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Heidi Harris: Kathy Griffin and the Cost of Free Speech

By Heidi Harris

Kathy Griffin. What can you say about her that hasn’t already been said? How much more sand can or should we heap on her? After that ridiculous whiny press conference yesterday, I guess a little more is warranted.

Kathy doesn’t seem to realize that free speech can be costly. Sure, you can say almost anything you want to in America, but there may be a price to be paid. Some of our greatest patriots said things that weren’t popular, and sometimes they paid a very high professional or political price.

Bullies are always cowards at heart, and it’s laughable that she now whines about being bullied by the Trumps. Bullied, Kathy, really? Because they tweeted their disgust? Wow, it must have been awful for you. Bullies are babies whether they’re terrorists or terrors on the playground, and whenever they meet resistance they whimper like toddlers, just like Kathy is doing now.

I’d have had more respect for her if she hadn’t apologized. Not because I approve but because that would take more guts than collapsing like a cheap tent. She knew it was going to cause controversy, and had 500 chances to back out. That photo session took at least half a day, as did the creation of the “Trump head”. Everyone involved knew it was bound to ruffle feathers. Yet they proceeded.

The main reason she apologized to begin with was not because she suddenly realized her actions were dispicable, but because there was blowback. If I worried about blowback every time I opened my mouth, I sure as hell couldn’t host a talk show. If you think you’re right you never back down, regardless of who’s pissed off.

She’s also whining about censorship, because CNN fired her. You’re not being censored, you’re being tossed out like the bag of trash you are. You can still tweet all you want to, but you just won’t get paid for it. Stand on a street corner and do your act, honey. Someone will throw a few coins in a bucket.

Kathy even said her mom isn’t speaking to her, but not because of anything she’s done, but because her mom “loves Tucker Carlson”. So it’s Tucker’s fault that your mom is so embarrassed by her daughter’s actions?

And then there’s the Girl Card. Yawn. She blames the Old White Guys in her industry. Here’s some advice from one old white guy, Steve Martin: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Frankly, most of the white male comics seem to run together for me. I couldn’t name five of them. Kathy always stood out because she was a woman and as a result she had opportunities that white male comics could only dream of.

Thousands of comics would have killed for that New Year’s Eve job, and Kathy embarrassed herself and the network year after year, saying disgusting things, yet CNN kept her. And since they’ve fired her, you can bet they won’t hire a white guy to replace her.

I’ve worked in a male dominated industry for nearly 20 years, and I’ve survived. Sure, I’ve had to work harder at times to prove myself, because it’s often automatically assumed a man would do a better job. So what? Marie Curie came up against resistance and low expectations and she survived. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.”

And let’s not forget what she said about Jesus a few ago at an awards show. She castigated other recipients for thanking God and said “Suck It Jesus! This award is my god.” Yes she did, and now she knows how empty it is to depend on public adoration for her self worth.

She can make fun of Christians all she wants to, but Christians are secure in the knowledge that human awards mean nothing in the bigger picture. Take everything from us – jobs, awards, TV shows, bookings, money – and we still have what really matters.

Bottom line, Kathy Griffin is in an opinion business, as am I. If enough people like you, watch you or listen to you, you still have a gig. If not, you do something else.

Whining never gets you anywhere. Nor does blaming everyone but yourself for a disgusting attempt to gain publicity. Remember that it’s not being known that counts, but what you’re know for. Trump didn’t “break” you, nor is he trying to “ruin your life” or career. You did that to yourself, sweetie. You broke it, now OWN it.


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