Jimmy Kimmel devoted a sizable portion of his Monday night monologue blasting President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence — and particularly those who support the president — over "hundreds of horrible, hateful, sometimes violent, Twitter and Facebook posts" directed at the late-night TV host in the wake of a "manipulated" video he aired of Pence distributing coronavirus masks to a nursing home.
What's the background?
Kimmel made big headlines last week when he lampooned Pence with video that appeared to show the vice president carrying empty boxes — that were supposed to contain personal protective equipment — to a rehabilitation center as a stunt for the cameras.
Only problem is the clip Kimmel used was deceptively edited. The complete video shows Pence at the Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Alexandria, Virginia, delivering full boxes for several minutes before the point in Kimmel's video of choice. What's more Twitter reportedly labeled the video Kimmel used "manipulated media."
With that, Kimmel issued a pretend apology Friday afternoon: "It would appear that [Pence] was joking about carrying empty boxes for a staged publicity stunt. The full video reveals that he was carrying full boxes for a staged publicity stunt. My apologies. I know how dearly this administration values truth."
It ain't over
One might assume things calmed down after that — but not according to Kimmel, who complained during his Monday monologue that Trump tweeted on Mother's Day about him airing the Pence video.
Kimmel also said he got "an email from the vice president's office requesting that I apologize on air. On Twitter wasn't enough, I guess. They wanted it on air. Because this is what they're thinking about while thousands of Americans are dying every day: jokes from late-night talk show hosts."
Of the Pence video he showed Kimmel offered, "How anyone can tell when Mike Pence is joking, I don't know. I didn't know, because I'd only watched part of the video. It turns out there were 29 minutes of this on C-SPAN that apparently indicate he was joking about carrying the empty boxes for the cameras, which, again, I didn't know because I don't have the mental endurance it requires to watch Mike Pence deliver boxes for 29 minutes on C-SPAN. But I should have watched the whole thing, I guess. Bottom line is: I was wrong. He was joking. I didn't know. I made a mistake."
Incidentally, while Kimmel said he took down the video, it was still alive and well on his show's YouTube page Wednesday morning.
'Outrage from the MAGA hats'
Anyway, Kimmel reserved his most biting commentary for those he said wished death on him and his family over the fake video.
"Apologizing to the Trump administration for spreading untruth is like apologizing to Barry Bonds for using steroids," he began. "It's hard, but the outrage from the MAGA hats, the outpouring of venom, was disgusting — stupid, too — but mostly disgusting ... Some of these lunatics have the audacity to use the word 'Christian' in their bios, but that didn't stop them from wishing death on me, on my family, on my son — some of them said they hope my son dies. They threatened my wife. There were hundreds of horrible, hateful, sometimes violent, Twitter and Facebook posts because I showed what they kept calling a doctored video."
Kimmel insisted it "was not a doctored video, by the way — we didn't do anything to it" before quipping that "doctors are the people Donald Trump doesn't listen to, and doctored videos are something Donald Trump posts all the time. Some of his paid campaign ads are doctored videos that had to be removed for violating the rules about that sort of thing."
He then hit back again at Trump supporters: "These people who blindly pledge their allegiance to Donald Trump instead of this country are so — their hypocrisy runs so deep they don't even seem to be aware of it anymore."
Kimmel also mockingly asked Pence to apologize on behalf of Trump for a lengthy list of "perversions of decency and democracy," although many of them have long since been debunked, such as Russian collusion, illegal immigrant families separated at the border — which started with former President Barack Obama's administration — and the continuing lie that Trump supported neo-Nazis after the Charlottesville, Virginia, riots.
"But OK, you know what? It was my mistake," Kimmel noted, again in non-apology mode. "I do apologize to the vice president, again, for spreading misinformation about him. Spreading misinformation is their thing, and I stepped on their toes."
Jimmy Kimmel's Quarantine Monologue – Jimmy Responds to Pence & Trump youtu.be