BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 01: Kathy Griffin speaks onstage during the 29th Annual PEN America LitFestGala at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 01, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for PEN America)

Kathy Griffin Gets Targeted for Morbid Joke About Trump

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Once again, the worst of the internet has set Kathy Griffin in their sights for saying something that many people joke about in these pandemic times. After our unhinged president asked if he should be taking insulin (what!?!), in typical fashion Griffin made a pretty biting joke in response, saying that Trump would be better off with a “syringe with nothing but air inside it.” This would be fatal, yes, but a joke tweet about Trump’s own idiocy being fatal is nothing new these days. And yet the hypocrites of the internet lost their damn minds.

Griffin is no stranger to jokes like this and the controversy it invites. In 2017, she posed for a picture with a fake Trump mask made to look like a severed head and the reaction was more than intense. She was fired by CNN, she was placed under federal investigation, lost work, and her life was basically hell—the fallout was documented in the film A Hell of a Story. But Griffin emerged from that experience with yet more resolve to call out Trump.

At first blush, it would be easy to say that Griffin is out of line. We shouldn’t joke about people dying, and joking about the president dying is something that can, as Griffin knows all too well, get you under investigation by federal authorities. But Trump isn’t a normal person, or a normal president.

This is a man who suggested people might inject poisonous disinfectant as a coronavirus treatment, who advocated nonstop for a drug, hydroxychloroquine, that has been linked to increased deaths in COVID-19 patients, who completely botched the U.S.’s response to the pandemic, which lead to the U.S. having more cases and deaths than any other country. This is a man whose incompetence and hatefulness continue to cost American lives every day. And that’s just taking into account his pandemic ineptitude; we seem to have already moved past the abuses of power and obstruction of Congress that saw him impeached by the House, not to mention dozens of other scandals and comments that would have destroyed the political career of anyone else.

This is a man whose contemptuous tweets have emboldened the literal worst in America, and yet his followers are clutching their pearls when someone on the other side makes a jab in Trump’s direction?

People attacking Griffin over this—and there are many—are the height of hypocrisy if they want to defend Trump from a few tweets from a comedian. Are these same people mad at Trump for tweeting out baseless conspiracy theories that threaten a member of the press and terrorize an innocent family? What about the ones that threaten the rule of law? And do we even know if the army of tweeters now targeting Griffin and stirring the controversy-pot are really people, or are they just more bots in an army intent on sowing political and social division?

People (or accounts) are tweeting “arrest Kathy Griffin,” but where is their outrage over the actual deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police and others? Where is their outrage at the president who brought us to what will surely be seen in the future as one of the darkest moments in American history?

In a normal, civilized world, it would not be okay to tweet jokes about people dying, but thanks to Donald Trump and his ilk, we don’t live in a normal world anymore. Trump broke America, and Kathy Griffin shouldn’t be singled out for trying to make a morbid joke out of the pieces.

(via: Entertainment Weekly, image: Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for PEN America)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.