA sheriff receiving death threats after joke about president

Joyce Lupiani

MA sheriff receiving death threats after joke about president

CREATED Mar. 21, 2013

(KTNV) -- Any comedian can tell you that telling a joke often treads the fine line between being funny and being offensive.

The sheriff of Plymouth County, Mass., is learning that lesson the hard way after making a joke about the president of the United States.

The joke told by the Sheriff Joseph McDonald was based on a very old joke.

In the sheriff's joke, Abraham Lincoln visits President Barack Obama in a dream and suggests he go to the theater.

Lincoln was assassinated in a theater and now critics are saying that even a joke suggesting the current president might get shot was inappropriate. Especially from a public official.

Sheriff McDonald is defending the joke -- calling it political satire -- but he is facing some pretty big backlash, including death threats.

McDonald has received dozens of hate emails, phone messages and voice-mails.

Many of them have physically threatened the sheriff.

McDonald has also said that his joke is no different than when Democrats suggested former President George W. Bush go hunting with Vice President Cheney immediately after he accidentally shot a friend on a hunting trip.