Leftists have hijacked late-night television, bludgeoning viewers with venomous propaganda instead of the entertainment they came seeking.
This feature appears in the December ‘17 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
Mocking political figures is nearly an American sport. We tune in to comedians on cable networks and late-night television for relief from the drollness of politics. There is just nothing like laughing at a grandstanding or even hypocritical elected official. It is cathartic.
Even Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary, must have laughed behind a closed door in the West Wing of the White House every time Melissa McCarthy parodied him on “Saturday Night Live.” When McCarthy, in her “Spicey” guise, chased the White House press pool around with a podium turned Segway, even the real Spicer must have at least cracked a smile.
That’s why we turn on late-night TV.
But in the aftermath of the worst mass murder in American history, our late-night comedians have chosen to become leftist pundits. They didn’t even try to frame their politics with humor; instead, they pretended to be America’s conscience. I say “pretended,” because a conscience at least tries to tell the truth; such is the fundamental thing a conscience does. But these comedians-turned-commentators didn’t do that at all. They just gave us a heaping dose of one-sided political propaganda.
In truth, it was even worse than that. They accused law-abiding American gun owners of being responsible for a mass murderer’s actions. Many also blamed National Rifle Association members directly. A few even called the NRA a “terrorist” organization.
Just one night after an evil man took 58 lives in Las Vegas and wounded hundreds more, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and other late-night comedians decided to judgmentally and boorishly preach elitist, far-left propaganda aimed at law-abiding gun owners.
Kimmel opened his ABC late-night talk show by saying, “I want this to be a comedy show—I hate talking about stuff like this,” however, “it’s becoming increasingly difficult lately.”
Kimmel said, “When someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, there’s nothing we can do about that.”
He referred to past mass murderers and said, “Every one of these shootings, the murderer used automatic or semi-automatic rifles, which are not weapons you use for self-defense.”
Maybe Kimmel has no idea that semi-automatic firearms, from the venerable Model 1911 pistol to the modern sporting rifle, are what most Americans choose when they pick a home or personal defense gun. Maybe his comic writers didn’t even do a little research to save him from alienating the 100 million-plus Americans who do know this, because they shoot guns on a regular basis.
Kimmel asked his viewers to take action by demanding more restrictions be placed on the right to bear arms. He said Congress and President Donald Trump won’t act because “the NRA has their balls in a money clip.”
Again, a little research could have saved Kimmel from sounding so dimwitted. The NRA has influence because its millions of grassroots members vote for freedom. Even opensecrets.org, at the end of a long, anti-gun screed, recently compared money spent in election cycles by gun-rights and gun control interests and concluded: “There’s no denying that much of the strength of the leading gun rights organization, the National Rifle Association, comes from its broad and passionate membership base and its mastery of grassroots politics.”
Instead of understanding that the NRA is a membership organization where like-minded individuals have banded together to protect freedom, Kimmel said, “[Politicians] should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.”
If Kimmel would have just called the ardent gun control supporter Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., even she could have told him that no gun control law would have stopped this evil man, as this fiend didn’t have a criminal record that would have stopped him from legally purchasing firearms.
Just one night after an evil man took 58 lives in Las Vegas and wounded hundreds more, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and other late-night comedians decided to judgmentally and boorishly preach elitist, far-left propaganda aimed at law-abiding gun owners.Kimmel was obviously taking his talking points directly from anti-gun organizations. That kind of one-sided approach to an important civil rights issue doesn’t make someone a moral authority, it makes them a political hack.
But Kimmel wasn’t done. He also showed a collage of 56 senators who, after the Orlando, Fla., shooting in June 2016, voted against a so-called “universal” background check law (“so-called” because by definition, criminals won’t submit to the “universal” law).
The next morning, after Kimmel’s opinion politics took over his late-night show, Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever said, “Jimmy Kimmel is saying everything right” and went on to add, “a curious evolution process … turned late-night hosts into the nation’s moral conscience.”
The New York Times said that Kimmel was “acting as a social conscience as he called out politicians, the National Rifle Association and complacent citizens.”
The thing is, a conscience doesn’t lie or push a political agenda. Kimmel wasn’t behaving as the nation’s moral conscience; he was using one-sided opinions to attack what he sees as a political opponent. Kimmel had morphed from a comedian into a political pundit—his supporters should at least be honest about that.
CNN’s Bill Carter didn’t understand that fact. A headline for one of his stories read: “How Jimmy Kimmel became America’s conscience. Kimmel simply sounds like a regular guy making reasonable points—because he is a regular guy.”
Right, Kimmel is a regular guy. He may be a star with a late-night show on ABC who has hosted the Emmys and who makes $10 million a year, according to celebritynetworth.com. But other than that, he is just an average Joe.
