The first rule of public performance is know your audience. Know what they like, and what they don’t, or risk becoming the latter. Self-professed D-list celebrity Kathy Griffin apparently never learned that lesson.
While hosting a VH1/USO salute to American troops, Griffin saw fit to mock Bristol Palin. Strange as that choice was, stranger still was how she chose to do it.
“She’s the only contestant in the history of the show to actually gain weight,” Griffin said in reference to Bristol’s trip to the finals on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Even after the troops’ loud booing, Griffin continued the attack.
“No, come on, come on. She gained like 30 pounds a week, I swear to God, it was fantastic,” Griffin said. “She’s like the white Precious.”
This is how you maintain D-list status. Parade in front of an audience that values honor, respect, and decency, then take an unwarranted cheap shot at a public figure’s daughter.
I doubt politics had much to do with the troops’ reaction. Irreverent as they might be off-duty, our troops still have taste.
Of course, tasteless jokes can still be funny. But they generally need to reference some kernel of truth. That is where Griffin utterly failed. Palin is not fat.
Combine tasteless with untrue and you have a recipe for comedic malaise. This is one of those moments where you look at a “professional entertainer” and wonder how they manage to keep getting paid. Just look at our troops’ faces.
Not only did they not find Griffin’s attack upon Palin funny, they looked like they’d be happier confined to barracks than forced to endure more.
As she did in response to Keith Olbermann naming her “the worst person in the world” for advocating abstinence, Palin responded to Griffin with an appropriate balance of dignity and indignation.
“The audience’s reaction to this ‘comedian’ spoke volumes, and the decent people I know would probably have booed her, too,” Palin told Pop Tarts in an exclusive statement. “I hope people didn’t have to pay money to hear her negativity and criticisms.”
Aside from loss of valuable time, the troops did not pay. The rest of us may have chipped in though.
For future shows, it shouldn’t be too hard to find better entertainment than Griffin. Perhaps a dog trained to jump through hoops of fire?
Walter Hudson is a political commentator and co-founder of Minnesota’s North Star Tea Party Patriots, a statewide educational organization. He runs a blog entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of Minnesotan conservative commentary. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.