A comic should know, timing is everything.
But then, Jimmy Kimmel’s not much of a comic.
The Trump campaign is demanding a correction from the late-night comic after the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host took to the airwaves on Monday with a line about the president and the raid that killed terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In the set-up to a joke jabbing at Trump’s Twitter habits, Kimmel repeated a lie that had been spread over the weekend by the White House photographer for former President Barack Obama.
And to make matters worse, the lie had already been debunked long before Kimmel ever took the stage.
Kimmel started the joke with a faulty timeline of the al-Baghdadi operation.
“They got him during a raid in Syria,” Kimmel said Monday.
“Now, President Trump was reportedly golfing when they went in. The raid started at 3:30 p.m. According to his schedule, Trump was playing golf at his course in northern Virginia Saturday until a little after 3. Didn’t make it back to the White House until 4:18.”
As The Daily Caller News Foundation reported, Kimmel apparently got that information from a Twitter post Sunday by Obama White House photographer Peter Souza, who strongly implied that a photo of Trump in the White House Situation Room during the raid had been staged for publicity’s sake.
Souza’s deceptive post was retweeted more than 21,000 times.
But as The DCNF also pointed, Souza had published a follow-up Twitter post on Sunday — more than 24 hours before Kimmel went on stage — clarifying what was actually being reported.
The latest reporting from the NYT: the helicopters left Iraq at 5PM (Washington time), and they reported it was about a 70-minute flight to Syria. So actual raid had to happen some time after 6:10PM. https://t.co/rErbPLJlpD
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) October 27, 2019
That didn’t stop Kimmel from going on television to spread a flat-out lie about the president to his millions of viewers.
And Trump’s campaign on Tuesday fired back.
“Trying for a cheap laugh, @JimmyKimmelLive last night repeated the long-disproven lie that the President was golfing during the al-Baghdadi raid – a Twitter lie pushed by Obama photographer @PeteSouza,” Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh wrote.
Trying for a cheap laugh, @JimmyKimmelLive last night repeated the long-disproven lie that the President was golfing during the al-Baghdadi raid – a Twitter lie pushed by Obama photographer @PeteSouza.
Real timeline was out way before Kimmel’s show. He should retract & correct. pic.twitter.com/Aa7pPlASfW
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) October 29, 2019
WARNING: One of the following tweets contains profane language that some viewers may find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised.
Kimmel has never been all that funny to begin with, but his overtly politicized show — whether pushing Obamacare, pathetically “mourning” the death of a lion in Zimbabwe or attacking the presidency of Donald Trump — has made him a reviled figure among American conservatives. (Conservative commentator Candace Owens once even accused him of “single-handedly” ruining late-night TV.)
And that showed in the responses to Murtaugh’s tweet.
Jimmy should retract and correct his entire show! It’s not even entertaining. None of the late night shows are anymore. It’s sad. They used to give us a good laugh back when they were actually comical. They’ve turned into nothing more than political shit shows. No thanks!
— Momma (@sherieppinger) October 30, 2019
The extreme liberal left keep lying. Why, be a because this is all they know how to do. Communist propaganda.
— Jackie Lelsz (@JacquelineLelsz) October 29, 2019
He isn’t a comedian but a propagandist ! Shame
— Dumpling88 🍎🍎🍎🍀🌸🌺🌻🐇 (@Dumpling88) October 30, 2019
That last one nails it.
Late-night comics have never been accused of conservative tendencies, but their leftist politics have been on full display during the Trump presidency.
But this isn’t just a question of politics, or being a fan of Trump; it’s a basic question of fact — where the president was during the raid that killed one of the United States’ worst enemies on the world stage.
The record shows Trump was in the White House at the time. And even a lousy comic should know that timing is everything.
Truth should matter even more.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.