A PSY­CHOL­O­GIST’S TAKE ON KATHY GRIF­FIN

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS -

Fall­out from Kathy Grif­fin’s use of a grisly im­age of Pres­i­dent Trump to stage a mock be­head­ing con­tin­ues. Now a psy­chol­o­gist ex­plains her pos­si­ble mo­ti­va­tion.

“Kathy Grif­fin has a his­tory of be­ing an edgy co­me­dian,” says Frieda Birn­baum, a New York-based psy­chol­o­gist who has ad­dressed is­sues such as elec­tion-re­lated stress. “The photo shoot she did with a sev­ered head of the pres­i­dent is gen­er­at­ing a lot of neg­a­tive at­ten­tion be­cause it is an im­pli­ca­tion of mur­der, and threats against elected of­fi­cials are taken very se­ri­ously.

“One rea­son why celebri­ties may be ver­bally at­tack­ing Pres­i­dent Trump is be­cause they think it’s good for their ego and rep­u­ta­tion,” Ms. Birn­baum says. “Meryl Streep got a stand­ing ova­tion at the 2017 Os­cars for at­tack­ing Trump at the Golden Globes in a speech. Celebri­ties who see their fel­low peers get­ting praise for this ac­tiv­ity are prob­a­bly more in­clined to do it them­selves.

“Many celebri­ties thrive on pub­lic at­ten­tion, even if it’s neg­a­tive,” she says. “At­ten­tion can equal rel­e­vancy, and one of the fastest ways of get­ting at­ten­tion is to say some­thing out­ra­geous about the pres­i­dent. Some celebri­ties sim­ply can­not help them­selves here.”

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