OPINION | This article contains the author's opinion.
Liberal comedian Jimmy Kimmel is widely known for his humorless mockery of Donald Trump after he announced his candidacy for president back in June 2015.
Kimmel is finally coming clean about the whole situation, suggesting that he was doing a “public service” and “couldn’t live with himself” if he failed to put down Trump.
“I have lost half of my fans — maybe more than that,” Kimmel said. “10 years ago among Republicans I was the most popular talk show host,” according to research.
Kimmel admits that ABC executives “hinted” that he should be more fair and neutral by backing off the unfunny jokes about Trump.
“I just said, ‘If that’s what you want to do, I understand and I don’t begrudge you for it, but I’m not going to do that,’” Kimmel responded during an interview with co-hosts Phil Rosenthal and David Wild.
Kimmel’s so-called comedy skits against Trump were notoriously vicious and tasteless.
If the same jokes and skits were performed against Obama or Biden, the late-night host would undoubtedly be condemned as hateful.
Interviewer Phil Rosenthal said Kimmel was doing a “public service” with his show and Kimmel seemingly agreed.
“I couldn’t live with myself [otherwise],” Kimmel responded to Rosenthal.
Kimmel agreed that being more fair and neutral to Trump would help his popularly and ratings in the free market since many Americans support Trump.
“If you want somebody else to host the show, then that’s fine. That’s OK with me. I’m just not going to do it like that,” Kimmel reportedly told ABC.
“No one is watching network television anymore,” Kimmel said, explaining that most people watch his show online. Kimmel has 18.9 million subscribers on YouTube.
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He said the executives backed off because they knew he was “serious.”
Kimmel said he doesn’t think of what he does in that “grandiose of a way” but “I love this country too. That flag doesn’t belong to them. This is ours. And when I see somebody coming in and ruining it I’m going to say something about it.”
He said he’s “proud” to be speaking against Trump but feels like “there’s a sacrifice you make when it comes to your audience and you could do pretty well if you just stayed down the middle.”
He also joked that he hopes that he’s on the air when “Trump goes to jail.”
Kimmel’s show has been on the air since 2003 and ratings have dropped substantially in the last few years along with the other late-night programs.