It was embarrassing to watch.
In what might be a new low for broadcast television, as well as in the entertainment industry’s ongoing attempt to undo a sitting U.S. president, ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel interviewed porn star Stormy Daniels on Tuesday night following President Trump’s State of the Union address. Daniels’ alleged sexual encounter with the president in 2006 was the subject of a recent exposé in the tabloid magazine, InTouch. And she’s more than earning her 15 minutes of fame thanks to anti-Trump garbage-peddlers like Kimmel.
Before I get into the depraved details, let me say this: I feel sorry for Mrs. Jimmy Kimmel. Not only does her husband routinely exploit their ill child to score political points, Kimmel humiliated her with this lewd interview, where Daniels openly flirted with him as he asked her degrading questions about sex. If my husband behaved this way in any setting—let alone on national television for the purpose of feeding the sick voyeurism of millions of people—he’d arrive home to find a nine iron aimed at his windshield.
Kimmel will use anyone as a prop to vent his uncontrolled Trump-rage and agitate his like-minded viewers. Just before the Daniels segment, Kimmel hosted a weird Oprah-like panel where several Americans who oppose amnesty for so-called Dreamers came face-to-face with a woman named Esmeralda, a woman brought to the U.S. from Mexico as a child, who is engaged and has a child with an American citizen. When one DACA foe told Kimmel, “We live in a most loving, compassionate and exceptional country,” Kimmel cut off the woman and said, “No, I don’t agree with that. I think this country has become cruel.” (Kimmel suffers from what I call the “I-just-started-paying-attention-to-politics-after-Trump-was-elected” syndrome. He must not be aware that deportations have been occurring for decades, and even accelerated during President Obama’s tenure.)
But the one-time comedian smoothly pivoted from angst-ridden immigrant champion to creepy middle-aged man in an instant as Daniels appeared on the set. Dressed in a tight blue dress to emphasize her humongous breasts (seriously, how do these women not fall over?), she played coy with Kimmel as he asked one raunchy question after another. She appeared nervous as Kimmel read aloud the letter that circulated on social media yesterday, purportedly signed by Daniels, that again denied the affair. He pointed out the signatures didn’t match previous autographs as he held up photos of her wearing a bikini: “Did you sign this letter that was released today?” Daniels replied, “I don’t know, did I?” She gave the same response when Kimmel asked if she has a non-disclosure agreement with Trump. “Do I?”
As he tried to pry more information from her, Kimmel offered up a truly vile hypothetical about the president: “I’d like to imagine him, like lying in his bed, with cheeseburger wrappers all over, and he’s like ‘I was so great at the State of the Union tonight,’ then he turns on the TV and he’s like, ‘Oh no, Stormy, why are you on that talk show when you could be here in bed with me having the most fantastic love-making of your entire life.’”
Yet another new line is crossed in the Age of Trump.
Daniels refused to confirm any details of the InTouch transcript that Kimmel read aloud. When that tactic didn’t work, Kimmel shamefully presented Daniels with three carrots—a large one, a small one, and a tiny one. “You describe Trump’s junk in detail . . . ” Daniels cut him off, unamused—“What’s wrong with you?”—and would not choose a vegetable that resembled the president’s genitalia. (I know I just wrote that but I really can’t believe I just wrote that and I am so glad my grandparents are not alive to read what I had to write.)
So shortly after crossing a new line, Kimmel trammeled another.
Even as the audience became more subdued, one hopes in reaction to Kimmel’s grotesque line of questioning and vulgar behavior, Kimmel seemed oblivious and did not take the hint. He pulled out two puppets, one to represent Daniels and one dressed in white underwear to represent the president, and played a stupid game asking Daniels more questions in an attempt to get her to fess up to the affair. It went nowhere: “This is an unsuccessful experiment.”
Before the show ended, Kimmel tried one more time: “Have you ever made love to anyone whose name rhymes with Lonald Lump?” Daniels: “I’ll call you whatever you want me to, baby.”
Poor Mrs. Kimmel.
The interview’s only merit is that it offered a glimpse into who Daniels is, and whether she is a credible accuser. She did not confirm the tryst, seemed surprised at some of the details Kimmel read from the InTouch piece, and toyed with the host in a manner that suggested she is enjoying her newfound fame more than any credible attempt at exposing (so to speak) the current president. Did she have a fling with Trump? We still do not know for sure.
What I do know is that Trump’s foes have inexplicably used Daniels as a cudgel to abuse the president as well evangelicals who have refused to condemn him for the alleged affair. Jimmy Kimmel’s interview doesn’t lend a lot of weight to their arguments, but it does raise questions. Why do these pundits find the Daniels story to be believable, even when she has denied it several times? Is there room to doubt this happened in the way the InTouch article described? Should influential writers jump on unsubstantiated, salacious rumors in an effort to browbeat the president? Is there much daylight between what these columnists wrote and how Kimmel conducted himself in this interview?
Trump’s enemies often claim he is degrading the presidency, and that its honor will never be restored. But it is unfathomable how the entertainment industry can ever return to any modicum of decency after how it has treated Donald Trump. The funny thing is that they think they’re hurting the president more than they’re humiliating themselves and their industry. Someone should let them know that the joke is on them.
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