Thursday, June 1, 2017

Uncivil Discourse 2: Kathy Griffin and the “New Normal” of Obscenity

Kathy Griffin, desperate attention-seeker.
(Photo: Getty Images.)
I absolutely cannot stand Scotch whiskey. People tell me that Scotch is an “acquired taste.” To which I always respond with some bewilderment, “Why would anyone want to acquire a taste for it?” Why would anyone, having found something vile and disgusting, deliberately take in more and more of it until it becomes their go-to consumable? This is just one of many questions we should ask ourselves while we’re all in a flutter over the picture of “comedian” Kathy Griffin holding up a bloodied mock-up of Donald Trump’s head.

The Massacre in Arizona

Before we go further, I’d like to cast your memories back to January 2011, to the mass shooting in Tucson in which six people died and thirteen others were wounded. As I wrote at the time, “The smoke from Jared Lee Loughner’s weapon had hardly a chance to dissipate when liberal hate-mongers in the MSM started to accuse Sarah Palin and the Tea Party as accessories before the fact to mass murder. The grounds? One of the victims, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is a Democrat ‘targeted’ by the Tea Party for unseating in her next re-election bid.” And among the accusers was Kathy Griffin.

Palin had posted an online map that had Giffords’ and other Democrat incumbents’ pictures with cross-hairs drawn on them. Had Loughner never fired his weapon, no one would ever have thought it unusual; it would have been like the Sunday-morning mailman in Chesterton’s Father Brown mystery. False cause fallacy, folks; nothing to see here. The accusation was baseless and stupid, and the conservative chatterati tore the most visible offenders, Keith Olbermann and Paul Krugman, to tiny little shreds. Even some liberals participated in the beatdown.

Other conservatives, however, went the tu quoque route, serving up some violent talk from liberal thought leaders from then-Pres. Barack Obama to also-unfunny comedian Sandra Bernhardt and queen emeritus of pop Madonna. At the time, Michelle Malkin had been collecting such examples for ten years; she posted them with the admonition, “... [Don’t] let the media whitewash the sins of the hypocritical Left in their naked attempt to suppress the law-abiding, constitutionally-protected, peaceful, vigorous political speech of the Right.” Peaceful and vigorous, I assume, includes the various lynchings and burnings of Obama, as well as rocker Ted Nugent’s later invitation to the president to “suck on my machine gun.”