Hollywood, a Town of Jesters Who Act like Kings - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Hollywood, a Town of Jesters Who Act like Kings

Early in his career Jimmy Kimmel used to mock celebrities for their self-importance and presumption. Now he has become one of them. So much for his experiences on The Man Show. He has become just another entitled, weepy, egotistical entertainer lecturing middle America on animal rights, feminism, and socialized medicine.

“Kimmel Chokes Up On Air Over Cecil the Lion,” read one headline a few years back. This week, in a burst of self-righteousness, he gave out the phone numbers of senators in order to stop the repeal of Obamacare and devoted a monologue to its supposed glories.

But like Jon Stewart, one of the pioneers of late-night, virtue-signaling political activism, Kimmel mixes into his oh-so-solemn punditry a lot of immature mugging and demagogic cheap shots. Here we see the cowardly dilettantism of left-wing comics and Hollywood celebrities in general at work. They are jesters who demand to be listened to as if they are kings, while reserving the right to resume their silliness and irresponsibility the moment anyone presses them on their shallow views. “I am just a comedian or actor,” they start mumbling as soon as a policy discussion grows too taxing or sophisticated for their tiny minds.

Kimmel’s “skit” illustrating his position on the dangers of repealing Obamacare — a man orders a coffee at Starbucks, only to receive a cup with a hole in it — wasn’t even remotely apt. If that’s analogous to anything, it is the current system under government fiats. Except the unfairness of the transaction is much greater. If one were to put the utopian infantilism of Kimmel into that skit form, the man would demand a coffee without payment or pay pennies and then demand the entire coffee supply of the store in return, while everyone behind him in line is told by the cops to fork over their wallets to pay for it.

The pouting of Kimmel revolves around a fiction greater than the storylines in the movies his guests tout — that socialized medicine benefits all. No, it benefits the few at the expense of the many and even the luck of those lucky few runs out once the system craters. Just ask cancer-ridden members of the lower class in socialist countries.

Among Hillary Clinton’s other bitter complaints is that she lost to a “reality TV star,” as if she paid a noble price for rising above the superficiality and dishonesty of an increasingly crass, celebrity-driven public culture. Never mind that she spent more time at the mansions of Hollywood stars than in Wisconsin. If anyone pushed low-brow entertainment into politics, it is the Democrats, who sit at the feet of fatuous late-night comics (from Bill Maher to Stephen Colbert) and sometimes turn them into senators (Al Franken). The Democrats pop up on shows with such luminaries as Joy Behar, who has all the moral authority and intellectual depth of a 19th-century bar maid, and act as if their elephantine huffs should dictate public policy. Only in this ethos could the headline “Senators Respond to Kimmel” be possible.

The Democrats want immigration policy set by Emma Lazarus and health care policy set by Jimmy Kimmel. Their politics depends entirely upon the kinds of cheap emotional appeals that Hollywood has perfected. The groups that suffer the most from the dysfunction and self-indulgence to which this leads are the poor and children. Yet they always figure first into the Democrats’ demagoguery. “It is for the children,” we hear from liberals who stand upon the graves of unborn children. From this or that hellish inner city, disappearing into the wasteland of an endless “war on poverty,” they call for more infusions of welfare. And now they insist upon the continuation of Obamacare while posturing before hospitals hollowed out by its onerous regulations.

Democrats and Hollywood entertainers share a common bond: they both trade in fantasy. If Trump is a “reality star,” as Hillary claims, at least he has a connection to reality. It is his reassertion of common sense that is frightening the fantasists, whose childish expectation that politics conform to their fantasies and egos renders them hysterical. The Jimmy Kimmel of old might have seen in this babyish hysteria the material for a joke. Instead, he became one.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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