As most news readers know, recently comedian Kathy Griffin showed a photo of herself holding a replica of a severed head representing President Trump covered in a red blood-mimicking substance.
Following that, Ms. Griffin endured withering criticism across the political spectrum. Some liberal examples:
Chelsea Clinton: “This is vile and wrong. It is never funny to joke about killing a president.”
Actress and Hillary Clinton supporter Debra Messing: “It wasn’t right when people hung lynched Obama effigies, just as what Kathy Griffin did isn’t right now.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
Democratic Senator Al Franken said that “it would be better” if Kathy Griffin did not appear with him as scheduled at an event in July.
For his part, President Trump tweeted: “Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself. My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!” At least one of his older sons issued a comment deploring Ms Griffin’s photo.
Ms. Griffin initially defended the photo. She said that she had wanted to make “noise” by mocking “the Mocker in Chief.”
But she eventually backed off her defense, saying: “I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong.”
Ms. Griffin lost a job at CNN and has several appearances canceled.
The criticism might have subsided by now but Ms. Griffin went back on the offensive, hiring a lawyer and giving a press conference. (See photo.)
There was this: “What’s happening to me has never happened in this great country. A sitting president of the U.S. … is personally trying to ruin my life forever.”
Then this: “This is a woman thing.” And: “I’m not afraid of Donald Trump. He’s a bully. I’ve dealt with older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life.”
Ms Griffin’s citing of herself as a victim because she is a woman is hollow and merely her search for a refuge. We won’t won’t go as far as Piers Morgan who wrote: “She’s playing a vile, absurd & shameful feminist card” but will watch to see if she gets feminist support.
• We try to keep up with the entertainment world especially because of how it intrudes increasingly into politics but we admit did not know who Kathy Griffin was before this.
• It’s a wonderful country where someone can show the photo she did and not be prosecuted. We have the First Amendment.
• We don’t believe Ms. Griffin is upset that Mr. Trump and his family responded to her attack as they always do to attacks. She is upset because liberals deplore her stunt.
• Ms Griffin’s citing of herself as a victim because she is a woman is hollow and merely her search for a refuge. We won’t won’t go as far as Piers Morgan who wrote: “She’s playing a vile, absurd & shameful feminist card” but will watch to see if she gets feminist support. Further, we read Ms. Griffin’s claim to have taken on older white guys and we note that apparently she has also dealt with younger white guys. This past December Ms. Griffin called out the President’s 11 year-old son telling a reporter that she would be “happy to deliver a beat down” to both Donald and Barron Trump. “You know a lot of comics are going to go hard for Donald, my edge is that I’ll go direct for Barron. I’m going to get in ahead of the game.” And she talks about being bullied.
• In 1950 President Harry Truman responded to a music reviewer named Paul Hume who had criticized his adult daughter’s singing. The President of the United States sent a letter to Mr. Hume on White House stationary that included this: “Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes,…” The country got a good laugh, Mr. Truman was excoriated in some circles, he was admired in others for standing up for his daughter and Mr. Hume got a career boost. In 1996 columnist William Safire wrote that First Lady Hillary Clinton was a “congenital liar” and President Bill Clinton said he would like to punch Mr. Safire in the nose. This interaction was in Mr. Safire’ obituaries in 2009. In 2010, President Obama was speaking at the White House Corresponents’ Dinner. He noted the musical group the Jonas Brothers in the audience, thought of his daughters and joked: “Sasha and Malia are huge fans, but boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming.”
To think about the move from people like Mr. Hume and Mr Safire and the Jonas Brothers on the one hand to Kathy Griffin on the other is to lose confidence in evolution.