Jimmy Kimmel Addresses "Disgusting" MAGA Response After Pence Apology
By: Christopher Rosen (Vanity Fair)
The Jimmy Kimmel Live host said he was on the receiving end of violent, hateful rhetoric from Trump supporters after playing a misleading clip of the VP.
May 12, 2020
Screengrab via YouTube.
Jimmy Kimmel had harsh words for the supporters of President Donald Trump who attacked the late-night host after a misleading joke about Vice President Mike Pence went viral last week.
After again apologizing for claiming Pence had carried empty boxes of personal protective equipment into a care facility as part of a photo opportunity (Pence had been joking; Kimmel took him seriously), Kimmel focused on the outrage directed toward him "from the MAGA hats."
"The outpouring of venom was disgusting. Stupid too, but mostly disgusting," Kimmel said on Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live . "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."
On Thursday's episode of his eponymous late-night show, Kimmel played a short clip from C-SPAN of Pence unloading boxes from a truck and discussing the task with one of his aides. "Well, can I carry the empty ones?" Pence joked at one point. "Just for the camera?" In response to the footage, Kimmel said, "Mike Pence pretending to carry empty PPEs into a hospital is the perfect metaphor for who he is and what he's doing. A big box of nothing delivering another box of nothing."
But as was revealed on Friday, the actual Pence clip extended beyond Kimmel's edit and showed Pence closing the truck doors, leaving the empty boxes behind. Kimmel later apologized on Twitter, writing, "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 was not a doctored video, by the way, we didn't do anything to it," the host said on Monday. "Doctors are the people Donald Trump doesn't listen to. And doctored videos are something Donald Trump posts all the time."
Turning his ire back to Trump supporters, Kimmel continued, "These people who blindly pledge their allegiance to Donald Trump instead of this country. Their hypocrisy runs so deep, they don't even seem to be aware of it anymore. It's like when an Uber driver wears too much cologne."
Kimmel received a loud backlash for his comments from conservatives across social media, including President Trump, who on Sunday called Kimmel "fake news" amid a storm of tweets and retweets.
"It took me a while to find it, because he tweeted 125 times yesterday," Kimmel said on Monday. "He tweeted once every seven and a half minutes yesterday. That's impressive. He ignored a pandemic and his wife on Mother's Day. He really can do it all."
In response to Trump, Kimmel wrote on Twitter, "Go make Melania brunch."
"Still no word on if he did," Kimmel added on Monday. "You think he ever made anyone anything? You think he, like, ever made Don Jr. a grilled cheese sandwich?"
Of his time in the caldron of Trumpworld, Kimmel concluded, "So anyway this is what the White House is working on and thinking about right now. This really is the dumbest time to be alive. I always assumed that if I got involved in some kind of a Twitter feud with the President, it would be with President Kanye in 2028."