We all know it to be true: Actions speak louder than words. And Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s decision to stand by Kathy Griffin amid uproar over her controversial actions speaks volumes.
Comedian Kathy Griffin posted an image of herself holding a bloody and decapitated replica of President Trump’s head, prompting condemnation from both the left and the right. Which prompted Griffin to release an apology video stating her crassness “went too far” and “wasn’t funny.”
Franken denounced Griffin’s acts — calling the image “inappropriate”— but recently told CNN he will still appear with Griffin in July to promote his new book, Al Franken: Giant of the Senate because she apologized and “begged for forgiveness.”
Here is the transcript from Wednesday’s edition of CNN’s New Day.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN: I want to ask you about Kathy Griffin. She found the third rail of comedy or at least a political stunt I guess as it wasn’t funny. And she was roundly denounced for doing that.
SEN. AL FRANKEN: And properly so.
CAMEROTA: Yes, properly so. So, everybody thinks that she went too far.
FRANKEN: I did, too. I really think saying — you know, I — Kathy is a friend and she’s a terrific comedian, but this had no business being in our public discourse.
And I talked to her. She had apologized, a real fulsome apology. She’s actually begged for forgiveness and I believe in forgiveness.
(But begging for forgiveness didn’t win everyone over — CNN just fired Griffin from co-hosting its annual New Year’s Eve program with Anderson Cooper.)
CAMEROTA: You are supposed to be appearing with her in July. Can she recover from this?
FRANKEN: Well, I think she did the right thing. I think asking for forgiveness and acknowledging that this was – this was a horrible mistake. And, so, I think she can.
CAMEROTA: And you’re still going to appear with her?
There’s no risk involved for the senator to agree that Griffin went too far and made a “horrible mistake.” Acting beyond that, however, could get risky. Griffin has contributed thousands of dollars to Franken and other liberals’ political campaigns.
But maybe it’s not about money or political ties. Maybe the former comedian doesn’t feel the need to distance himself from those who promote violent jokes because he, too, has “joked” about violent actions against other presidents — calling it just a “funny, stupid thing.”
Be careful, Senator Franken. The audience isn’t laughing.