Griffin’s beheaded Trump photo practically criminal
I was mad enough when I first read about what Kathy Griffin did with controversial photographer Tyler Shields. Then when I saw the picture itself I was angry and beyond shocked. Known for using violence in his work, this photographer had Kathy Griffin hold a blood soaked head meant to look like President Trump. It was clearly done in the style of an ISIS beheading where the head is often held up for the cameras immediately afterwards.
Griffin is already embarking on the apology tour, and you shouldn't buy a single word of it. "I beg for your forgiveness. I went too far," she wrote Tuesday. "I made a mistake and I was wrong."
"I'm a comic. I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn't funny. I get it."
The problem is she KNEW it was too disturbing to begin with and she and the photographer joked about it. She KNEW what she was doing, how vile this was, so I hope no one accepts this lame apology. In a video put out by the photographer himself, it shows Kathy Griffin and him making jokes together as they reviewed the photos before releasing them. Among other things she says, "We have to move to Mexico today, but we're going to go to prison -- federal prison...We're not surviving this, okay?"
Had this been words and not an image, let's say uttered in some ad-lib off the cuff broadcast, it would be a lot more understandable and her apology would have merit. This was planned, thought through, joked about how poorly received it would be, and then put out anyway. It's one of the most disgusting things I've seen as an American. Hell, as a human being. Had this been words and not an image, I believe it couldn't hide behind artistic freedom of expression and would be considered a crime as a blatant threat to the president of the United States. As is, it will fall short of that threshold. The Secret Service however has said things to indicate they may well investigate all the same.
Even Chelsea Clinton, whose mother was so badly slandered by Donald Trump during the campaign, defended Trump. She called this image "vile and wrong."
What did President Trump have to say about it? He 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!"
And he's right. Many of you know I do not care for Trump as a president or even as a person. Yet I can't say I hate him. In fact there are a number of issues on which I agree with him, such as the problem of illegal immigrants. That being said I did not vote for him. Had John Kasich been the nominee he would have had my vote. Instead I voted for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson because I saw Hillary Clinton as an equally unappealing choice. That being said, none of that matters. The fact remains he is our president. He is my president. To pose holding a fake Trump head made to look like our president was beheaded by ISIS is one of the most vile things I can imagine. To defend yourself with your status as a comic is ridiculous. In what universe was this meant to be comedic? Let me save you time. It wasn't. It was meant to shock. It was meant to put out the idea that our president should be killed. To believe otherwise is naive.
CNN has an important decision to make about their relationship with Kathy Griffin. Every New Year's Eve they team her up with Anderson Cooper for live Times Square coverage and camaraderie. CNN brass say they're looking at that situation now, but haven't made any decisions. Really? You even need to think about it? If you pair up this woman who did this iniquitous thing with Anderson Cooper, you have destroyed any integrity Cooper has as a newsman. Ask yourself this CNN. If someone had done this with a fake head of Obama, would you pair them up with Anderson Cooper?
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UPDATE: CNN has announced that they are cutting ties with Griffin in light of recent events.