During James Comey’s recent televised testimony, Senator John McCain asked about a double standard regarding the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email and the Russia election tampering. Apparently, McCain felt that Clinton was let off easily while Trump is now being targeted.
Regardless of the fact that the two investigations were completely separate, his question had me thinking. Double standards are principles that are applied differently to various groups or situations. Most would agree; they’re used to justify what is basically unjustifiable – be it words or actions. But it doesn’t mean we don’t all have them.
During his campaign, Donald Trump often used “unnamed sources” for his information and slanderous statements about his opponents. Now as president, he condemns journalists who site them in their damning reports about the White House.
So who has the double standard? The reporters who questioned the sources of his so-called facts last fall? Or Trump for claiming that those sources have made him the victim of “fake news”?
Ivanka Trump recently appeared on Fox & Friends to decry the shocking viciousness of politics and the media. Yet, she was at her father’s side on the campaign trail when he threatened to put his opponent in prison, suggested that Russia should hack her server, and coined the term “Crooked Hillary.”
And she thinks Washington is vicious?
Comedians love having Trump surgically attached to his Twitter account because his continuous faux-pas give them so much material. Stephen Colbert’s ratings have steadily climbed because of his nightly assessment of Trump’s missteps while Seth Meyers’ segment, “A Closer Look,” has focused on Trump over any other topic. They’ve targeted Trump’s children; from their appearance to their intelligence to their lack of a relationship with their father.
Then comedian Kathy Griffin published a photo of her holding a decapitated and bloodied Trump head as a political joke. It was reminiscent of the horror and violence associated with ISIS who had videotaped several decapitations of kidnapped journalists and private citizens. She said everyone would talk about it. Everyone did. Nobody laughed.
And there was the public’s double standard. Sexual innuendos, suggested violence, and nightly beratings is fine. A bloody photo is not.
Consequently, Griffin gave an immediate heartfelt apology. That is, after both sides of the political aisle cried foul. But once she lost media contracts with CNN and retail companies over the image, she claimed that she, herself, was the real victim. Trump was now ruining her career.
So Trump taking responsibility for his actions should involve punishment. Yet, for Griffin, it should just involve lip service.
Apparently, she’s learning from the big guy. Once more, and she’ll be totally indoctrinated.
However, Griffin’s particular double standard is hardly unique among comedians. Jerry Seinfeld came to her defense, trying to downplay it as simply one joke that failed. Meanwhile, Jim Carrey said it’s a comedian’s job to “cross the line.” And most do.
It seems we all have a double standard or two. But does that make us like Trump? Or Comey?