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Parents Television Council complains about Kathy Griffin’s shenanigans on CNN

Kathy Griffin and Andersoon Cooper goofed around again on New Year's Eve on CNN. CREDIT: CNN

Kathy Griffin and Andersoon Cooper goofed around again on New Year's Eve on CNN. CREDIT: CNN

Parents Television Council, which monitors rudeness and  lewdness on the TV and radio airwaves, complained about comic Kathy Griffin’s “obscene and unhinged” behavior on CNN’s New Year’s Eve special Monday night.

Griffin, who has co-hosted the New Year’s special with Anderson Cooper on CNN the past few years, has cursed and stripped down in the past in a blatant attempt to rouse anger and gain publicity. On Monday night, she did it again when she simulated a sexual act on Cooper that is generally not acceptable on broadcast TV.

It’s true that the Federal Communications Commission has no oversight over basic cable networks, the PTC felt many children were watching the show at that time and it was unbecoming of the CNN brand, as one TV critic in Baltimore felt.

I requested a comment from CNN but did not get one. Griffin wasn’t backing down.

“If you think this is the part where I’m going to apologize for trying to go down on Anderson Cooper, you are sorely mistaken,” Griffin said last night on David Letterman’s talk show.

“I tried, ladies and gays, I tried for you,” she added, turning to the studio crowd.

Here’s PTC’s press release:

Today, the Parents Television Council denounced Kathy Griffin’s obscene behavior while cohosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast with Anderson Cooper.

“For the past few years, CNN has placed its New Year’s Eve broadcast in the hands of a narcissistic Kathy Griffin, who has shown increasing contempt for the audience through her obscene and unhinged behavior.  The onus is now on CNN.  Either the network has a policy that allows its on-air talent to fondle a co-anchor’s genitals, or it has a policy that forbids such conduct. We ask CNN’s new CEO Jeff Zucker which one it is,” said PTC president Tim Winter.

The networks’ feeble ‘kids should be in bed’ argument doesn’t apply here because there are millions of families who let their kids stay up late on New Year’s Eve.  In fact, networks are more likely to be broadcasting to audiences of families who stayed home to celebrate together than to singletons in their 20s and 30s who are more likely to be out at a bar, club or party.

In a free marketplace, angry cable consumers would be able to pick up their phones today and cancel CNN from their monthly subscriptions.  But because the cable industry operates like a cartel, consumers cannot do so.  Hopefully Griffin’s behavior will help Cable Choice become a reality,” concluded Winter.

69 comments Add your comment

Mark Willix

January 3rd, 2013
6:58 pm

If you don’t like Kathy Griffin, why are you watching her?


January 3rd, 2013
7:39 pm

Sure Mark – Why isn’t porn allowed on broadcast channels – If you don’t like it – change the channel


January 3rd, 2013
8:10 pm

I agree with David, porn should be allowed on broadcast TV. Good thing Kathy was not only on cable, but also I a station nobody watches.

Wayne stuck in AL

January 3rd, 2013
8:33 pm

The PTC is so full of bah-bull thumping prudes that act as if they laughed just once, they’d offend the baby Jeebus.

Mercedes S.

January 3rd, 2013
8:38 pm

Gosh, and all that hoopla for poor Adam Lambert kissing a boy on (non-cabel?) TV

Rodney's Ho

January 3rd, 2013
10:25 pm

Do people really take the PTC seriously?


January 3rd, 2013
10:43 pm

I watched the entire show. Something was expected from Kathy since Anderson officially came out this year. If any parent is letting Little Johnny watch Kathy Griffin, then they deserve what they get. At some point the parent has to take some responsibility. Also, the small kids would be bored with Kathy and Anderson because they would not get the humor. I am surprise they did not mention the drag queen Sushi being dropped in a size 88E shoe at midnight in Key West. CNN has been covering that for years. Change the channel. Ryan Seacrest was on ABC and had a family friendly broadcast. You do not even have to get off of your couch because your cable company supplies a remote with that set top box.

Derek Price

January 3rd, 2013
11:21 pm

I watched it, loved it, and this “concerned parent,” can join One Million Moms (all 35,000 of them) as they protest Ellen. What a bunch of whiney idiots.


January 3rd, 2013
11:33 pm

Kathy Griffin = no talent loud mouth. CNN has real class in choosing talent.


January 3rd, 2013
11:36 pm

No hetero man would want her near his junk. She is heinous. We could end teen pregnancy by posting pictures of her or any of her Bea Arthur-looking fans in every kid’s bedroom.


January 4th, 2013
12:12 am

Griffin is a slobbering, attention getter and ought to be fired. Its amazing that CNN continued with the broadcast of her childish acts. There were likely many youngsters staying up late, as many of us were allowed to do and saw her disgusting behavior that had nothing to do with the New Years celebration. I am also shocked by the number of writers who thought it was OK.


January 4th, 2013
12:43 am

Only an idiot parent would let their kids watch it. They’re making a big deal out of nothing. I watch these two on CNN every year b/c I can’t stand Ryan Seacrest and his untalented B.S. performers!!


