The link between jokes and social reality is visible in the way that jokes adapt to different socio-political contexts by dealing with the most salient issues of such contexts. This article casts light on another facet of the relationship of jokes and their social context. Ideas about jokes are influenced by their social context, being continuously reformulated by social change or political manipulation. The case study, brought to illustrate the point further, analyses media discourses that address the issues of and relationships between taste and sense of humour, mostly focusing on the reception of ethnic jokes. The different standpoints visible in the media, both in official and unofficial discourse, reflect ideas about the content and functions of jokelore, characterising jokes either as an essentially racist or as a funny (i.e., harmless) genre.