By Nebojsa Malic, senior writer at RT
After even mainstream outlets objected to a deceptively edited video of VP Mike Pence, comedian Jimmy Kimmel issued a sarcastic apology suggesting that lying about the Trump administration is fine because they don’t “value truth.”
A 40-second segment seen by millions showed Kimmel mocking Pence for delivering empty boxes of personal protective equipment into a Virginia nursing home. Democrat activists online – as well as in mainstream media outlets – were quick to denounce the VP for a publicity stunt in the times of pandemic.
There was just one tiny problem with the video: it was fake news. Even some mainstream media outlets overtly hostile to President Donald Trump’s administration – such as the Washington Post and BuzzFeed – felt compelled to point that out.
“Stop retweeting and sharing this as if it’s real. It has been deceptively edited,” tweeted the Post’s Peter Stevenson. “The [number] of journalists and political types retweeting a Kimmel comedy edit is embarrassing.”
Stop retweeting and sharing this as if it’s real. It has been deceptively edited.He made a joke about carrying the empty boxes then shut the door. The # of journalists and political types retweeting a Kimmel comedy edit is embarrassing.Real video: https://t.co/ocYm70aij9https://t.co/KtDadr5fFn
— Peter Stevenson (@PeterStevenson) May 8, 2020
“This isn’t true. The clip cuts out at a selective point,” complained BuzzFeed’s David Mack, prompting one conservative commentator to declare that “When media shares such fake news that Buzzfeed fact checks them, you know they REALLY screwed up.”
Media rushed to push a video claiming VP Pence delivered empty boxes of PPE. Only problem is the video is deceptively edited by Jimmy Kimmel’s team. Full video proves it’s not true. When media shares such fake news that Buzzfeed fact checks them, you know they REALLY screwed up. https://t.co/LC2LkiMfYi
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 8, 2020
Twitter has since tagged the video as ‘Manipulated Media.’ Kimmel’s reaction? A snide non-apology, standing by the partisan point he sought to make in the first place.
“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,” he tweeted on Friday.
it would appear that @vp 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. https://t.co/hI9cO4lxcX
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) May 8, 2020
It is an article of faith among Democrats – and this includes late-night comedy hosts, with only a couple notable exceptions – that Trump and his entire administrations lie about everything. This is particularly ironic given the documentary evidence released Thursday that the entire Russiagate narrative they amplified for years was manufactured by the FBI – and worse, that Obama administration officials happily pushing it on air had testified to Congress under oath that they had no actual evidence of it whatsoever.
This makes Kimmel’s non-apology particularly notable, because it says in effect that it’s OK to lie for partisan purposes, that when it comes to the Good Guys (i.e. Kimmel and the Democrats) resisting the Bad Orange Man (i.e. Trump), the end justifies the means. If it were just one comedian that wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s almost all of them – and nearly the entire media class, too.
There is even a whole genre of lazy “reporting” that consists of nothing more than collecting the previous evening’s “jokes” about Trump by late-night hosts into a feature article. This kind of activist journalism and politicized comedy predates Trump, to be sure, but it became normalized after the 2016 election, in which 90 percent of US media and Hollywood were on Hillary Clinton’s side.
They’ve been making sure no one forgets that for a second ever since, turning every show, every article, every awards ceremony, into an opportunity to signal their virtue by bashing Trump – even when it meant bashing America and cratering their ratings, ticket sales and viewership.
Kimmel and the people retweeting him with glee get paid millions to “inform” and “entertain” but they do neither. Their stunts have not been funny for a long time. Now that they openly admit they think it’s OK to lie, they’re just sad.
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