Column: Do Jimmy Kimmel's Mean Jokes Sound Rigorously Fact-Checked?

January 19th, 2024 6:00 AM

Late-night comedians on broadcast TV mock Republicans far more than Democrats in their monologues -- about four to one in 2023 -- and bring more nastiness to Republicans. Democrat jokes are often gentle Johnny Carsonesque kidding about how Joe Biden’s really old. NBC’s Jimmy Fallon joked, “Biden made sure an authentic Thanksgiving meal was served, and he would know, because he was there for the first one.”

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel freaked out last week when legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers mocked him on ESPN about new documents coming out in the teenager-sexploiting Jeffrey Epstein case. “A lot of people, including Jimmy Kimmel, are hoping that doesn’t come out.” Kimmel used his platform to rip Rodgers as an idiot jock who never graduated from college. (It didn’t matter that Kimmel himself quickly washed out of college.)

It was eyebrow-raising when Kimmel argued Rodgers “has a very high opinion of himself. Because he had success on the football field, he believes himself to be an extraordinary being” who thinks “he’s smarter than everyone else.” Look in the mirror? Zero introspection from the national jokester.

Kimmel pompously proclaimed in that lecture, “We say a lot of things on this show — we don’t make up lies. In fact, we have a team of people who work very hard to sift through the facts and reputable sources before I make a joke, and that’s an important distinction.”

Seriously?? Let’s take a brief look at Kimmel’s poisonous oeuvre, just since his "reputable sources" boast:

On January 12, Kimmel claimed the Escambia County schools in Florida are reviewing dictionaries and encyclopedias for content about sex. Could this be a tactic by liberal librarians trying to embarrass conservatives calling for taking smut out of school libraries? Kimmel said conservatives wage “a war against reading.” Factual? He then showed a picture of Gov. Ron DeSantis and said, “In case you were wondering, this is how one of the offending dictionaries defines sex: something this man is definitely not good at.”

“People work very hard to sift through the reputable sources….” That’s ridiculous.

By contrast, Kimmel's hero is Hunter Biden, whose ring he kissed on his show in 2021. On January 18, he joked Congress is so ineffective: “They've only passed 34 bills. So far, they've produced more photos of Hunter Biden's penis than actual legislation.” Factual?

A week before on January 11, Kimmel gushed over Hunter’s stunt, showing up on Capitol Hill in an attempt to embarrass House Republicans.  "He wanted to do it [testify] on TV, presumably so we can see what a joke this is and they said no, no, we have to do it in secret so we can spin it however we like afterwards,” reported Kimmel. “Instead they ended up looking like they were the ones on crack.” How many hours on Google for that one?

On January 17, Kimmel mocked stupid white Republicans in Flyover Country: “In Iowa, many caucuses were held yesterday. If you've ever wondered what is the polar opposite of MLK Day, it is the Iowa Republican Caucus.” 

Kimmel suggested the caucuses were loaded with election-denying white morons: “The same people who are screaming about the Dominion voting machines are digging through a brown paper sack from Stop & Shop to decide who will be president. Then they drop all the names into a popcorn bucket. They find the baldest guy they can to count them aloud.” 

There are no "Stop & Shop" supermarkets in Iowa (it's New England-based). Hy-Vee is the big supermarket chain in Iowa. Only the lamest chuckleheads make chucklehead claims about their “factual” insults and “research-based” snark.