January 4th, 2013
1:11 am

Wow, people actually watch CNN on New Year’s Eve? I would point out how sad that is, but my resolution was to be more sensitive this year.


January 4th, 2013
1:20 am

Jimmy Rustle

January 4th, 2013
1:41 am

“The networks’ feeble ‘kids should be in bed’ argument doesn’t apply here because there are millions of families who let their kids stay up late on New Year’s Eve.”

These are also the parents who let their kids drink alcohol on the same exact holiday. Get real, shes a comedian, she’s known for being extreme, CNN knew exactly what they were in store for. Anything who thinks otherwise is a simpleton. You don’t pick the often rude, loud mouthed, hilarious, ballsy female comedian because she’s neat and proper on live television. You pick her because she lights a fire and everyone comes running to put it out, while everyone else stands there, points and laughs with tears in their eyes.


January 4th, 2013
5:30 am

Thought it was HILARIOUS. GO KATHY


January 4th, 2013
7:09 am

If you want to live like a Quaker… go chew on some oatmeal.


January 4th, 2013
7:23 am

Most if not all know Kathy Griffin can be over the top. Why are you allowing your child to watch her in the first place.


January 4th, 2013
7:26 am

Kathy Griffin is a disgusting person who isn’t funny at all. Even with all her plastic surgery and botox she is still ugly!


January 4th, 2013
7:45 am

I’m amazed at the ‘change the channel if you don’t like it attitude.’ Sure, you have the option of changing the channel, but why does that excuse her behavior? If she started her lewd shtick in the middle of Target and it would be okay, then your argument holds water. If her behavior would get her arrested in the middle of Target it should not be acceptable behavior from anyone, even under the pathetic guise of trying to pass as humor. Can you imagine the liberal outcry if a man had pulled this on a woman?


January 4th, 2013
7:52 am

Regardless of whether you like Kathy Griffin or not, have any of you watched the “offending” moment? Even if it was on broadcast TV, there is nothing that the FCC would have been able to do. Was it tasteless? Maybe. That’s someone’s opinion. But was it something that the government should get involved with? No. And the fact that media is covering it so much only makes it a bigger deal.


January 4th, 2013
8:18 am

Winter nailed the main point. The consumers are getting rolled by the cable companies and we have very little choice as to the content that we’re paying through the nose for. Reward us our rightful powers of discretion in what we pay for and the Kathy Griffins of the world become marginalized and slink back into the recesses where they belong.


January 4th, 2013
8:26 am

It’s cable TV. If you don’t want your kids to see it, don’t buy it. Like was stated before, any kid would have turned it off after a few minutes because they wouldn’t get the humor. This is the second year that I’ve watched and it was very funny.

Who knows?

January 4th, 2013
8:29 am

Sounds like malfunctioning wardrobe gate all over again.
While I think Ms. Griffin is crass and not all that funny, the prissytittles at PTC probably should be more concerned about the amount of violence our kids are exposed to on TV.

Sometimes this country’s priorities are just plain weird. We fight like hell to protect our rights to arm ourselves to the teeth because we fear the boogeyman, but when it comes to sex, a group of prudes goes bananas and urges everyone to practice some kind of emotional duck and cover.

Who knows?

January 4th, 2013
8:31 am


You certainly do have a choice..
Who exactly is forcing you to buy cable in the first place?


January 4th, 2013
8:34 am

The PTC has quite a bark but no bite, especially where cable is concerned. The FCC does not regulate cable programming so the PTC can’t go running to them with programming complaints. All they can do is scream and holler and hope to raise a ruckus.

They are supposed to be educating parents about monitoring what their children watch. They aren’t very effective.

Who knows?

January 4th, 2013
8:44 am

” If she started her lewd shtick in the middle of Target and it would be okay…”

If Target finds her actions objectionable, then Target has the option of asking Ms. Griffin to leave. If she is breaking the law, then they can summon the police.
You have the same option, change the channel or file a criminal complaint.

When it comes to what I watch on TV, I want to preserve my right to make my own choice. I am not interested in you or anyone else making that choice for me.

Avowed Atheist

January 4th, 2013
8:47 am

If we could be flies on the wall in the homes of practically all of the members of PTC, I can guarantee you we’d all be flabbergasted at some of the trashy things they get up to behind closed doors. They’re just a pack of blathering hypocrites, to be laughed at, not taken seriously.

Rolling Eyeballs

January 4th, 2013
8:56 am

Oh lighten up Deb. It was TV! It was an entertainment bit! Personally, I can’t stand Kathy Griffin and hadn’t even heard of this until today. Know why? I didn’t watch. The ‘Why are you letting your kids watch Kathy Griffin?’ comments are spot on, for a variety of reasons. I suppose there is someone out there who thinks she’s funny; why can’t they watch because some people can’t parent?

