While a guest on the Tuesday edition of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live program, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper responded to questions about Kathy Griffin by stating he is still friends with the far-left comedienne.
Host Andy Cohen asked the main anchor for AC360° about his feelings for Griffin because of her involvement in an incident on Tuesday, May 30, when she posted a video of herself holding "a mask styled to look like the severed, bloody head" of President Donald Trump on her Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Cohen brought up the subject after stating he had received “a bunch of questions” from the audience “wanting to know: Are you two still friends?”
“Yeah, we’re still friends,” Cooper stated, "and … I didn’t think what she [did] was appropriate, but I wish her the best, and I hope she bounces back.”
“She’s going to be touring in about a minute, don’t you think?” Cohen then asked.
“She’s incredibly funny, and a lot of people love her, and she’ll bounce back from this,” he responded.
As NewsBusters previously reported, Griffin posted the gruesome picture with the following text: “I caption this ‘there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his … wherever,’" referring to a comment Trump had made that “there was blood coming out of the eyes” of journalist Megyn Kelly while she hosted one of the 2016 GOP presidential debates.
For much of that day, the country joined in rare collective outrage at the viral image. Politicians from the left and right side of the spectrum shared a sense of disgust over the image that some equated to promoting violence.
Almost immediately, Cooper responded to the situation by tweeting: “For the record, I am appalled by the photo shoot Kathy Griffin took part in. It is clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
Expressions of outrage quickly came from 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Fox News Channel host Eric Bolling and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former Democratic President Bill Clinton.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the TMZ website reported that Trump’s 11-year-old son, Barron, thought the photo was real and that his father had indeed been beheaded.
Even President Trump’s wife, Melania, released a statement on the matter:
As a mother, a wife and a human being, that photo is very disturbing.
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.
It also wasn’t long before Griffin stated she was sorry for the stunt:
I sincerely apologize. I’m just now seeing the reaction of these images. I’m a comic. I crossed the line. I move the line and then I cross it. I went way too far.
The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny, I get it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my career. I will continue.
That response wasn’t enough to prevent CNN from terminating the cable channel’s agreement “with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year's Eve program.”
However, Griffin did receive support from a few liberals, including actor and Match Game host Alec Baldwin, who tweeted: "Kathy .... baby ... I've been there” before referring to his own political drama in 1998, when he joked about then-Representative Henry Hyde on [NBC's] Late Night With Conan O'Brien.
“No one walked out of the studio and said, 'No, we're serious!' No one,” he stated. “But all your gutless, weasels in the GOP insisted I actually threatened Hyde. They played the victim beautifully."
"Kathy … f**k them. F**k them all. No 1 believes u meant 2 threaten Trump. Trump is such a senile idiot, all he has is Twitter fights," Baldwin continued. "Ignore him. Like all the leaders of the other countries in the world. Ignore him."
On Friday, June 2, Griffin’s attorney, Lisa Bloom stated:
Like many edgy works of artistic expression, the photo could be interpreted different ways. But Griffin never imagined that it could be misinterpreted as a threat of violence against Trump.
She has never threatened or committed an act of violence against anyone.
But just to show she hadn’t learned anything from the incident, Griffin later said that the Trump family was "trying to ruin my life forever."
No, they’re not. You took care of that all on your own, Kathy.