Comedian Kathy Griffin criticized what she views as Republican hypocrisy after Arizona Republican Representative Paul Gosar, shared an altered, animated video that depicts him killing New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and threatening President Joe Biden.
Writing on Twitter, Griffin noted that she was once nearly charged with "conspiracy to assassinate the president of the United States" after tweeting an image of herself holding a likeness of the severed head of former President Donald Trump.
Griffin has reason to be furious.
In May 2017, Griffin posted a video of herself holding a prop meant to resemble former President Trump's severed head. She wrote at the time, referencing a past comment Trump made about former Fox News anchorwoman Megyn Kelly:
"I caption this 'there was blood coming out of his eyes, blood coming out of his...wherever."
Griffin was savaged for the image, and several members of the Trump family criticized her. Soon afterward, she removed the photo from her social media accounts and asked for forgiveness.
The backlash cost Griffin marketing deals and her spot on CNN's New Year's Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Secret Service investigated her to determine if she was, in fact, a threat to the President.
In the fall of 2017, Griffin retracted her apology. She would later tellThe Hollywood Reporter:
"I didn't commit a crime. I didn't rape anybody. I didn't assault anybody. I didn't get a DUI. I mean, my God, there are celebrities that f**king kill people."
The incident made the often-controversial Griffin the poster child for "Trump derangement syndrome," angering many on the political right amid a national conversation on the limits of First Amendment rights.
However, none of this same outrage has been directed at Gosar, and it is unclear if the FBI or Capitol Police are investigating him.
Gosar's digital director Jessica Lycos has dismissed the controversy as little more than hand-wringing from left-wing critics:
"We made an anime video. Everyone needs to relax. The left doesn't get meme culture."
"They have no joy. They are not the future. It's a cartoon."
"Gosar can't fly and he does not own any light sabers. Nor was violence glorified. This is about fighting for truth."
Others concurred with Griffin's assessment and have come to her defense.
Gosar has attracted significant media attention for being one of the most hardline right-wingers in Congress, particularly in regard to the January 6 insurrection.
The extent of Gosar's alleged involvement in the insurrection, which took place when a mob of former President Trump's supporters stormed the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 election had been stolen, appeared to become clearer following a bombshell report from Rolling Stone.
On Sunday, October 24, Rolling Stone published an article stating several supporters of former President Trump who helped plan the insurrection had multiple planning sessions with senior White House staffers and Republican members of Congress.
Sources who spoke to the magazine said they met with several high-profile Trump acolytes, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia), Lauren Boebert (Colorado), Madison Cawthorn (North Carolina), and Gosar himself.
Organizers claim Gosar promised "blanket pardons" to anyone who participated in the attack, adding they "would talk to Boebert's team, Cawthorn's team, Gosar's team like back to back to back to back."