I write today about the surreal Jimmy Kimmel controversy arising from a bit a few weeks ago:
The bit was part of a routine called “Kids Table,” where Kimmel talks to cute five- and six-year-olds, and hilarity ensues. In the offending episode, Kimmel asked the kids what to do about our debt to China, and one boy chirps, “Kill everyone in China.” Kimmel laughs and jokingly calls it “an interesting idea,” before returning to it later when, with mock seriousness, he asks the kids whether the Chinese should be allowed to live.
It doesn’t take a well-honed sense of humor to realize that “Kids Table” is a forum for kids to say laughably and harmlessly absurd things, not for the discussion of serious foreign-policy initiatives. If the boy’s proposal for a genocidal war against China as a solution to our national debt were getting a respectable hearing, he would have been invited to debate it on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS with deadly earnest foreign-policy panjandrums like Richard Haass and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Nonetheless, the grim gears of offense-taking began to grind. Previously, Jimmy Kimmel’s main offense against humanity had been encouraging parents to get a rise out of their kids by telling them that they had eaten all their Halloween candy. Now, he was guilty of incitement to mass murder.