Kathy Griffin and the Consequences of the Politics of Stupidity
In the days, weeks, and months following Donald Trump's election and inauguration, liberal America took its collective mind, threw it in a Vitamix, and poured it down the toilet. It has been lost and floating around in a sewer of rage ever since.
One of the more notable Trump Derangement Syndrome meltdowns back then was publicly offered by comedian Kathy Griffin, who infamously posted a picture of her with a mock, blood covered, severed head of President Trump.
The stunt was so beyond the pale that even the notorious Trump-hating execs at CNN severed the network's professional relationship with her. She also lost an endorsement gig with "Squatty Potty," and the world is probably a better place for it.
The Los Angeles Times recently ran a profile on Griffin, detailing her professional woes of the past couple of years, as well as promoting a new documentary about her travails.
Griffin paints a pretty bleak picture of the treatment she is getting from Hollywood these days:
“I’m still totally blacklisted,” she said the other day, sitting in a red dress and taking stock of how a woman who starred on Bravo’s “My Life on the D-List” fell precipitously to the “S” list. “No agency will touch me. No network will touch me. No streaming service will touch me. Nobody. And yet, I’m an earner. I’ve made them all money, and I’ll make them money again. I have to dig myself out of this hole.”
Although Griffin's old show said she was on the "D-List," her career has actually been a pretty good one.
And even though she says she has been "totally blacklisted" she is booking and being paid for live gigs. Still, she was a much hotter commodity before her stunt and the professional effects are enduring:
But there have been no big TV or film deals. Many in the entertainment industry feel the photograph exploited terrorist iconography that should never be invoked against a president. The image recollected how much Sept. 11, 2001, reconfigured America’s politics and anxieties, even though school shooters and white gunmen are more pressing threats these days than Middle East jihadists.
Mainstream media hacks never fail to be apologists for jihadists. That's a column for another time, however.
The stunning thing about Griffin's situation is that she managed to go too far in an era where almost all American leftist outrage is of the "frothing at the mouth" variety.
While most of the Times article is reflexively apologetic for Griffin -- as well as letting her be apologetic for herself -- its premise remains that she managed to be too offensively outrageous even for the dug-in Trump haters in Hollywood.
It is almost certain that Griffin never once pondered that she would get any backlash at all for her photo shoot. Coastal liberals -- especially those in the entertainment industry -- don't know any people who disagree with them politically.
Despite the after-the-fact negative response, Griffin most likely wouldn't have received even one word of caution beforehand had she run it by friends and colleagues in the homogeneous thought bubble that is Hollywood. Everyone was (and still is) supposed to hate President Trump with boundless rage, after all.
As anyone in the entertainment industry knows, however, a lot can happen between the idea and the production.
It turns out that taking a page from ISIS to make a point about the president is a bit too much to stomach for even many of the angriest Americans.