- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fallout from Kathy Griffin’s use of a disturbing image of President Trump to stage a mock beheading continues. Mr. Trump has condemned it, along with first lady Melania Trump, Chelsea Clinton and other public figures. Now a psychologist explains the possible motivation.

“Kathy Griffin has a history of being an edgy comedian,” said Frieda Birnbaum, a New York-based psychologist and author who has also covered such unusual issues 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 continued. “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 said. “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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