Host Malfunction: Kathy Griffin Shocks National Audience By Simulating Oral Sex On Anderson Cooper

kcNew Year’s Eve I wrote about my shock in watching the crude and often unhinged conduct of Kathy Griffin on CNN with Anderson Cooper. We switched over to the networks due to her bizarre behavior, but it appears it got worse as the night went on. Griffin followed her juvenile antics with a simulation of giving Anderson Cooper oral sex on national television. CNN’s response to this controversy is rather muted. While a “wardrobe malfunction” in the Superbowl merited weeks of discussion, simulated oral sex on a host appears to merit a return for Griffin to CNN the next day to joke around with Cooper about their wild time in Time Square.

Griffin has had a long and checkered history on New Year’s (though like many I was not familiar with her reputation or juvenile antics until two days ago). In 2008, Griffin repeatedly dropped the F bomb. Then she screamed that an onlooker should “knock the dicks out of your mouth” on national television. Then there is her taking her clothes off last year on television. Yet, CNN has repeatedly showed that it is only interested in ratings and invites her back despite the fact that New Year’s Eve is the only late night with a large number of children watching these programs, including my own. Networks (and advertisers) expect the highest number of children to watch on New Year’s Eve — recognizing that this is a common right of passage for kids to make it to midnight and watch the ball drop. Even my seven year old daughter made it to midnight and, before we cut her off, was exposed to Griffin.

We cut off the show after watching Griffin try to throw money into the crowd and actually wrestle with Cooper who went to a commercial. As Cooper clearly understood, such a moronic act would have likely triggered a stampede below and legitimate lawsuits against CNN. What is astonishing is that it is not (like much of her work) funny in the slightest. It came off as a rich entertainer throwing baubles to the masses. As she struggled with Cooper, she added the appearance of an unstable rich entertainer. She proceeded to substitute outrageous comments for humor such as insisting that the “fiscal cliff” should be called the “fisting cliff” as if that is remarkably clever. I find it astonishing that CNN would want to put one of its key anchors in this type of juvenile display.

By the time Griffin turned to the burlesque, we were gone. However, she told Anderson Cooper “I’m going to tickle your sack” and actually kissed his crotch. Cooper joked on twitter that people were playing a drinking game whenever he giggles nervously. I respect Cooper greatly but nervous giggles did not suffice in response to this performance. I fail to understand why producers or Cooper would subject people to this entertainer who appears a female version of Andrew Dice Clay. Even when Leslie and I saw the clip of faux oral sex, we found it unfunny and the type of thing high school kids do at parties. I realize that our entertainment is getting increasing raunchy and that this type of low-grade humor appeals to some. I just do not know why CNN wants to move so aggressively to that lowest common denominator.

When Janet Jackson had a “wardrobe malfunction” in the Superbowl, there was considerable debate over whether it was intentional and sanctionable. Griffin has repeatedly shocked the national audience to profanity and other crude antics, but CNN continues to invite her back. After the latest controversy, she reappeared with Cooper. She made rather stale jokes about the fiscal cliff and then said her mother gave her a thumbs down for her performance before saying that Suzanne Somers told her to be more crude (and that she would follow her advice). CNN then ran a series of images designed to show how funny they were together even though even the edited clip was notably not funny. Indeed, I am not very familiar with Griffin but she seems remarkably unfunny, even humor impaired. Like Clay, she appears to substitute outrageous acts or statements for actual humor.

My main interest however is how CNN had allowed this person to appear again on New Year’s Eve in a blind pursuit for ratings. Yet the only thing keeping viewers watching was the sense of a recurring car crash. The difference with Jackson is that the networks did not keep inviting Jackson to have repeat wardrobe malfunctions. This is a host malfunction and it appears a malfunction by design.

50 thoughts on “Host Malfunction: Kathy Griffin Shocks National Audience By Simulating Oral Sex On Anderson Cooper”

  1. BTW, what’s wrong with blow by blow coverage on New Years? She can just spread her coverage better than most.

  2. Just like a woman to try and change a known gay man. I figure she’s a cow lick anywHO!

  3. Oh Jonathan! Are you SHY? You’ve long been my “go to” guy in things Constitutional. Don’t fold on me NOW, there’s a POLICE STATE waiting in the wings!

  4. Such is the disconnect in this country where sex is used to sell, at the same time we have a mass movement to condemn it and most in that movement support the people who are selling sex. And so it goes. JT, as a father fully understands that staying up for the ball to drop is a childhood rite of passage. It was in my house for my girls. However, the problem that JT faces it that we can’t avoid sex on TV these days and the only way to protect our children from it is to limit their viewing. The alternative is back to the 50’s where Luci and Desi had to sleep in separated beds and you couldn’t say the word pregnant on TV. Parenthood is a minefield these days, but having grown up in that earlier, hypocritically more puritanical era, I prefer today. It all comes down to giving it your best shot and doing what you think is right for your kids.

    As for Kathy Griffin, Anderson Cooper and CNN, I never turn that channel on any more than I would turn on FOX. I turn on the ABC Dick Clark show at 11:45, if I have to. I’ve lived lived through far too many New Years to find the ball dropping interesting. As for Kathy Griffin, she is a Chelsea Handler wannabee and lack Chelsea’s talent. Both of them though, are but pale shades of the comic intelligence and raunchy wit of Sarah Silverman.