Toss a onion ring

January 4th, 2013
9:04 am

Hey PTC its comedy for pete sakes and darn if knew was on i watched it..However i do not watch CNN much….I guess next PTC Usein cows for chic-fila is bad..what about kardasions with there stuff i guess different….Go worry over sesame street and stuff.Oh no and shows on Trutv like hardcore Pawn and Killer Karoke bet that offends PTC folks they like Peta they can flap it but we not goin to listen!


January 4th, 2013
9:26 am

I’m surprised no one has brought this up, but regardless of personal taste or potential audience, if a male host had made a move like that on a female colleague, he would be tarred and feathered. CNN wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to disance themselves from him. Why the double standard?


January 4th, 2013
9:31 am

CNN has had Kathy Griffin on their show for a number of years now. Folks should be used to her schtick by now. It is cable, and the station can be changed to a network with more “family friendly” programming. This is a non issue, but PTC does have the right to express it’s outrage, and I have the right to say you are all wet.


January 4th, 2013
9:35 am

Dear PTC:
Get a job.


January 4th, 2013
9:35 am

I wouldn’t want her filthy mouth on me. No telling where its been

Who knows?

January 4th, 2013
9:53 am

“CNN wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to disance themselves from him. Why the double standard?”

Because we are still a paternalistic society that is but a few short steps removed from Islamic states when it comes to our woman folk. Females are cuddly and useful but ultimately helpless creatures who require protection…or so many people seem to believe.

Avowed Atheist

January 4th, 2013
9:56 am

Kat: “Why the double standard?”

Very simple. Because the media is controlled by males, and males and females have vastly differing attitudes and opinions on many things (especially sexually). We’ve had these differences since we crawled from the primordial sludge and started walking on two feet, and we will as long as the earth exists. These types of displays won’t change until more women start running things in TV and movies.


January 4th, 2013
10:08 am

Kathy Griffin has NEVER been a family entertainer and doesn’t claim to be so what’s the problem. If people want sex and gore they sure as hell to go to a Disney film and they don’t get all cranky because of it.


January 4th, 2013
10:09 am

Unbecoming the CNN brand? Gimmeafingbreak. Seeing how their brand is to tarnish and undermine responsible straight white males in any way possible, Griffin’s lewd act did not effect their “brand.”

Who knows?

January 4th, 2013
10:14 am

“Seeing how their brand is to tarnish and undermine people hypocritically pretending to be responsible straight white males in any way possible…”

Here, fixed that statement for ya…


January 4th, 2013
10:44 am

I think this whole argument could be put to bed if Anderson would release a statement saying he was utterly, indescribably and nauseatingly turned off by the idea of a woman simulating any sex act on him.

Tom T

January 4th, 2013
10:52 am

Griffin, not being a parent, has chosen to go after parents to make her popular. No beef here, I have the choice to change the channel and not have my kids watch. If you do not like what she does or says, then do not watch. This is typical of those that cannot make it on their own talent. Since she does not have kids, she has no idea of what she is trying to do to those that do, shame on her. I wonder how she would feel about someone making jokes of Jewish lesbians, I am sure she would “raise hell

Tom T

January 4th, 2013
10:54 am

I am sure she would “raise hell”, instead of just changing the channel. How said this really is, and yes, I will vote with my channel changer and not watch CNN any more.

ban her

January 4th, 2013
11:02 am

regardless of whether you watched it or not, there should be some standard of decency. She is vile and that is the only reason she became famous.

Avowed Atheist

January 4th, 2013
11:13 am

No ban her, ban YOU because you’re far too stupid to have access to the internet.


January 4th, 2013
11:22 am

It really doesn’t matter what Kathy Griffin did. No matter what anyone does these days, there’s always some group waiting in the wings to complain about it. People seem to have way too much time on their hands. Whatever happened to minding your own business?


January 4th, 2013
11:29 am

Funny ajc doesn’t want to censor KG, but they will sensor a poster when he/she says what KG is.

Who knows?

January 4th, 2013
12:01 pm

“…there should be some standard of decency..”

What you are saying is that you would impose YOUR idea of what is decent or not upon others.
tsk tsk

I will decide for myself and my kids what is decent or not. I suggest you do the same.

Robert Lee

January 4th, 2013
12:47 pm

Prudes will be offended by anything, while the rest of the adults understand that if we don;t appreciate KG’s humor we can change the channel.

Who knows said it best I think, “What you are saying is that you would impose YOUR idea of what is decent or not upon others.”

Same old same old, some people look for ways to be offended.


January 4th, 2013
12:57 pm

Vile garbage like this is why we got rid of the hellivision. Griffin is an obnoxious, no talent hack & (s0d0mite) Cooper’s success is due to his “legacy” bloodlines (Vanderbilt family). I’m not “offended” by that stunt because that kind of trash is (now) par for the course (on the sheeplevision).

dude mcguy

January 4th, 2013
1:25 pm

Is it any wonder why CNN gets “blown” out by Fox?! Kathy Griffin is a loser desperately trying to be an A-list actress and Anderson Cooper is a sick freak. There is nothing prudish about watching a program that most families will tune in for and seeing wholesome entertainment. If you want to see that type of behavior maybe Showtime or HBO will start a New Year’s eve program.