Jimmy Kimmel Goes After Everyone At Correspondents' Dinner
Tonight was the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's usually attended by the President, who gives brief remarks, and a famous comedian provides entertainment. Sometimes this goes over better than others. In 2006, the entertainment -- Stephen Colbert -- was so hostile that many George W. Bush aides walked out. Various liberal groups loved it, of course.
So Jimmy Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, had the honors tonight and he was absolutely ruthless. Against everyone. But because it was the first time I'd ever seen anyone go after Democrats, I'm still somewhat in shock. I followed the jokes on Twitter as opposed to watching him deliver them, but he was brutal. Here's how Mediaite wrote it up:
Kimmel thanked the President for his appearance tonight, saying “salaam.”
“Mr. President, I know you won’t be able to laugh at any of my jokes about the Secret Service so cover your ears if that’s physically possible,” said Kimmel. “If this had happened on President [Bill] Clinton’s watch, you can damn well bet those Secret Service agents would have been disciplined with a very serious high five.”
Kimmel joked about the General Services Administration’s scandal, the President’s ability to compromise with the Republican party by conceding to their demands and White House advisor Peter Orszag.
Kimmel also joked about the journey the country has taken with Obama from 2008 to today and how so much has changed. “Mr. President, remember when the country rallied around you in hopes of a better tomorrow,” asked Kimmel. “That was hilarious.”
“There’s a term for President Obama. Probably not two,” said Kimmel. “Even some of your fellow Democrats think you’re a pushover Mr. President. They would like to see you stick to your guns. And if you don’t have any guns, they would like to see you ask [Attorney General] Eric Holder to get some for you. Jake Tapper wrote that.”
“They say diplomacy is a matter of carrots and sticks,” Kimmel said. “And since Mrs. Obama got to the White House, so is dinner.” Kimmel went on a tear about the President’s weight loss and how that reflects on the state of the nation. Targeting Michelle Obama, Kimmel said, “look, it’s [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie. Get him!”
Kimmel took aim at the Occupy Wall Street movement as well, saying “it took moths of hacky sack and patchouli oil but, finally, Wall Street isn’t greedy anymore.”
Kimmel mocked the recent scandal surrounding Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s response that he knew “three” Hilary Rosens. “Three Hilarys,” said Kimmel. “That sounds like Bill Clinton’s worst nightmare.”
He went after Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, the Republican Party in general and Allan West. This is all to be expected of a typical comedian. But it was the other people he went after that I found most interesting:
Democrats, too, were the target of Kimmel’s jokes. “[Rep.] Nancy Pelosi believes in lipstick like she believes in government,” said Kimmel. “Too much is never enough.” He said that Jake Tapper wrote that joke as well.
And yes, within moments, Keith Olbermann sent out an angry tweet complaining. (And you should have seen how angry the liberals I follow on Twitter were -- they are simply unaccustomed to being ripped on like this in a high-profile manner.)
On a silly night where D.C. journalists embarrass themselves with their odd invitations to Hollywood celebrities, I'm a bit impressed. It takes precisely no courage to go after Rush Limbaugh. You might recall that a previous host at this event literally wished him dead. But it does take some courage to go after Obama, his failed administration, the scandals that the rest of the media are pretending don't exist, and the Democratic Party in general.