Please tell me the Secret Service isn’t investigating Kathy Griffin
It was reported this week that the Secret Service questioned comedian Kathy Griffin as part of an investigation into the video and photo of her holding a fake bloodied head of Donald Trump. Are you kidding me? My tax dollars are going into an investigation to determine if a famous comedian is planning on cutting off the head of Donald Trump? Are these agents drinking again?
The Secret Service used to be a well-respected elite organization. Who can forget Dallas, November 22, 1963 when Secret Service Agent Clint Hill, responding to a gunshot, ran and leapt onto the back of John F. Kennedy’s convertible just in time to see Kennedy’s brains blown out from another shot? For decades Hill blamed himself for being too slow and contemplated taking his own life. But his quick action protected the First Lady from harm.
Or what about March 30, 1981 when Secret Service Agent Tim McCarthy threw his body in front of President Ronald Reagan and took a bullet to the abdomen, helping save the president’s life.
But since then we’ve seen less of a reason to applaud.
In November 2009, in a startling and enormous breach of security, the Secret Service let a couple crash a presidential dinner and meet the president and vice-president.
In November 2011, a man outside the White House fired several rounds from a rifle at the residence while Sasha Obama was inside. A Secret Service supervisor thought the gunshots was a car backfiring and told agents to stand down. They didn’t discover it was a shooting for days later when they found the bullet holes and broken glass.
In April 2012 CNN reported on a team of Secret Service agents in Colombia in advance of a trip by President Obama. The agents went out drinking, partying and picking up prostitutes. Nine agents left their jobs or were fired in the aftermath.
In 2014, in an advance trip to Amsterdam for President Obama, three Secret Service agents went out drinking and one was found passed out in the hallway of his hotel.
In 2015 a Secret Service agent was arrested after sending nude pictures of himself to what he thought was a 14 year old girl.
And in April of this year, an off-duty agent was arrested picking up a prostitute in Maryland.
The Kathy Griffin photo was offensive and disturbing. It was in no way funny, and was a comedic misstep. The fake head looked so real that there was no way to derive humor from it. But comedians often work up to the line of good taste and some sprint past it.
But does anyone believe that Kathy Griffin is a physical threat to Donald Trump? This waste of taxpayer money reminds me of the time in July 2008 where, in the course of one week, former Vice President Al Gore was pulled out of line at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia twice and was searched by TSA. Are you kidding me? Think what you want about Gore’s politics, but can anyone seriously say that Al Gore is a potential hijacker?
I’m sure there are probably some people out there who think that every case should be treated equally but that’s mushy-headed thinking. The TSA and Secret Service have finite resources and they should expend those resources following up on the most likely threats. Using the reasonable person standard there is no way someone could seriously believe a famous comedian was planning on decapitating Donald Trump.
Newsflash: a lot of people hate Donald Trump. Since Trump was elected I’ve heard people say, “I hope he dies in office” or “I won’t lose any sleep if he’s assassinated.” It may be ugly talk but in United States v. Bagdasarian, a case decided in 2011 by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the court made it clear that it’s not illegal to wish someone dead. It’s not illegal to use hyperbole and violent imagery to criticize a politician.
Trump himself gave a speech saying if Hillary Clinton won and got to pick judges that there was nothing people could do. Then he added, “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” And has-been rocker Ted Nugent famously said he wanted Obama to suck on his machine gun. They’re offensive statements but would I want Secret Service investigations? No. These are twin idiots trying, in a dark way, to toss red meat to their base. As much as I despise the both of them, no reasonable person could believe they were personal threats.
I hope the reporter who reported on Kathy Griffin’s hour long interview with the Secret Service got the story wrong. I hope it didn’t happen. Shouldn’t the Secret Service focus on genuine threats? Hell, I’d rather they waste my money on hookers than protect us from the wrath of Kathy Griffin.