Jimmy Kimmel admonished Senate Republicans for the second evening in a row over their last-minute push to pass a major healthcare package, but he singled out one particular voice from the conservative media sphere: the Fox News host Brian Kilmeade.
The “Fox & Friends” cohost on Wednesday morning said low ratings for awards shows like the Emmys were “not stopping Hollywood elites like Jimmy Kimmel from pushing their politics on the rest of the country.”
He was referring to Kimmel’s impassioned condemnation of the healthcare bill for failing to prevent discrimination based on preexisting conditions, offer lower premiums for middle-class families, and prevent lifetime limits on care.
During another monologue on Wednesday, the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host said Kilmeade was often much kinder to Kimmel offscreen.
“The reason I found this comment to be particularly annoying is this is a guy, Brian Kilmeade, whenever I see him, kisses my ass like a little boy meeting Batman,” Kimmel said.
“He follows me on Twitter, he asked me to write a blurb for his book, which I did. He calls my agent looking for projects. He’s dying to be a member of the Hollywood elite. And the only reason he’s not a member of the Hollywood elite is no one will hire him to be one.”
“And the reason I’m talking about this is my son had an open-heart surgery, then has to have two more, and because of that I learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation. I don’t get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. I’ll pound you when I see you. That is my blurb. That’ll be my blurb for your next book: ‘Brian Kilmead is a phony little creep.'”
Kilmeade responded briefly on Thursday, saying that Kimmel was “doing a great job bringing the dialogue out,” but advised the late night host to interview key Republicans who were shaping the healthcare bill.
He also acknowledged said that he’d interviewed Kimmel on several occasions about his late night show, but denied sucking up to the comedian.
“I didn’t kiss your butt, I thought you did a good job, and I thought I’d highlight behind the scenes on an up-and-coming talk show,” Kilmeade said
Kimmel has become one of the most prominent critics of congressional Republicans’ attempts to overhaul the US healthcare system.
In May, the late-night host delivered an impassioned plea to Republicans not to allow insurers to deny health insurance based on preexisting conditions. Days earlier, Kimmel’s infant son required the first of what Kimmel said would be three open-heart surgeries, which Kimmel said would’ve been prohibitively expensive for those without health coverage.
The latest healthcare bill, pushed by Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, would eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s coverage requirements and its insurance subsidies, replacing them with smaller block grants for 34 states to spend as they please.
The plan also allows states to apply for waivers that could effectively price sick people out of markets by allowing insurers to charge them more for care.
Watch the clip below: