On Wednesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel produced a subtle yet telling gem. The show began with an interview of Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Harington told Kimmel how he shares his screen name, Jon Snow, with a legendary British journalist, and that as a child Harington had actually wanted to be the journalist Jon Snow, a news-getting war correspondent out there bringing people the news.
This set Kimmel searching his memory for an American equivalent to the legendary British journalist. This is what he came up with:
Really, Dan “False but Accurate” Rather is Kimmel’s go-to reference for a “legendary” American journalist. And he said the former CBS anchor was “retired,” the way one might refer to a once proud champion racehorse who has been put out to stud.
In fact, Rather was forced to resign in utter disgrace, from the one and only job people ever identified with him, or face being canned for knowingly running a smear piece against a sitting President during an election. Of course, Kimmel knows all this, he just doesn’t care. His idea of a journalist is probably someone who runs fake stories to get Republicans voted out of office.
In fairness to Kimmel, it is hard to come up with a “legendary” American newsman. Almost all would have done, or have done, the same thing Rather did. They were just technologically proficient enough to know that font wasn’t available on military typewriters in the 1970’s.
Next time the subject of legendary newsmen in American history comes up, Jimmy Kimmel should just play it safe and say Ron Burgundy.