Kathy Griffin, A Matter of Comedy

If you’re into online news at all, you’ll be aware of the huge gaffe committed by comedian Kathy Griffin when she posted a 12-second video of herself holding a mock-up of Donald Trump’s decapitated bloody head.

All hell broke loose in web world: it’s just not okay to even pretend that a piece of plastic is Trump’s bloody head. Griffin was castigated worldwide by Republicans and the left alike for her “tasteless” and “offensive” video. Moreover, in this radical politically correct world in which we are now forced to live, Griffin was fired from CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast, which she co-hosted with Anderson Cooper since 2007 (Cooper came out strongly against Griffin’s video, but I don’t think he liked co-hosting with her much anyway, at least that’s what I perceived. Maybe he thought it was an easy way to get rid of the annoying red-head).

Poor Kathy Griffin (who apologized profusely for her tasteless joke, but was fired anyway). As much as I don’t enjoy her humor and persona, I think she was trying to make a real statement about her feelings about President Trump—in a comedic fashion. She is a comedian, and as Joan Rivers used to say, in comedy, nothing is off-limits. Everything is fair game, and Rivers used to regularly berate her audiences for calling her out for going over the top with her jokes. I’ll bet Rivers is spinning in her grave over this.

I think what I have a problem with is the stringent political correctness that seems to be permeating mainstream and social media, and the public consciousness in general. How did this happen? It’s really a throwback to mid-20th century when you couldn’t talk about “such things.” In some ways, it’s a bit scary because freedom of expression is being squelched.

Sex used to be considered offensive in the comedy days of people like Lenny Bruce, who was labeled obscene. But we moved past that. Sex, violence, obscenity, and making fun of politicians and people in general has become acceptable. I mean, if Donald Trump can make fun of a disabled reporter on national television (incredibly cruel and tasteless—he denied doing this, of course) and get away with it; if someone like Ted Nugent can call for Barack Obama to be hung; if Michelle Obama can be called a man on YouTube; if comedians like Dave Chapelle can make fun of the KKK by portraying a blind black KKK member (who wasn’t aware he was black)…how far can (or can’t) you go?

Queen Amor and the Trump Stump

Queen Amor and the Trump Stump

My opinion is—if it’s clearly satire or humor—anywhere you want. As I said, Griffin isn’t and has never been my cup of tea. It was a tasteless joke, but so what? It just showed that her sense of humor was crappy to begin with and she had to stoop to a faux-bloody head of Trump (a Trump-Stump?) to make a point, or make a splash. Whatever.

Tasteless is one thing. Cruelty and ignorance are something else entirely. Griffin wasn’t being cruel, but she was tasteless. Trump was tasteless and cruel.

What makes this president any different from the last president, in terms of being an object of scorn and hatred by the electorate who didn’t support him? I think this is pretty normal.

Comedians should have the ability to make fun of anything or anyone they want to. It’s comedy, for goodness sake, not politics. Get a grip.

Addendum to this: I was wondering how New Orleanians would feel about the Trump Stump, but I think I have the answer…”Queen Amor” has been carying around a bloody Trump Stump on a plate in her street performances for some some time. Question answered!

  • Mark Fowler

    Yeah, I mean what’s worse, actually blowing people up or holding up a plastic head. I suspect much of the outrage was people trying to cash in on some free PR.

    • janramsey

      Yeah, agreed. CNN was also probably looking for an excuse to get rid of her. I don’t think Anderson Cooper was overly fond of her. What bothers me is the rampant political correctness that seems to be overtaking this country. I find it bizarre and kind of troublesome. If you don’t think something is funny, well, you don’t have to look at it. She meant it as a joke. She’s a comedian, for godssakes. Tasteless joke, but still a joke.