Late night ABC host Jimmy Kimmel touted his own intelligence and the need for comedians to be political activists during a friendly interview with liberal podcast hosts Crooked Media before a live audience this past weekend in Hollywood.
After complaining about how stubborn and hateful conservatives were, Kimmel defended his left-wing advocacy on television, explaining that, liberals were just smarter than conservatives, so they had the right to shove their political opinions down their audience’s throats.
The live interview was hosted by Crooked Media, for their podcast “Pod Save America,” which is hosted entirely by former Obama staffers, Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Jon Lovett and Dan Pfeiffer. Pro-abortion feminist writer Erin Gloria Ryan also joined the hosts on stage to ask questions to really round out the bipartisan panel.
After 45 minutes of taking crass potshots at the Trump administration and Republicans, Favreau finally brought his guest on stage to ask him why he got into politics. Favreau laughably wondered if Kimmel’s supposed effort to reach out to the other side, was working:
I remember when you were going to speak about this, you said to me that, when you want to make this argument, you don’t want to be preaching to the choir, you want to persuade people who don’t agree with you. So how did you go about doing that and since you’ve been talking about it, have you had people come up to you and say, ‘You’ve changed my mind’ ‘it’s been working’?
“No, no one has said that,” Kimmel quipped back immediately. After a few chuckles from the panel, Kimmel added, “Literally no one has said that. I get a lot of hate mail. It doesn’t mention anything like that.”
Erin Gloria Ryan then asked Kimmel about how he “tried” to reach out to conservatives on DACA last week on his show, by pitting legal immigration supporters against a DACA recipient. Ryan wondered why that didn’t seem to work. Kimmel claimed the un-aired version was even worse than what was shown on television.
“The real version was much, much uglier. I almost got in a fight with one of the guys. There was no respect being shown for this family,” Kimmel slammed.
“I really thought this [DACA family’s story] would have an impact on these people. It had almost no impact whatsoever. In fact, they seemed madder than if I’d brought some body who’d been busted for shoplifting,” Kimmel said with frustration.
Favreau took over questioning again and encouraged Kimmel to explain what his motivation for speaking out in “the Trump era” was.
“What made you embrace not just political comedy, which a lot of comedians have done in the Trump era, but political advocacy? What’s made you do that?” he eagerly asked.
“Real serious concern for this country,” Kimmel quickly replied. He went on to that the late night comedy landscape had changed, which gave him the opportunity to be political, or “be honest,” as he put it.
Kimmel explained that the purpose of keeping your political opinions to yourself in the past, was to not turn off half your audience. But the “good thing” about having many more television channels and talk shows online gave the audience the chance to shop around for the host that best fit their own political persuasion.
“You can be honest and you can talk about these things...It also just so happens that pretty much every late night talk show is a liberal. And that’s because it requires a measure of intelligence,” Kimmel joked, to the die-hard liberal audience who erupted in loud cheers and applause.
As the panel laughed, Kimmel murmured, “Not a ton! Not a tremendous amount of intelligence, but you do have to be over the baseline,” he added.
Ryan followed up by asking Kimmel about his fights on Twitter and whom he most enjoyed fighting with. “What could be worse than Donald Trump Jr.?” the talk show host mocked.