Thursday, June 01, 2017


In response to the Kathy Griffin story, John Podhoretz harrumphs:
In her bubble, Kathy Griffin thought nothing was out of bounds in mocking Trump

Imagine living in a bubble so impermeable, it didn’t occur to you that retailing a photograph of a decapitated president’s head would be a horrendous career move — a bubble in which you don’t know anyone who doesn’t think the world would be a better place once Donald Trump had had his head cut off.

That is the world Kathy Griffin lives in.
Tell us more about this impermeable bubble, John.
In the bubble in which she lives, in the world in which she travels, in the frame of reference in which she nestles like a baby nestling in a Moses basket, it must have seemed to Kathy Griffin that there could be no way she could go too far if the object of her unspeakable provocation was Donald Trump.

In fact, she must have believed, the further she would be willing to go, the more praise her action would be likely to engender....

Griffin probably figured others had crossed the line before her, so she wasn’t really crossing a line at all. Or maybe she figured where Trump is concerned, there is no line.

Oh, sure, the yahoos would scream, but such screams would surely sound like a thousand angels singing to Kathy’s friends and employers. Their agony would only be a sign her stunt had truly hit home.

Yes, what could be more wonderfully easy and satisfying than to be provocative when you think the only people you will truly provoke are the people you and your community of like-minded showbiz progressives despise!
If you can put aside your moralistic self-satisfaction for one second, John, tell us how this all this all turned out.
When Griffin realized it was horror rather than “you go girl” admiration she had provoked, and not just among the yahoos but with everybody with a soul enough to understand she was normalizing an image of a presidential assassination, she tossed the photograph onto the trash heap of history.

She threw herself on the mercy of the court of public opinion in hopes of sparing the mediocre career she has so painstakingly constructed by playing the part of a sharp-tongued, take-no-prisoners truth-teller. No luck. In 24 hours’ time, she had lost her annual gig co-hosting the CNN New Year’s Eve special.
Oh -- so what you're saying is that Kathy Griffin doesn't live in an impermeable bubble, a "frame of reference in which she nestles like a baby nestling in a Moses basket," a safe space in which everyone agrees with her most outrageous ideas and no contradictory message can ever reach her. In fact, not only was she fired by CNN -- epicenter of the liberal media, according to the vast majority of conservatives -- but she was criticized by quite a few of the boldface names who presumably make up the bubble in which she allegedly dwells. Chelsea Clinton expressed outrage. So did her CNN New Year's co-host, Anderson Cooper. So did the women of The View. So did Will & Grace's Debra Messing.

You want to know about bubbles? Here's something Ann Coulter said to a sympathetic interviewer in 2002:
“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”
That was when her second New York Times bestseller, the chart-topping Slander, was in the bookstores. Did this tank her career? Nope -- a year later, she published another bestseller, Treason, and said this about the 2002 remark to a different interviewer:
McVeigh quote. Of course I regret it. I should have added, “after everyone had left the building except the editors and reporters.”
Still no career consequence. Her 2004 collection of columns, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), was also a bestseller. Then, in 2006, there was this exchange on Fox's Hannity & Colmes show:
Allan Colmes ... asked her if she wanted to take back an earlier statement that Timothy McVeigh should have bombed The New York Times office, especially if the reporters were inside.

“No, I think the Timothy McVeigh line was merely prescient after The New York Times has leapt beyond — beyond nonsense straight into treason, last week,” Coulter replied.
That year she had her second number one New York Times bestseller, Godless: The Church of Liberalism.

Hey John, do you want to know what living in an impermeable ideological bubble is like, one in which nothing you say or do exposes you to any real consequences because your fellow believers always defend you no matter how offensive you are? That's what it's like.

See also Ted Nugent.

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