Kathy Griffin's Photo Stunt Gets Her on the Radar of the Secret Service

She had to know this was coming.

Kathy Griffin’s desperation to generate controversy went over a well-defined line of decency, no doubt.

I have an immense, and well-documented distaste for our current president, but I would never wish him harm, even in jest.


When Kathy Griffin and photographer Tyler Shields posted what they hoped would be an edgy, darkly comedic shot of Griffin holding what appeared to be a bloody, severed Donald Trump head, you have to wonder what sort of meeting of the minds went on, where neither of them put the other in check and had that moment of pause where they said, “Hey, wait… This might not be a good idea.”

The backlash was immediate and bipartisan.

The reaction from both the left and the right was a splash of cold water in Griffin’s face. She took down the offensive pic, asked Shields to follow suit, and issued a strong public apology, as highlighted last night by Amelia Hamilton.


For me, the apology was fine. She did something dumb, saw the reaction, acknowledged it, and took steps to correct her mistake.

Of course, I’m not a member of the Secret Service, either.

ABC News is reporting today that Griffin and Shields should probably be preparing what statements they intend to give when those knocks come at their doors.

But the image caught the attention of the U.S. Secret Service. Initially, the federal law enforcement agency did not directly cite the image in any of its tweets, but in response to Twitter users tweeting the image at its account, the Secret Service tweeted Tuesday afternoon, “On it! @SecretService has a robust protective intelligence division that monitors open source reporting & social media to evaluate threats.”

And an hour later, the agency tweeted, “Threats made against @SecretService protectees receive the highest priority of all of our investigations. #ProtectionNeverRests.”

But later in the evening, the Secret Service issued a statement — which did not cite the controversy, but was issued in response to it — which read, “The U.S. Secret Service has a critical mission. It is always unfortunate when people make statements that could be perceived as threats. We don’t have the luxury of knowing a person’s intent. Each alleged or perceived threat has to be investigated thoroughly which taxes Secret Service manpower and resources that could be utilized elsewhere.”


Do I think Griffin’s intent was to harm President Trump?

No. Her intent was clearly to harness the animosity of the left into a gimmicky boost for her career. It didn’t work.

She obviously didn’t think this thing through, and there’s a price to pay when you use your platform as a celebrity – even a D-list celebrity, at best – to highlight really bad choices.

Let’s hope Griffin has learned a lesson. Things are going to be uncomfortable for her for quite a while.



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