Tim highlighted this quote over the weekend, but the transformation of comedy into nightly pageants of ritualistic virtue signaling is fascinating to me, so I figured I'd revisit it. Losing Republican-leaning viewers is "not ideal," Kimmel allows in an interview with rival network CBS, but he'd do it all over again "in a heartbeat." And by "it," America's Pope is referring to calling Republican Senators liars on healthcare while mouthing Democratic talking points furnished by Chuck Schumer, asking viewers to dial up members of Congress to oppose Obamacare repeal, calling for increased gun control laws, and -- worst of all -- asserting that gun "nuts" know "in their hearts" that they "bear some responsibility" for horrors like the Las Vegas massacre. And what does he think of conservative-minded members of his audience who are tuning him out as a result of his (selective) preening harangues? "Not good riddance, but riddance:"
"I want everyone with a television to watch the show, but if they're so turned off by my opinion on health care and gun violence, then … I probably wouldn't want to have a conversation with them anyway."
Look, I could understand harboring, and even outwardly expressing, this attitude about nasty trolls who, say, wish ill upon his health-challenged son due to of political disagreements. But it's quite revealing that he admits to having no interest in engaging with Americans who might take serious issue with a comedian lecturing them about their supposed 'complicity' in a mass shooting, for example. Then again, it doesn't seem like Kimmel spends much time having conversations with average people who don't inhabit his elite political bubble as it is; look no further than his admission of knowing zero of the millions of people whose families have been hurt by Obamacare. He's not intellectually curious, nor is he particularly intrigued to learn why many people don't share his opinions. Demeaning and caricaturing those retrograde losers is much easier, right Jim? Hilarious stuff! Allahpundit wonders if Kimmel and Eminem represent the new vanguard of Wokeness among entertainers, wherein celebrities signal their tribal rectitude by explicitly renouncing their own fans who might see the world differently than they do:
Is this now a trend? Eminem told his fans last week that they had to choose between supporting him and supporting Trump. Titans tight end Delanie Walker shrugged at fans skipping games over the anthem protests: “I mean, OK. Bye.” Now here’s Kimmel waving goodbye to Republicans tuning out because they’re tired of being lectured during a comedy show. For decades entertainers have been plain about their left-wing politics but usually drew the line at kissing off patronage from the other camp, for sound bottom-line reasons. Not anymore...entertainers benefit with “the Resistance” and its media cheerleaders by signaling their antipathy to Trump in increasingly ostentatious ways, and there’s nothing more ostentatious than telling Trump’s fans that you don’t much care whether they stay or go. The bar for virtue-signaling among liberals is going to get higher during the Trump presidency. Shedding audience rather than toning down the politics or being more evenhanded may be the new bar.
If you're looking for a late night comedian who isn't an out 'n proud, chest-thumping leftist, and who still prizes making people laugh over generating cheap partisan "clapter" -- imagine that! -- perhaps you should be watching a different Jimmy:
By the way, before you smugly sneer at Kimmel's "snowflakery" for proudly avoiding dissenting views, please recall that anti-speech impulses and tantrums are a growing and reactionary cancer on the Right, too. On that note, here is video of a group of Trumpists going 'Berkeley' on California's Democratic Attorney General, shouting him down like a braying pack of emotional campus leftists. If you detest the End of Discussion mob when it's targeting conservatives, you should detest the End of Discussion mob when it's comprised of conservatives, too:
And I don't buy "give 'em their own medicine" justifications for shouting people down and disrupting events. If constitutionalists and pluralism advocates want to make a coherent and persuasive argument on behalf of open debate and free speech, we must do our best to apply those principles consistently. Plus, in what way does escalating terrible behavior convince anyone to alter or correct their own terrible behavior? The angry Left has tripled down on its worst tactics since Trump's election -- which was, in large measure, a resounding repudiation of their identity politics-obsessed, motive-impugning, political correctness-fetishizing methods. Fueling the outrage war will not de-escalate the outage war; the notion that emulating screaming leftists will reform or repair anything about our broken national conversation isn't remotely compelling.