Writer’s note: this is an abbreviated version of CY as I’ve been traveling up and down the east coast and need some time to download back in. CrankyYank Vol. 60 will publish next Thursday afternoon. Hope you enjoy this special report on Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue.
[ this post has updates where noted ]
It’s the many small acts of courage that can change paradigms, opinions—even legislation. This “small” act is a doozy: Jimmy Kimmel’s recent monologue this week was a masterclass in courage: both in the telling and and living of his child needing open-heart surgery. “It was the longest three hours of my life,” he said. His son will need at least two more surgeries in the future and will face a lifetime of monitoring.
His voice breaking throughout the show opening, Kimmel lit into Trump about floating potential cuts to critical heath programs. “Trump proposed a $6B cut to the National Institute of Health, and thank god our congressmen and women made a deal to not go along with that. And I applaud them for it.”
Before the Affordable Healthcare Act made it the law of the land to not deny people with preexisting conditions, little babies like Kimmel’s never would’ve been approved for health insurance. “You may not have even lived long enough to be denied for that preexisting condition,” he said. “It shouldn’t matter how much money you make, or whether you’re a republican or a democrat.” Despite his straight-down-the-middle approach, the backlash from the right was swift.
RELATED: CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL L.A. FLOODED WITH CALLS, DONATIONS
Charles Hurt called Kimmel an “elitist creep,” and noted cretin Joe Walsh tweeted that “someone’s sad story doesn’t obligate me to pay for someone else’s healthcare.” Let’s set aside how that’s exactly how insurance works—the heartlessness of their attitudes are pretty breathtaking.
“Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants,” Kimmel added. “We need to take care of each other. No parent should have to decide if they can afford to save a child’s life. Not here.”
UPDATE: Bill Maher on Real Time congratulated Kimmel on his monologue but dispelled the notion that all factions of American politics—and the country writ large—want the same thing.
“Unfortunately, that’s not true,” Maher said, stopping his audience from applauding. “And that needs to be said. One side wants to tax rich people so babies don’t have to die, and the other side is mostly against that. [Kimmel’s statement] lets Republicans off the hook. Let’s not fuck around; this is not a ‘squabble.’ We’re not on the same page and we don’t all agree.”
Maher is right on this. This false “both sides” argument is a lazy man’s version of normalizing something that isn’t normal: that a small segment of a gerrymandered political has spearheaded a breathless, inhumane health insurance bill is de facto proof we don’t see this the same way.
There’s a reason why people are going up to comedians and saying “thank you” after using their platforms for advocacy—they are at the forefront of The Resistance against this wretched administration. Funny men and women like Dean Obeidallah, Stephanie Miller, Louis C.K., Stephen Colbert, Bob Cesca, Rich Goeckel, Frangela, John Oliver, Seth Meyers, Rosie O’Donnell, John Fuselang and so many others have been out front lampooning indefensible political positions and causing all of us to think while we laugh. They’re even some raising money for non-profits that are on the front lines, like the NRDC.
Kimmel thanked everyone around him for their support during the stressful stretch of time.
“We had atheists praying for us. Even that son of a bitch Matt Damon sent flowers.”
Visit the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles website to make a donation. 🔵
UPDATE: My pal and fantastic progressive comedian Dean Obeidallah is out with a brand-new post on CNN, “In Trump’s America, Comedians Lead the Resistance.” Dean correctly cites Saturday Night Live as a weekly truth-humor bomb, and—like the mantle or not—has become a force behind resisting the Trump/GOP’s radical agenda. “Comedians, often called court jesters or fools in literature, have a long history of using humor to speak uncomfortable truths,” he writes. “In Shakespeare’s plays, the fool was able to address social and political realities in ways that the lead characters rarely could — using humor as his shield.” He also credits Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue for shedding light on the issue of pre-existing conditions. “Kimmel’s clip had an impact on the discussion. His late-night plea made more people aware of the issue and in turn placed additional pressure on some politicians.” Read his post here and watch Dean on with Don Lemon discussing the monologue:
UPDATE 2: U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R.-La.) appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and declared that there should be a “Jimmy Kimmel Test” to see if any healthcare legislation is acceptable for passage. After making that statement, Cassidy twice voted to advance an ACA repeal bill that would’ve stripped between 15 to 30 million people off of their insurance. From Robert Mann, writing for Nola.com/Times-Picayune:
If you’re looking for someone who understands the consequences of losing health care coverage and who cares about children and other vulnerable people in need of medical care, you could do worse than one of the 7,000 Catholic nuns who denounced the Senate GOP’s efforts as “immoral and contrary to the teachings of our Catholic faith.”
To recap: dingus lawmaker goes on a national TV show, demonstrates empathy and a sense of conscience, and then shits all over the phrase he coined so he could fall in line with GOP dogma. 🔵
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