Comedians and Jerks, wow thin line there, can be offensive in the same manner with very different results. In both cases they are being offensive on purpose. One for triggering laughter the other for a casebook of reasons or non-reasonable reasons.
Delivery and perception really come into play. The comedy of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks frequently went over that line of offending, and garnering laughs at the same time. It was a way of being dangerous and frequently caught up with them. That is to say, they paid a price.
Jerks (I actually had a different compound word here) on the otherhand are using a knee jerk reaction to a situation, or bullying, worse still a pre-meditated 'pushing-of-buttons' to hurt or shame or elicite some reaction. The bad part is that jerk like behavior comes to us all unbidden at times pre-meditated at other times. Part of being human?
So we have a good possibility of escalation, punitive or vengeful. More and more hurtful with an evil glee associated as each teir is broached. Truely Ugly. Worse is the rationalization that you are doing this to 'teach a lesson', or 'they started it'
Another part of being human is the acceptence of our choice's and repentence for our lesser human reactions. We tend to know when we have been jerks, or that revalation comes after being pointed out. Knowing we are wrong, as a species, and admission of that fact is based upon confidence and character. Forgiveness on the other side comes across easier then admission, not sure why we are built that way, but we are.
Being forgiven prior to begging forgiveness is quite a burden, quite a charity. I can see it as a true divine spark, to another tweek that is inteded to be offensive. What a slippery slope, indeed. The only way to win the 'offensive game'is to not play.
True repentance, true forgiveness. That occurs when we, as humans, are at our best.