The feud between talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel and Sen. Bill Cassidy is heating up. Cassidy, co-author of the latest attempt by Republicans to kill ObamaCare, has been clashing with Kimmel over the healthcare bill. It all began when the Senator promised Kimmel that he wouldn’t support any bill that didn’t pass the “Jimmy Kimmel Test.” That was a term Cassidy coined to insure that healthcare legislation prohibited benefit caps and included coverage for preexisting conditions. Those features, among others, were championed by Kimmel following the recent birth of his son with heart defects.
When Cassidy’s bill was introduced it notably failed the Kimmel test. While technically containing language referring to preexisting conditions, it allows insurance companies to raise rates on those customers. In effect, they could increase premiums without limit making policies unaffordable. Not surprisingly, Kimmel brought up that failure on his show, pointing out that Cassidy had lied to his face. In response the bill’s authors fired back at Kimmel with more lies and personal attacks. Sen. Lindsay Graham tweeted that Kimmel was offering “FakeNews on steroids.” Cassidy said “I’m sorry [Kimmel] does not understand.” To which Kimmel replied (video below):
“Oh, I get it. I don’t understand because I’m a talk-show host, right? Well then, help me out. Which part don’t I understand? Is it the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance? Am I not understanding the part where states would be allowed to let insurance companies price you out of coverage for having pre-existing conditions? Maybe I’m not understanding the part of your bill in which federal funding disappears completely after 2026? Or maybe it was the part where the plans are no longer required to pay for essential health benefits, like maternity care or pediatric visits?”
Kimmel went on to ask whether he failed to understand the public reaction to Cassidy’s legislation. He listed more than a dozen respected healthcare organizations who “all vehemently oppose your bill.” They included the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the March of Dimes.
But then Kimmel shifted gears to address some comments made by Brian Kilmeade of Fox News. The co-host of Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, lashed out at Kimmel for speaking his mind on a subject that was painfully close to him. Kilmeade said that:
“Sunday’s politically charged Emmys may have been the lowest-rated in history, but that’s not stopping Hollywood elites like comedian Jimmy Kimmel from pushing their politics on the rest of the country.”
Kilmeade was wrong – again. The Emmy broadcast was not the lowest rated in history. But what that has to do with the validity of anything Jimmy Kimmel says is a mystery. However, if that’s the standard Kilmeade wants to use he should note that Kimmel’s ratings have soared during this recent dust-up. Therefore, he is at least as entitled to express his views as Kilmeade does everyday on his pretend news program. What’s more, experts have sided with Kimmel’s analysis over Cassidy’s, and PolitiFact called Cassidy’s remarks “mostly false.” So Kimmel did express his views again Wednesday night in response to Kilmeade:
“Thanks, Brian. That was Brian Kilmeade. And the reason I found this comment to be particularly annoying is because this is a guy, Brian Kilmeade, who whenever I see him kisses my ass like a little boy meeting Batman. He’s such a fan. I think he’s been to the show, he follows me on Twitter. He asked me to write a blurb for his book – which I did, he calls my agent looking for projects. He’s dying to be a member of the ‘Hollywood elite.’ The only reason he’s not a member of the ‘Hollywood elite’ is that no one will hire him to be one!
“And you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more. Because of that, I’ve learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation. I don’t get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you. That is my blurb—that would be my blurb for your next book: ‘Brian Kilmeade is a phony little creep.’”
The whole segment is well worth watching. Kimmel obviously and understandably has a personal attachment to this issue. And, as he he said, the terms of the healthcare bill don’t affect him because he has the resources to take care of whatever his family encounters. His commentaries are on behalf of millions of Americans who stand to suffer if Republicans like Cassidy get their way. Phony creeps like Kilmeade really need to stop harassing caring people like Kimmel who will always win such battles.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.