Comedian George Lopez made headlines this week for being the latest celebrity to suggest that someone should assassinate President Donald Trump. Following in the not-so-proud footsteps of Kathy Griffin, Madonna, and Johnny Depp, Lopez latched on to a bit of fake news so he could make his oh-so-hilarious joke about killing the President of the United States.
“#Iranian authorities have put a bounty on American President Donald Trump’s head during the televised funeral of General #QasemSoleimani after he was assassinated last week. What are your thoughts?” asked an Instagram post by @chicanoworldstar.
The Instagram post was playing off erroneous reports that Iran had put an $80 million bounty on President Trump’s head.
It inspired Lopez to write: “We’ll do it for half.”
Lopez may have made his leftist friends chuckle with that quip, but conservative supporters of the president found nothing funny about it. Within a few hours, the hashtag #ArrestGeorgeLopez was trending on Twitter.
“You ever hear of Democrat privilege? It means you can commit crimes without going to jail, like George Lopez threatening to assassinate the president,” tweeted Charlie Kirk. “When Republicans do this, they go to prison.”
“PLEASE REPORT GEORGE LOPEZ,” wrote conservative comedian Terrance K. Williams. “George Lopez said he would assassinate President Trump for bounty money. We have a duty to report any threats or violence against the President, his family or anyone in his administration.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the Secret Service confirmed that they were “aware of the tweet made by Mr. Lopez.”
“The Secret Service takes all threats against the president and or any of our protectees seriously, and as a matter of practice, we do not comment on matters involving protective intelligence,” a spokesman said.
While no one may claim to be legitimately worried that George Lopez is actually going to hunt down and kill President Trump, that’s not the real problem with “jokes” like this. It goes back to what Secret Service agents told Tom Arnold after he tweeted, “Next time Kathy won’t be holding his fake head” in 2018. They explained that while they weren’t all that concerned with the threat Tom Arnold posed to the president, “what we have to worry about is your type of audience and you say something inciting those that follow you.”
Exactly. This isn’t about safe spaces or trigger warnings or political correctness. It’s not about a double standard, where we freak out about what some liberal hack is saying about Trump and try to get him thrown off Twitter. It’s about a legit call to violence against the president – something that in no way falls under the protection of the First Amendment.