MSNBC Tries to Revive Kathy Griffin’s Career Over Violent Trump Beheading Image

On Saturday night, MSNBC host Ayman Moheyldin did his part to help resuscitate the career of liberal provocateur Kathy Griffin as he had the comedian on his show to promote her upcoming appearances and explain why she does not regret the infamous image of her from 2017 looking like she had decapitated President Donald Trump.

After playing a clip of Griffin on stage joking about how she was exonerated after speaking with Secret Service agents about her Trump photo, Moheyldin laughed and downplayed the incident as he set up the nine-minute segment:

All right, so that was Kathy Griffin on how she faced federal interrogation for conspiracy to assassinate the President. Yes, that’s what it was. All because Donald Trump was upset that she took a photo of a mask that looked like him with ketchup on it. And, as you can imagine all these years later, the world is waking up to realize maybe — maybe the outrage over the photo was a tad bit overblown, no?

Who still cares about Kathy Griffin?

Not bothering to show the actual image of Griffin holding what appeared to be Trump’s bloody head, Mohyeldin promoting her latest “comedy” tour as he added: “For the first time in six years, Kathy is back on the road for her ‘My Life on the PTSD’ tour. She’s putting the Trump drama behind her to make you laugh about a whole new host of dramas both personal and not.”

After introducing Griffin and MSNBC host Katie Phang as guests, he posed: “So I got to start with you, Kathy, first, and you say that you — you are not sorry now for the joke that you made. What made you now realize that you are not sorry about all the outrage that happened back then and what transpired?”

After Griffin alluded to comedians like George Carlin who got in trouble with local police in the past, she recalled that the Trump administration had taken her behavior seriously, leading Mohyeldin to follow up:

And you are somebody with means. You are somebody who is high profile. You are somebody who obviously was not threatening to the President of the United States in any real manner, and so the takeaway from your experience has been what for the ordinary American? Because if they can do that to you — somebody who is visible and high-profile and, again, with means, what can they do to the average American who does not have the ability that you did?

He then went to Phang, who is a legal analyst, and raised the possibility that an average citizen might have a similar experience to the liberal comedian:

Let’s talk about the law here and what the First Amendment does and does not do. How did the DOJ ultimately get away with investigating Kathy as they did — as she was saying, a private citizen exercising her First Amendment right. This is not a private corporation who may have rules or policies in place for employees — this was what we’d like to think of — one of our most sacred fundamental rights.

Mohyeldin certainly felt the same way about sacred free speech when he allowed a guest to condemn the Israeli government as “all terrorists” without any pushback.

In her analysis, Phang stretched by suggesting that Griffin’s suggestion of the violent decapitation of President Trump was similar to Trump encouraging his supporters to engage in political protest at the Capitol.

After Griffin noted that she was put on a no-fly list over the incident, Mohyeldin gave her a chance to promote her upcoming comedy appearances.

Transcript follows:

MSNBC’s Ayman 

March 9, 2024

7:47 p.m. Eastern

KATHY GRIFFIN (from a stage performance): So, for the girl who’s never done anything right in her life, when the female agent said, “What would you say if the President walked through that door right now?” somehow I channeled my inner Martha Stewart, and I simply said, “I’d say hello.” And I was exonerated!

AYMAN MOHYELDIN (after laughing): All right, so that was Kathy Griffin on how she faced federal interrogation for conspiracy to assassinate the President. Yes, that’s what it was. All because Donald Trump was upset that she took a photo of a mask that looked like him with ketchup on it. And, as you can imagine all these years later, the world is waking up to realize maybe — maybe the outrage over the photo was a tad bit overblown, no? For the first time in six years, Kathy is back on the road for her “My Life on the PTSD” tour. She’s putting the Trump drama behind her to make you laugh about a whole new host of dramas both personal and not.

Emmy award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin is here on set in Los Angeles, and, with us from Miami, my good friend and attorney, Katie Phang, host of The Katie Phang Show right here on MSNBC. It’s great to have both of you with us. So I got to start with you, Kathy, first, and you say that you — you are not sorry now for the joke that you made. What made you now realize that you are not sorry about all the outrage that happened back then and what transpired?

