The Corner

Culture

Johnny Carson > Jimmy Kimmel

I wrote about Jimmy Kimmel kissing off Republicans today:

Jimmy Kimmel deserves credit for frankness, if nothing else. In an interview over the weekend, the ABC late-night host said he doesn’t care about losing Republican viewers. 

We’re a long way from Johnny Carson, whose Tonight Show was a national institution that enjoyed a broad audience — and was conducted like one. Carson steered clear of politics and kept his views to himself because it would “hurt me as an entertainer, which is what I am.”

 Kimmel may be an entertainer, but has no such inhibitions. He is willing to say “not good riddance, but riddance,” as he put it in the CBS News Sunday Morning interview, to Republicans put off by his headline-generating editorials in recent weeks.

Once a down-the-middle comedic voice who co-hosted the unapologetically vulgar The Man Show on Comedy Central, Kimmel uttered what could be the epigraph for our times, saying of viewers who strongly disagree with his political views, “I probably won’t want to have a conversation with them anyway.”

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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