First, Kathy Griffin posed for an ISIS-style photo shoot with a replica of the president’s bloody, severed head, declaring it an “expression of art.” Then she made a weepy apology video, admitting that she’d gone too far. Then, she held a press conference to complain that she’d been bullied by the Trump family.

As much as we’d like to think that was the last we’d hear about Kathy Griffin’s art, we were a little surprised to hear that some people still haven’t come to grips with a controversial interview HUD Secretary Ben Carson sat for in May. If you missed it, Carson’s controversial comment was that poverty is a state of mind, which a lot took to mean that the poor should just believe their way out of being poor.

Now Carson has done an interview with NPR, during which he stood by that controversial statement — even though calling it controversial is about as honest as calling Griffin’s stunt an “expression of art.”

It really doesn’t seem that difficult to get, but somehow the people who swooned over President Obama’s “poverty of ambition” speech just can’t seem to accept anyone else speaking in any but the most literal terms. We thought Carson was being pretty clear in his interview with NPR as well:

A lot of times if you go to a disadvantaged neighborhood, you ask the kids, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” You get about five different answers. But there’s a thousand. We need to show people the other 995 and how you get there. And those are the kinds of things that create that can-do attitude that is so important, and that for such a long time was a part of the American mindset. And there are those now who want people to think that somebody else is in control of you and that you’re a victim. We want to find ways to make sure that people understand that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you, is you.

That answer elicited this follow-up question from NPR: “I want to make sure I’m clear. You’re saying it’s only one component of people being poor, or the main component?” It probably would have been just as easy to read a transcript of the first interview, where Carson said, “I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”

Which is more likely? Kathy Griffin will be co-hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast as usual this December, or people will still be refusing to admit Carson has a point?

Maybe people just don’t like hearing, “We want to find ways to make sure that people understand that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you, is you.”

Maybe the government should just give everyone food and housing and phones and broadband internet access to put them in the right frame of mind to succeed.

* * *


Recommended Twitchy Video