CNN Politics editor at-large Chris Cillizza can always be counted on for head-scratching, scorching-hot takes, so it wasn’t a surprise when he offered up a sympathetic piece on Wednesday furthering the leftist cause that people should look to ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel for cues on health care policy.
His piece entitled “How the 'Jimmy Kimmel test' became the health care fight's measuring stick” started by nothing Kimmel’s “nearly seven-minute monologue” and “an impassioned call for Congress to reject the latest Republican attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, insisting the bill put forward by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy was worse than the previous measures the Senate has rejected.”
Taking no time to fact-check Kimmel, Cillizza ran a few Kimmel quotes before swooning: “It felt more like C-SPAN than late-night TV. And it's only the latest example of how Kimmel has, for many Americans, become the face and voice of the health care fight.”
Cillizza recapped the brief history of Kimmel and Cassidy prior to arriving at the latest battle:
And, now, as the health care repeal effort reaches its climax, Kimmel is back -- even while acknowledging the oddity of a late-night talk show host leading this fight.
“I never imagined I would get involved in something like this,” Kimmel said on Tuesday night. “This is not my area of expertise.”
(Worth noting: Kimmel has become much more political on a number of fronts of late. Last month, he spoke directly to Trump supporters in laying out the case for why their preferred candidate was not up to the job. And, earlier in September, he suggested that the main reason Trump wanted to eliminate DACA -- although it's not at all clear now that Trump does want to do that -- is because it was a program put in place by Barack Obama.)
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Footnoting how George W. Bush and Trump were targeted by liberal late-night hosts while “Barack Obama was revered,” Cillizza moved on with astonishment that Kimmel has moved away from making people laugh but becoming a political lobbyist:
What's different about Kimmel is that he's not cracking jokes about health care. He's delivering emotional monologues -- with policy details! -- and urging legislative action (or trying to block legislative action). There's barely a laugh line in that seven-minute monologue from last night.
For conservatives and NewsBusters readers, that should come as no surprise.
Cillizza didn’t point out the contradiction of how the left and media implore people to follow x-percentage of scientists on climate change, but nudge people to follow a liberal comic on a massive issue like health care:
Why has that worked for this most unlikely of messengers? Because when Kimmel talks about health care, he's not talking as a celebrity. He's talking as the dad of a little kid who has health problems and who he's worried about. That's a tremendously relatable thing. Everyone who has children knows how emotionally wrenching it can be to watch them struggle through the flu, much less a more serious health problem. And the idea of losing the ability to care for them in the best possible way because of a bill passed in Congress makes that pain all the more real.
To be clear: Not everyone has been moved by Kimmel. There are plenty of Republicans who see him as nothing more than a liberal Hollywood type whose celebrity somehow convinces him that he is an authority on health care policy. And that he is using his son's illness to make a political point.
Cillizza closed with an excerpt from a Michelle Malkin piece (who’s also had a child faced with serious health scares), but then shot back with one last Kimmel quote:
Kimmel had an answer ready for those critics.
“I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to,"” he said to roaring applause from the crowd.