KATHY GRIFFIN, COMEDIAN: Well, I didn’t realize the extent of the Trump machine when they’re upset with someone, but the situation with me was unprecedented. There have been comics like the late Lennie Bruce and the great George Carlin — and I’m not putting myself in their class — but they were harassed by local police. Never has a comedian been harassed by the Department of Justice — two agencies within the Department of Justice — the U.S. Attorneys office and the Secret Service — and I filed — actually, Jason Leopold filed a FOIA for me — a Freedom of Information Act — and it showed how serious the Oval Office and the attorney general were about charging me with conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States.

MOHYELDIN: And you are somebody with means. You are somebody who is high profile. You are somebody who obviously was not threatening to the President of the United State in any real manner, and so the takeaway from your experience has been what for the ordinary American? Because if they can do that to you — somebody who is visible and high-profile and, again, with means, what can they do to the average American who does not have the ability that you did?

GRIFFIN: Well, the White House can do pretty much anything they want to if they set their mind to it, especially when using an arm like the Department of Justice. And, by the way, I’m not anti-government in any way. I would say I think the FBI may have saved my life the times they came over, and we’d go over credible threats versus noncredible threats with me, which was quite often. But I think people should understand that, believe it or not, their vote matters, and it’s not just the presidential — it’s the down ballot. And so what happened to me could happen to you because I was literally just taking a photo which I thought would be outrageous and maybe live on a gay blog for two days or something, and I am suggesting from what I’ve learned — I’m just suggesting that the fact that the photo lived on TMZ.

And that company seems to have a very cozy relationship with Donald Trump, meaning Harvey Levin and AMI Media which owns the National Enquirer — you know, they really amplified that photo a lot with the tabloids like — all the tabloids that they do. And they, if you can remember, they got immunity in the Robert Mueller case. Which is not something I ever required. So I would just suggest that if the White House decides to actually attack a private citizen — which is what I am ultimately — they have the means to do it –and all I had to do was lawyer up — but I was interrogated under oath, and they were very serious about that charge.

MOHYELDIN: So let’s talk about — Katie, let’s talk about the law here and what the First Amendment does and does not do. How did the DOJ ultimately get away with investigating Kathy as they did — as she was saying, a private citizen exercising her First Amendment right. This is not a private corporation who may have rules or policies in place for employees — this was what we’d like to think of — one of our most sacred fundamental rights.

KATIE PHANG: Yeah, and, Ayman, let me be clear, there is a federal statute that understandably exists in order to protect people like the President and other federal officials from credible threats of harm. And I have to use that adjective — “credible” — because for anybody to think that what Kathy did was anything other than an expression of art — an expression of what she thought was her personal opinion — that is an absurdity, and that is exactly what Donald Trump does. I mean, think about it. Donald Trump actually likes to hide behind protected speech. He likes to claim that when he tells people to come and storm the United States Capitol that that is protected free speech. And yet when a private citizen like Kathy Griffin tries to do it, suddenly it is now a, quote, “threat” of harm to the President. So, understanding that, you’re exactly right.

What Kathy — what others including Michael Cohen, for example — if you’ll recall, Michael Cohen was thrown back into jail when he said that he had this tell-all book that was coming out, and a federal judge found that that was retaliation. What you’re seeing is — and it’s specific to the Trump administration, I want to be very clear — Donald Trump weaponizing his own Department of Justice to be able to go after private citizens. And, even though you see somebody like Kathy who is brilliant and successful and unbelievably creative fighting back, you’re right. Not everybody has the means, the wherewithal, or, you know, the willingness to be able to do so, and that is why when we say, you know, we have to listen to what Donald Trump is saying what he’s going to do to his opponents — what he’s going to do to the people that say things that are counter to what he stands for, he’s telling us what he’s going to do, and we have to listen to it loud and clear.

MOHYELDIN: Katie, do you think, based on what you know with the details of this case, that Kathy’s First Amendment rights were violated by the Department of Justice?

Articles You May Like

Republican Rep. Jake LaTurner announces he won’t run for re-election
Illegal migrants take over NYC block with prostitution, open-air market selling stolen goods
BREAKING: Judge Merchan Accuses Trump of Intimidating Left-Wing Juror Questioned Over Her Pro-Biden Facebook Video
Joe Biden Makes Staged Visit to a Wawa… And It Was Bad
‘Shocks the conscience’: New Planned Parenthood report shows how many abortions provided while receiving taxpayer money

Leave a Comment - No Links Allowed:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *