I am loathe to write about the events transpiring around a widely circulated photoshoot Kathy Griffin did with a prop of the disembodied head of President Trump. This story is the conflagration of everything wrong with modernity and American politics.
As soon as the picture was released by TMZ, the takes started flying. The usual suspects all behaved exactly as you’d expect.
The first chrous came from Trump supporters shouting about liberal hypocrisy. The media enforced an environment of sanctity around the visage of Obama to such an extent that a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask was fired from his job. Pointing out the hypocrisy of the left certainly earns social media engagements, but it doesn’t move the conversation forward. The left has proven over the years that the only principle they have is the interest of the movement. They are never self-policing of bad actors and rally behind anyone, no matter what they’ve done, until they are dumped like refuse into the street when a person is too damaging.
To be fair, this noise from the right has been more successful than usual. CNN personalities are paying enough lip service to claim they aren’t happy with the photoshoot, even if no action comes about. Advertisers have been less mute than usual in response to an angry right. Kathy Griffin herself offered an apology and said she stepped too far, after defending it as “artistic expression” earlier in the day.
That’s so typical of the left, by the way, to defend anything that offends as “artistic expression”. And it is also so typical of the left to abandon a defense for another one in a matter of hours once things get tough.
Even through all of this, this wasn’t the worst of it. Ronny Soave of the Reason Foundation, intent on using the last gasps of the libertarian movement in service of the social justice left, tweeted the following: “Any conservative who calls on CNN to fire Kathy Griffin has lost the right–forever–to complain about political correctness run amok”
Soave, as libertarians are wont to do, hates conservatives who fight fire with fire. Politics is war by other means, and until the left stops trying to get people fired for their expression, the right must be willing to respond in kind.
A take I’ve seen in the cuckservative crowd is that “now she’s apologized, so we have to drop the matter”. That wasn’t good enough for Tim Hunt or dozens of others victimized by SJWs. It wouldn’t be good enough for any of the cuckservatives to keep their jobs if they ventured off their intellectual plantation and asserted their intellectual freedom. You only accept an apology from someone who believes their action was wrong, and the “artistic expression” defense hours before the heartfelt apology, makes the apology ring a bit false to me.
The last awful take I’ve seen on this event is that the thing we should take away from this photoshoot is that we are free to express ourselves. A non-celebrity who did this would face a host of “process as punishment” consequences, involving Secret Service visits, and perhaps a few court appearances. Someone on the right could expect to see their family to be harassed and their ability to find employment jeopardized by news sites filling any Google search of their name with articles describing how terrible you are. Kathy Griffin has the freedom to express herself freely, because her celebrity stature makes any legal backlash untenable, her presumably large fortune makes social reprisals ineffective and her political leanings mean she’ll probably benefit more from the controversy than the she’ll lose.
All & all, everyone involved in this story is wrong, included me for taking time out of my life to discuss it and think about it. It is one huge conflagration highlighting the divisions within society and our total ineffectiveness at dealing with them.