How could Kathy Griffin think she didn’t cross a line with her Islamic State group-beheads-the-president imitation? In a sense, her ignorance is understandable. Since Donald Trump was elected, there have been no lines to cross. Anything … everything … has been acceptable. The challenge has been not to temper the outrage but to push its limits. It was “art,” she claimed at first.
Despite taping a video apology, she was dumped by CNN, which had promoted this “comedian” for 10 years as New Year’s Eve entertainment in Times Square alongside Anderson Cooper. It tells you everything you need to know about CNN that, up to this point, it had found her antics acceptable.
CNN started putting her on air in 2007 after her award-acceptance rant at the Creative Arts Emmys during which she told Jesus Christ to “suck it.” She cracked: “A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus.”
Griffin has long used smears on conservatives and Republicans to boost her career. In 2010, she caused CNN stars John King and Dana Bash to laugh nervously as she described Sen. Scott Brown’s teenage daughters as “prostitutes.”
When the outrage came, she boasted: “Whenever a statement is issued against me, I’m in heaven. I feel my next special is half-written for me. And then I get to read statements allowed in my live shows which you can go to KathyGriffin.net and see the many, many cities I’ve picked up for my current tour.”
Back then, the gossip site Radar Online was thrilled to describe Griffin’s chat with an unnamed publicist for Playgirl magazine. The publicist said, “I asked Kathy what star she’d like to see take a ‘celebrity spill’ and she said ‘I’d like to push Sarah Palin down the stairs.'” Griffin also claimed that Palin became John McCain’s running mate by performing oral sex on him.
The far left has coddled her, and, clearly, she thought she’d be the toast of the town for this mock beheading stunt. It didn’t pan out that way. CNN host Jake Tapper denounced the stunt on air, and Cooper disavowed it as “disgusting” on Twitter. Almost everyone implicitly understood how the country would have greeted anyone “artistically” holding up a severed head of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
The vast majority of Americans were nauseated … but not everyone. The delinquents at the leftist site Vox protested that Griffin and photographer Tyler Shields “are resisting a rapidly shifting world in which women are losing access to basic reproductive health care.”
Journalist Molly Ball of The Atlantic cynically denounced the Trumps on CNN for protesting this outrage, saying: “I have a hard time bringing myself to care about something like this. I think it just speaks to the need to see themselves as a victim that they have, that they are constantly being persecuted.”
Sen. Al Franken has refused to cancel a joint appearance with Griffin in July to promote his book “Giant of the Senate.” The politician called it a “horrible mistake” but said, “She’s actually begged for forgiveness, and I believe in forgiveness.”
Baloney. There is no real repentance here. Everyone knows that this was an apology offered to save her line-crossing business. The left wants her to cross the line to smash conservatives in the mouth. Incivility is the most satisfying kind of “resistance.” Does anyone doubt she will return to her nasty routine once Franken & Co. get her “back on her feet”?
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L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.
The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.