Some call it meltdown, but insiders say comedian Kathy Griffin’s press conference about President Donald Trump’s reaction to photos of her holding his fake severed head was staged to mirror the episode of Seinfeld she was in back in 1996.
In the episode, “The Doll,” Griffin plays a fellow comedian who baits Jerry Seinfeld into reacting to a string of insults, then uses the remarks to roast him in her act. According to a source, Griffin decided to use the sitcom plot as a public stunt when she posed for photos holding the fake bloody head of Donald Trump.
The trap was set. Expecting Trump to respond harshly, Griffin turned the tables at Friday’s rant-filled press conference, during which she accused the Trump family of targeting her and ruining her career.
“He broke me,” she said, holding back tears. “He broke me. He broke me.”
If not for Seinfeld fans who remember the episode as one of the funniest in the show’s run, Griffin would have simply been written off as a liberal with a deep disdain for Republicans and “old white men.”
— Donald D'Haene (@TheDonaldNorth) July 1, 2016
Griffin was flanked by her attorney, Lisa Bloom, who took the microphone in defense of her client after the comic said Trump “messed with the wrong redhead.”
“For the first time in history that we are aware of, the president of the United States and his family are attempting to ruin a comedian,” Bloom said.
Bloom went on to say male celebrities have done much worse, but received little criticism. In particular, Bloom accused Ted Nugent of making death threats against President Barack Obama, but was still invited to the White House.
Nugent denied threatening the president, saying his remarks about Republicans chopping Democrats’ heads off referred to upcoming elections, not actually killing people. The United States Secret Service investigated the remarks and said Nugent was not a threat.
Griffin’s photos alone prompted CNN to fire the 56-year-old from its New Year’s Eve broadcast she has hosted with Anderson Cooper for the past 10 years.
She laid part of the blame on Cooper, calling him the network’s “golden boy” who failed to stand by her.
Even Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) uninvited her from a book-promoting event after hearing that his constituents were offended by the images.
Some also say Friday’s press conference was partially fueled by the backlash Griffin took after she apologized for Tuesday’s bloody pictures. A rash of people responded to the apology, some saying it was anything but genuine.
Rush Limbaugh called Griffin a “tired, worn-out, dumb old woman,” saying she wasn’t sorry because her actions were wrong, but because people took them the wrong way.
“She rolled her eyes when she made that apology,” Limbaugh said. “And she apologized to the usual, ‘If you’re offended, I’m so sorry, I went too far.’ She’s not apologized to Trump or any of that.”
Fellow comedians Jamie Foxx, Jim Carrey, and Seinfeld weighed in to support Griffin, however. Foxx and Carrey told CNN it is the job of comedians to cross the line, expecting to ruffle feathers. Franken told the network he talked to Griffin in length, and that he “believes in forgiveness,” so he forgave her.
Comedy aside, nobody thought the bloody photos were funny. Not even Griffin laughed. Seinfeld declined to talk about it in length.
“It’s stupid. Who cares?” he said.
In what’s now become presidential fashion, Trump turned to Twitter.
“Kathy Griffin should be ashamed of herself,” he tweeted. “My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!'”
Proud to announce that I represent Kathy Griffin. We will be holding a press conference tomorrow morning. Here's the details. pic.twitter.com/1FejPNGzoV
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) June 2, 2017
The first lady was more subtle in her response, leaving out the vitriol Griffin spoke of Friday.
“As a mother, a wife, and a human being, that photo is very disturbing,” Melania Trump tweeted Wednesday. “When you consider some of the atrocities happening in the world today, a photo opportunity like this is simply wrong and makes you wonder about the mental health of the person who did it.”
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]