After late-night host Jimmy Kimmel used the opportunity of his show to launch a series of attacks on the latest Senate version of the GOP’s health care legislation, many folks were wondering how it was that Kimmel had become such an authority on health care in general, and on the Graham-Cassidy bill in particular.
It turns out that the co-writer of Kimmel’s health care remarks was none other than Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
According to The Daily Beast, for months Kimmel and Schumer had been coordinating behind the scenes to put a wrench in the Republican undertaking of repealing the failing health care system known as Obamacare. Schumer had apparently given Kimmel “technical guidance and info about the bill, as well as stats from various think tanks and experts.”
Kimmel’s spokesman Lewis Kay confirmed to CNN that the late-night host had consulted with Schumer and other groups opposed to the bill. As Graham-Cassidy began to look as though it may have a chance at passage, the partisan New York senator was evidently the one who encouraged Kimmel to use his show as a platform to critique the legislation.
Kimmel’s son had already had to battle congenital heart disease in his infant life. The Democrats apparently saw the opportunity to exploit Kimmel’s family difficulties, using the hardship as a means to attack the Republican proposed legislation by feeding lies to the late-night host. Particularly underhanded was the reframing of the efforts by the GOP to repeal and replace Obamacare as a plan that would fail to protect people with pre-existing conditions such as the one Kimmel’s son experienced.
In an on-air monologue, Kimmel demeaned the legislation for failing to meet the so-called “Jimmy Kimmel test,” a term that Cassidy had used inadvisably as a measure of acceptable health care legislation.
Kimmel seemed more than willing to engage in some Hollywood style virtue signaling while simultaneously relishing the opportunity to disrespect President Trump. He even targeted by name Fox News co-host Brian Kilmeade for calling out the banality of Kimmel’s analysis. Kilmeade had referred to Kimmel as a member of the Hollywood elite, a designation of the late-night host with which few could disagree.
Lost in the media coverage has been the truth that people with pre-existing conditions would not be denied coverage under the GOP’s proposed legislation. However, it appears as though Kimmel was fed purposely misleading information from Schumer and dutifully repeated the lines for his audience.
The influence of Kimmel on the press and social media seems to have accomplished the goal of tainting the image of Graham-Cassidy, which consequently created an opening for the Republican Party non-loyalist, Senator John McCain, to once again attempt to kill the bill.
The late-night host dedicated a series of monologues to emotion-packed health care sermonizing.
Rather than engaging in serious debate, Kimmel put out falsehoods and half-truths, which went wholly unchallenged by the mainstream media.
Democrats took advantage of Kimmel’s health care segments, using them as fodder for advertising and social media posts in an effort to leverage the late-night host’s influence with a sizable segment of the public.
Kimmel became the star of the Democrat political grandstanding sideshow. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) launched a digital advertising campaign that was framed around the “Jimmy Kimmel test” meme. The ads targeted Republican candidates in crucial midterm election states.
As part of a six-figure digital campaign in 12 states, ads appeared in searches by those trying to get information on “health care,” “repeal,” “the Jimmy Kimmel test,” and other topics, redirecting individuals who clicked on the terms to the DSCC’s already existing health care page.
The targeted states were those that were perceived to have the closest upcoming Senate races in 2018: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Democrats also took advantage of the Kimmel coverage by posting comments on social media. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted a video of one of the Kimmel monologues along with a thank you note.
“Stories like yours are why we will defeat #Trumpcare,” Pelosi wrote.
Other high-profile Democrats who took to Twitter in an effort to make the most of the Kimmel criticism of GOP health care legislation included Schumer, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome.
The truth of the matter is that while out boisterously attacking the pending GOP legislation, Kimmel deceptively kept quiet about the fact that one of the highest profile partisan Democrats was supplying him with his politically poisonous script.
It is more than unfortunate that a television personality on a major broadcast network would allow himself to be used as a pawn on a political chessboard.