The recent Kathy Griffin debacle – surrounding the backlash from the posted picture of herself holding up the (pretend) severed head of President Trump covered in blood – is the perfect example of how your parents (including myself) have allowed themselves to be duped by politicians, the media, big business, university professors, TV commercials, and used car salesmen for decades. Because it’s all about the MARKETING.
No one forced this comedienne to post that picture of herself. In fact, she has stated numerous times since he was elected, that she would go after Trump and his family (including 11-year-old Barron) at every opportunity. Perhaps the constant gnashing of teeth from Trump haters gave her the impression that holding a severed Trump head (Al Khadi style) would be greeted with cheers and applause. But she was wrong . . . very wrong. Politicians, media members, entertainment colleagues, and many in the general public (both liberal and conservative) have all chimed in to express how vulgar, despicable, and wrong that image is. And so she apologized . . . sort of.
Take note, because this is where the “marketing” begins. Ms. Griffin and her lawyer held a press conference in which she again apologized for the disgusting photo stunt. But then it changed. Drastically. She and her lawyer immediately began a rant about how she is now the victim of bullying from President Trump . . . and, in fact, from “old white guys” her entire life! Mind you, all Trump tweeted was that she should “be ashamed of herself” – no different from most of the tweets from other politicians, media, and entertainment folk. And let us not forget that this victim of lifelong bullying has amassed a net worth of over $20 million – so any bullying she encountered has obviously not been enough to derail her career. But she can’t simply leave it at that. She and her lawyer also assert that President Trump and his family are now “trying to ruin her life forever.”
Her lawyer correctly points out that her client has a "first amendment right to publicly parody the president," the problem for Griffin however, is the fine print: the first amendment does not indemnify the speaker from the commercial or legal fallout of their remarks, such as getting fired or sued in civil court. And despite all her finger-pointing and misdirection tactics even Eric Schiffer, CEO of Reputation Management Consultants in Los Angeles, issued a verdict that was largely in line with the general sentiment on Twitter: "Griffin damaged her credibility even more with her rambling, defocused blaming of Trump when it was Griffin who 'victimized' herself." Also, telling USA TODAY that "the comedian's choice to fire off an urgent flare to Democrats and the 'resistance' with a call to arms is a 'Hail Mary' hope to trigger partisan outrage when most Democrats view her act as disgusting and boneheaded — even when many have dark hatred in their hearts for Trump. It will probably be viewed as a botched move by Griffin and raise eyebrows from Democrats and resistance diehards, not their pitchforks."
So, what is it I hope you understand from Ms. Griffin’s debacle? That when you’re listening to politicians, lawyers, media members, entertainment personalities, TV commercials, university professors, and used car salesmen, you must learn to be cynical. Do NOT automatically accept that you are being told the entire truth about any situation or person. Just because your parents have accepted this strategy of blaming others for the boneheaded decisions we make, and thereby pronouncing our own victim-hood, does not mean you have to accept this same ridiculousness. When a politician tells you they’re going to “change the status quo,” don’t buy it, because they can’t! When a politician tells you they lost an election because of some outside influence, don’t believe it, because it’s more likely that they simply screwed up their own campaign by not connecting with enough voters. When you’re inclined to vote for someone simply because they’re eloquent, ask yourself more questions about their policies and voting history – the best predictor of a person’s future behavior is their past behavior. When an entertainment personality tells you the world as we know it will end if you don’t spend (or give) money, don’t buy the marketing – investigate! Be willing to hear views and information that oppose your own, rather than accepting the mantra that those who disagree with you are simply wrong and don’t merit your attention.
Be a CYNIC! Don’t be intellectually lazy by accepting the 30-second sound bites on the evening news, Facebook, or Twitter as the entire story. Don’t accept someone else’s version of a story or event. When someone tells you the sky is falling, ask them how they know. And if they tell you it’s because someone else told them, ask them how that person knows! Information IS power. But if you blindly accept someone else’s interpretation of the information, then you’re giving them the power. Do you think the media never lies? Or that they tell the WHOLE story? Read “Until Proven Innocent” about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse rape case to understand that the media, social leaders, university professors, and political leaders can be sucked into falsehoods as easily as anyone else.
Learn to listen for the purpose of understanding, not just to formulate an argument!
Don’t fight simply to defend a “position” . . . fight for the TRUTH!
Demand the facts in place of the rhetoric!
Demand transparency instead of perception!
Break through the marketing strategies of politicians, lawyers and self-interest groups, and make your leaders accountable to the people that pay their salaries – the taxpayers!
We didn’t . . . and look what we have to show for it.