If Carter were trying to make Kimmel’s attack on American freedom sound like common sense, GQ’s oddball Keith Olbermann took a scorched-earth approach instead. In his show, “The Resistance,” Olbermann called the NRA “a terrorist organization.” Comedian Michael Ian Black repeated the sentiment on Twitter: “The NRA is a terrorist organization. There’s no other way to say it.”
Meanwhile, singer Nancy Sinatra tweeted that NRA members “should face a firing squad.”
Hollywood was flooded with this reaction. Michael Moore, the political pseudo-documentary filmmaker, called on Congress to repeal the Second Amendment. Piers Morgan, the former CNN host from England, said, “The NRA is killing America.”
Even movie producer Harvey Weinstein piled onto the NRA-bashing chorus, despite his current personal problems arising from the recent revelation that he has been sexually harassing women he worked with for decades. And apparently the rabidly anti-gun misogynist is angry that he got caught at his shenanigans. USA Today quoted Weinstein as saying: “I am going to need a place to channel that anger, so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention.”
The moral of this story is that all this punditry, ignorance and, in some instances, hate from late-night hosts and other celebrities is counterproductive . It is designed to turn Americans against other Americans to achieve political results no one believes would have stopped this evil man.Then again, perhaps our late-night comedians, movie producers and Hollywood stars do have some moral high ground to stand on here, as they don’t make or star in movies and video games that promote violence, right?
If these comedians and celebrities really wanted to be brave, that would mean being honest.
Imagine if just one of these late-night hosts had tried to be honest about guns. What would the media reaction have been to that? Yup, it would have been nasty. So who is really brave here: the late-night hosts and the media who went like a lynch mob for American gun owners and the NRA, or someone—anyone—in Hollywood brave enough to say, “Wait a second. What would really stop such a madman?”
Anyway, back to the elitist mob on late night.
On Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Noah said, “When a plane crashes, we talk about plane safety immediately. When a bridge crashes, we talk about infrastructure immediately. … We seem to do everything to avoid talking about guns.”
Yes, safety is an important topic. But, as every gun owner knows, Noah wasn’t really referring to gun safety. He is talking about gun control, about restricting freedom. At least be honest about that, Noah. The NRA, and gun owners in general, are very big on gun safety. Just try treating a gun at a gun range in the manner we see it handled in almost any movie, and within seconds you’ll be disciplined by a safety officer and maybe even tossed off the range.
Meanwhile, on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Meyers said, “When you say, ‘Now is not the time to talk about it,’ what you really mean is, there is never a time to talk about [gun control]. It would be so much more honest if you just admit that your plan is to never talk about it and never take any action.”
Actually, after waiting a respectful few days, the NRA did address the media and explained how no new gun laws could have stopped the Las Vegas shooter. Of course, most in the so-called “mainstream” media scoffed at that important truth.
Meanwhile, Colbert, host of CBS’ “The Late Show,” said: “Congress can be heroes by doing literally anything—‘universal’ background checks, or come up with a better answer. Enforce Obama’s executive order that denied the mentally ill gun purchases, or a better answer. Doing nothing is cowardice.”
CBS’ James Corden, who is from England, said, “Forgive me, because I’m just a foreigner here and some of you may feel I have no place to say this, but how does every other developed country do a better job at preventing these attacks?”
Corden said this as if mass murderers haven’t been striking lately in Paris, London and other big cities.
There were isolated moments of trying to draw Americans together on late-night TV. NBC’s Jimmy Fallon said that in the face “of tragedies and acts of terror, we need to remember that good still exists in this world. We’re here to entertain you tonight.” Fallon then introduced Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler, who performed Dido’s “No Freedom” in honor of the victims.
Yet many politicians weren’t able to do this. Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for example, tweeted shortly after the attack: “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”
Of course, suppressors don’t make firearms whisper-quiet like we hear in so many Hollywood productions, but Clinton has never been factual about guns. In fact, virtually everything she has ever said about guns is the direct opposite of the truth.
The moral of this story is that all this punditry, ignorance and, in some instances, hate from late-night hosts and other celebrities is counterproductive. It is designed to turn Americans against other Americans to achieve political results no one believes would have stopped this evil man.
It would have been more productive if these show hosts either tried to heal us through comedy—after all, they are “comedians”—or if they had really tried to get to the truth about the issues related to violent crime in America. Apparently, that’s too much to ask.
Frank Miniter is the author of Kill Big Brother, a novel that shows how to keep government from infringing on our liberties. Miniter is also the author of the The New York Times’ bestseller The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide—Recovering the Lost Art of Manhood, This Will Make a Man of You and The Future of the Gun. He is a contributor to Forbes and writes for many publications. His website is FrankMiniter.com.