Late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel has been getting political as of late. When congressional Republicans attempted their latest Obamacare repeal back in July, Kimmel publicly spoke out against the law with talking points provided by Chuck Schumer. Despite repeating Democrat platitudes, Kimmel at least had some skin in the game in that his six-month-old son Billy was born with a rare congenital heart defect.
That didn’t generate as much controversy as his comments on gun control that came following this month’s massacre in Las Vegas. Kimmel blasted those who said it’s not the time to have a conversation about gun control because, “Maybe it’s too soon for you because deep down inside, you know, in your heart you know you bear some responsibility for the fact that almost anyone get any weapon they want.” It’s a statement that seemed to be explicitly blaming gun owners for not wanting to jump the gun (excuse the pun) in supporting legislation in the wake of a tragedy. It’s a valid concern, however, as ReasonTV noted, “knee-jerk reactions often leave us with misconceptions and bad policies that stick around long after the healing has begun.”
It was a change in pace for Kimmel, who usually kept his show a-political, and for good reason. Unlike Seth Myers and Stephen Colbert, Kimmel doesn’t have an audience that’s disproportionately left-of-center. While Colbert’s audience is 47 percent Democrat to only 17 percent Republican, Kimmel previously enjoyed an even split, with 34 percent identifying as Democrats, and 33 percent as Republicans.
As we reported last week, Kimmel’s ratings did see a initial drop following his opposition to congressional Republicans’ Obamacare repeal attempts. We noted, “Jimmy Kimmel Live had 2.04 million viewers last week during the heart of his health care fight, a 5 percent drop from his average. For the show’s future, it’s more than appreciable.” But what of the numbers following his moralizing lecture on gun control?
The decline has only accelerated, and Kimmel can’t ignore it.
According to the Washington Examiner, Kimmel is doubling down on his comments, stating that he’d deliver the same emotionally-charged monologues on gun control and healthcare “in a heartbeat,” and that’s despite a massive reduction in the number of Republicans watching his show.
Here’s what he said: “Three years ago, I was equally liked by Republicans and Democrats. And then Republican numbers went way down, like 30 percent, or whatever. And you know, as a talk show host, that’s not ideal but I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
He continued, saying that he doesn’t much care that conservatives aren’t tuning in: “You don’t have to watch the show. You don’t have to listen to what I say. If they’re so turned off by my opinion on healthcare and gun violence then, I don’t know, I probably wouldn’t want to have a conversation with them anyway. Not good riddance, but riddance.”
Well, that’s one to treat your fans.
But seriously, since when do people look to late night hosts for political guidance?
Things have gotten so ridiculous, with every host singing the same narrative on Trump’s agenda, that with tax reform next up on the agenda, the satirical magazine The Onion ran the following headline:
— The Onion (@TheOnion) September 29, 2017
I wouldn’t be surprised if that headline becomes a reality soon.
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