  5. Darren
    Lovely. Do you hunt the grayhaíred or the four-legged variety?

    This brings up the question put forward before by others here:

    How can networks have the same headline news, using the same photos, and practically the same text. Is it a conspiracy? Collusion? Big Brother control? It can’t be happenstance.

    And why is it entertaining to see women act like nymphos.?

    Are we jealous of their coming out of their cloisters and down from the pedestal (except as demanded at their husbands’ demands).

    Is it possibly a gay slam, a church-inspired one, or just old-fashioned backlash from paternallism’s quarters in each man’s heart?

    Thanks for the loan of your pulpit. Mine is in for repair.

  6. It was not only CNN where one of the hosts was acting like a skank. I watched the ABC version (which was a nice tribute to Dick Clark). I didn’t get her name but one of the women hosts starting acting bizarre as well.

    At one point she had a life sized cardboard backed likeness of Justin Bieber that she found attractive, kissing him at first and ending up with a shot of her laying on the street next to the picture of Bieber. She then made comments as to how much she was in love with him and that their age difference was not an issue. She then rolled over onto the picture and began feeling it up and kissing it.

    Well, I at least know the next time I go cougar hunting, I just take along a likeness of Justin Bieber and the cougars will be a coming.

  7. Damn Malisha, said as a joke.

    If I knew she would be opening and I would follow her act, I would have broken the gig. Talk about position, position!

    Must talk with my agent.

    Are we kidding mormon sex habits or us stupids? Question to Malisha.

  8. Solution!!!!

    Have Anderson come in drag next year. Then there really will be a buzz. And Kathy can do the bulldyke thing and show a strap.on. A nation for all its peoples. And then the priestly pedophiles will want air time, etc etc etc.

    Soon your terrible brother-in-law will be there for his one second bit. Or maybe only crowd scenes with naked people dancing and ……censored.. All that is needed is fantasy and a little energy. Done?

    A trivia question for all: What’s the difference between network TV, channel TV, cable TV?
    I think it is mostly cable here but they show networks for free,
    Only bears and hermits have antennas on their abodes nowadays.

  9. OK, story. Circa 1990, I went to a MacDonalds with a friend of mine (Mormon mom) and her 6 kids and my 1 kid and we were in line waiting to order. MacD was giving away small stuffed muppet things then. Somebody had placed the “display Miss Piggy” into position with the “Display Kermit” as Griffin to Cooper, on the cash register. My friend absentmindedly picked up the Miss Piggy and commented that the little stuffed animals were actually cute, and then carefully placed her back in position. I said, “Don’t you want to put Miss Piggy face forward?” and she answered, “Oh they had it like that so I don’t want to change it; they’re not mine.” I didn’t laugh.

  10. nick spinelli 1, January 2, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    … Dredd, she knew Cooper was gay before any of us!
    So how many of us are gay now, having morphed since Cooper?

    Just sayin’ …

  11. This is not for network tv just for the reaon Mr. Turley stated vis a vis kids watching. Comedians have different tastes. Some are like chocolate, almost everyone likes them, Seinfeld and Cosby come to mind. Others are more specific, anywhere from coffee to marinated jellyfish[on the menu @ the Evergreen in Chicago Chinatown]. I really like Griffin’s standup routine. I can do w/o this schtick. But understand..Griffin’s biggest audience is “the gays” and that’s what this is all about. Dredd, she knew Cooper was gay before any of us!

  12. My wife and I have liked Griffin — with all her raunch (“Who farted? Kuwait farted!”) for years, which fact in itself should dispel any notion that we’re prudes.

    But her juvenile obsession with Cooper’s crotch on New Years eve was so unfunny and so unimaginative (in the same way that most obsessive jokes, whether about crotches or farting, are unimaginative) and so tiresome that we changed the channel in disgust (we’re retired, so there are no longer children in our house).

    I kept hoping Cooper — or some network exec — would fire her on the spot.

    She was unfunny in the way that most drunks with one joke and only one joke are unfunny.

  13. Don’t care much for Griffin. Care even less about new year’s eve celebrations, don’t like watching drunks make fools of themselves.. Haven’t had tv for years and haven’t missed much.

    Griffin probably got CNN the buzz they were looking for. Did any other network have a New Year’s eve party going on?

  14. I started reading the headline and got excited. I thought it was going to say “Host Malfunction: Kathy Griffin Shocks National Audience By Simulating Being Funny With Anderson Cooper”.

  15. My vote goes to justagurl, garyT, and elle.

    Inappropriate? How appropriate is what is said at the dinner table, the quarreling parents that never resolve the problem, the bias drippings daily.
    Show a sexual act… shocking.

    We knew at 3 years that our sex organs were for fun, and gladly showed them, girls included. One of my first memories. Guess our elder’s words had not smitten us yet.
    If a child is interested, it will discover more. If not, it will live in the same straw hut with nightly sex going on, especially if it feels secure and is sleepy.

    Civilization, greatly over-rated.

  16. the real problem is watching CNN in the first place and expecting anything other than general stupidity. The good professor probably should be seeking exposure elsewhere.

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