Kathy Griffin on 'Glee' Mocks Palin and O'Donnell, Depicts Tea Party as Homophobic Birthers
As NewsBusters reported in February, vulgarian comedienne Kathy Griffin was cast to do a guest stint on the hit series "Glee" portraying a Palinesque Tea Partier.
The advanced billing turned out better than the reality, for on Tuesday's show, Griffin mocked Palin and Christine O'Donnell while depicting Tea Party members as homophobic birthers (video follows with transcript and commentary):
KATHY GRIFFIN AS TAMMY JEAN ALBERTSON, TWITTERER AND FORMER TEA PARTY CANDIDATE: Before we start, I would like to say I am not a witch. But, um, I think it's fair to ask: Do we have written proof that these kids were born in the United States of America?
LORETTA DEVINE AS SISTER MARY CONSTANCE, NUN AND FORMER EXOTIC DANCER: For a nun, I'm pretty liberal. But I'm barely a nun. In fact, I just joined because I needed a place to live.
GRIFFIN: Bless you!
DEVINE: The convent is the one place I knew I could stay off the pole. But my question is this: That Dalton Academy, is it a gay school, or is it just a school that appears gay?
BILL A. JONES AS ROD REMINGTON, GADABOUT: Could I add a dash of Rod to this lady soup? My hairdresser is a gay, and for fifteen years, he's been with his partner, also a hairdresser. I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to marry and raise a family of beautiful wigs.
DEVINE: I liked the duet the two boys from Dalton sang.
GRIFFIN: Oh, boys shouldn't do a duet. The last thing we need to do is send a message to children that "Gay is okay." It is not a legitimate lifestyle, and last time I checked, it's not in the Constitution.
JONES: What about that song about Jesus?
GRIFFIN: Well, that should win.
DEVINE: Uh, uh, uh. No, no, no, no. Now, that is just cheap pandering. I didn't even like to be pandered to when I was a stripper!
JONES: Those New Directions had it going on. Those songs were fresh.
GRIFFIN: Those songs were terrible. I am sorry, but I'm a politician, and when I lost my last election -- and there will be a recount -- I didn't go around singing about being a loser. I twittered that Obama is a terrorist.
DEVINE: Oh, no, you didn't!
GRIFFIN: I had to. It's a fact.
DEVINE: Oh, oh, gee.
JONES: Okay, ladies, I've heard enough. Let's vote.
Once again as full disclosure, I'm a big fan of this show. However, the writers and producers took a lot of shots at conservatives and religion in this episode that are likely to further alienate right-leaning viewers.
In just this one and a half minute segment alone, numerous disgraceful stereotypes of the Tea Party were shamefully displayed for millions of folks tuning in for some light-hearted entertainment with hopefully some redeeming social commentary.
The producers even went out of their way to make sure that everyone knew Griffin's character was a Tea Partier by doing a still-frame shot announcing as much:
Was that necessary?
Next came the Catholic bashing by introducing a nun that was a former exotic dancer:
Was making a mockery of nuns specifically designed to further alienate religious conservatives?
And how about the entire homophobic discussion between these three judges? Certainly, it was no coincidence that a Tea Partier and a nun exhibiting such fears took place in the same show that gay characters Kurt and Blaine (Chris Colfer and Darren Criss) had their first kiss.
Less obvious might have been more subtle jabs at prominent conservatives. Griffin's "Obama is a terrorist" comment might have been a swipe at Ann Coulter who in June 2007 was accused by numerous left-wing websites of saying this during an interview with Fox News's Sean Hannity.
The homosexuality is "not in the Constitution" remark might have been aimed at Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for his September 2010 comments about the 14th amendment not protecting women and gays from discrimination.
Add it all up, and the folks involved in this episode seemed to be going out of their way to offend the Right Tuesday evening.
As a fan of this program since the pilot was first aired almost two years ago, I am very disappointed.
This show has been groundbreaking in a lot of ways, and indeed has offered some social commentary that's stretched the boundaries of decency and good-taste at times, but also does what I think is an admirable job of portraying some of the realities facing American teenagers in the year 2011.
Without question, it is at times done with an in your face style that as NewsBusters has reported is often way too overtly sexual for a show about high school students airing at 8 PM on a broadcast network.
But this was the first episode where I felt the folks involved were going all out to ridicule a good percentage of America - including me.
Even sadder, this segment happened moments after the female lead sang a heartfelt song about her feelings for the male lead, which was followed by her fellow singers performing a marvelous number about the villain in the show.
In the end, the glee club protagonists may have come in first in the fictitious competition they performed at Tuesday evening, but this episode - which at times seemed a cross between MSNBC and NPR - is sure to be considered a loser by right-thinking people across the fruited plain.