When it comes to late night entertainment, we expect a bit of exaggeration. We’re tuning in to be entertained, after all, and to escape reality for just a few moments.
But there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, and not every television host’s expectation of where that line should be is the same. Some are far more crass than others, and a few have even been known to dabble in mis-and-disinformation.
Hollywood staple Jimmy Kimmel, for instance, was outed on Friday as having used misleading video footage in an attempt to cast aspersions on Vice President Mike Pence’s goodwill.
“Here he is with no mask on, wheeling boxes of PPEs into a health care center, and doing his best to lift them, what a hero… since it was going so well, and also because he didn’t realize he had a mic on, Magic Mike decided to keep it going, listen in closely here,” Kimmel said before playing audio from the footage.
The ABC late-night host showed a staffer telling Pence the leftover boxes were empty and it was time to go.
“Well can I carry the extra ones? Just for the camera?” Pence asked.
Kimmel then scolded Pence without revealing the context of the footage.
“Mike Pence pretending to carry empty boxes of PPEs into a hospital is a perfect metaphor for who he is and what he’s doing. A big box of nothing,” Kimmel said.
The media soon pounced on Kimmel’s deception.
BuzzFeed News deputy director David Mack noticed the misleading clip and defended the vice president.
“This isn’t true. The clip cuts out at a selective point. When you watch the CSPAN footage (9 min in), Pence makes the crack about carrying the empty ones and the guy says ‘Absolutely. They’re a lot easier!’ Pence laughs then immediately shuts the van door,” Mack wrote, adding a link to the CSPAN footage.
“Pence and the other officials lift boxes that clearly weigh something (i.e. contain things). Pence returns to the car, makes the empty box comment with a smirk, guy responds with crack of his own, they laugh, Pence closes door,” Mack added.
As President Trump would say, the whole thing is “fake news”.
Jimmy Kimmel has been an outspoken opponent of President Trump for some time, often attempting to portray the Commander in Chief as “racist”, despite the fact that Kimmel himself has several times performed in blackface on national television.
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