The NBCs of Blasphemy

Apparently, blaspheming Jesus Christ won't keep you from moving up from the “D-List” to the “A-list,” at least on NBC.

The Peacock network will feature foul-mouthed Bravo Network comedienne Kathy Griffin as co-host with Matt Lauer for a two-hour Dateline NBC show at 7 p.m. preceding the one-hour Golden Globe Awards news conference this Sunday.

Griffin, who won a daytime Emmy for her show My Life on the D List, held out the statuette and said “Suck it, Jesus” during an Emmy Awards ceremony on Sept. 8, 2007.  

Here's the full remark:

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. So, all I can say is, 'suck it, Jesus.' This award is my god now.”

After her comment drew criticism, she was unapologetic. In fact, she emphasized that this was no mistake.

“I hope I offended some people. I didn't want to win the Emmy for nothing.” Griffin's Web site boasted that her line “will go down as one of the best quotes in Emmy history.”

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences disagreed, and had her speech edited before it aired on the E! channel on Sept. 15.

Griffin has become known widely for her obscenity-laced comedy act. In a July 24, 2007 posting on her blog, she cheerfully acknowledged that her shtick of in-your-face offensive routines might be spilling over the top:

“Can I just say that one of my proudest moments in life was walking in front of Hilary [sic] Clinton in the press line, to ensure that I got photographed sort of with her. I was told that the crew didn't catch that moment, so I think you should know that I'm so pathetic I wasn't even doing it for the reality show -- I was just doing it to be in a picture with Hilary Clinton. Imagine my joy when my shame was caught on tape yet again.

By the way, one of Hilary's campaign people actually asked me if I would ever perform at a Hilary Clinton fundraiser, to which I said “Do you want her to lose?” and walked away. Sometimes people don't know when I'm doing them a favor.”

NBC could do the nation a favor by rethinking their decision to grant a platform to a performer who truly belongs on the “D-List.”

Robert Knight is director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter