“As I’m sure you know and feel, this is another very sad day in America,” the increasingly political late-night host Jimmy Kimmel said in his opening monologue Thursday night.
He was, of course, referring to the Florida school shooting, which tragically left 17 people dead. A young man, Nikolas Cruz, is in custody.
Kimmel continued, “At least 17 lives have been lost. More than a dozen people are hospitalized, and our president, as he should, weighed in on the tragic events this morning from the White House.”
Kimmel then showed a clip from President Donald Trump’s speech addressing the tragedy, during which he said, “No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.”
As if debating the clip, Kimmel then said, “Agreed. Here’s what you do to fix that. Tell your buddies in Congress — tell Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio, all the family men who care so much about their communities — that what we need are laws. Real laws that do everything possible to keep assault rifles out of the hands of people who are going to shoot our kids.”
As he has done in the past on his show, Kimmel got increasingly emotional as he spoke straight to the camera and the president. “Tell these congressmen and lobbyists, who infest that swamp you said you were going to drain, force these allegedly Christian men and women who stuff their pockets with money from the NRA year after year after year, to do something,” he said. “Now. Not later. Now.”
Kimmel kept going — and claimed the president had done “nothing” to prevent such violence.
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“Children are being murdered. Do something,” Kimmel said. “We still haven’t even talked about it. You still haven’t done anything about this. Nothing. You’ve literally done nothing.”
He then later said people were “mentally ill” if they didn’t vote in favor of new gun laws.
Kimmel’s show has essentially abandoned any comedy goals at this point. It’s devolved into little more than an excuse for Kimmel to shame Americans who disagree with him and dehumanize anyone who dares to question the merit of gun laws or Obama’s health care bill.
If Jimmy Kimmel is serious about political commentary, then perhaps instead of debating a prerecorded video of the president, he should invite someone onto his show who knows a thing or two about gun laws and how they simply don’t work.
How about Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who recently appeared on Stephen Colbert’s program and won over plenty in the audience by talking about individual liberty, government surveillance, prison sentences, and much more?
Instead of these tearful monologues during which Kimmel simply plays to his base and digs in his heels on positions that don’t seem terribly well-researched, how about having an actual debate with someone who disagrees with him? How about he tries to enlighten himself a little more instead of planting his flag on a liberal position and refusing to budge?
This is, unfortunately, incredibly unlikely to happen. You don’t say the emotional and extreme things Kimmel does unless you’re caught up in a bubble and echo chamber of information that is more than likely self-imposed.