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The aim is to raise $500,000 for a children's hospital- but Jimmy is uncharacteristically quiet.

You can't usually get Jimmy Kimmel to shut up. Whether it's railing against gun owners, insulting Christians and Republicans in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, or exploiting his own child's illness to tearfully reprimand the nation over Obamacare, Kimmel has an opinion on everything. We can be glad that he does, after all by his own admission he is one of the smartest people around.

In fairness, Kimmel doesn't claim that you need to be a genius to do his job. The full quote for context:

“And it also just so happens that pretty much every late-night talk show host is a liberal, and that’s because it requires a measure of intelligence. Not a ton, not a tremendous amount of intelligence, but you do have to be over the baseline.”

The wonderful irony of Jimmy Kimmel is that he genuinely believes that he is an intelligent man. Like many people -regardless of political affiliation- he has conflated being clever with being intelligent. These are not the same thing, and it is a misconception that betrays Kimmel's incredible pompousness. To then proceed to state that it was his "intelligence" that led him to be a liberal rather than any other factor is, without doubt, the funniest thing Kimmel has ever said.

A clever man may well be quick of wit, funny or engaging- but it does not mean that he is intelligent. We need only look at Kimmel's own history to ascertain that Kimmel is far from intelligent.

Does it require a certain level of intelligence to put on black-face and imply that a professional athlete is stupid? No doubt it is quite a clever joke to Kimmel, to poke at the mental inadequacies of his physical superiors. An intelligent person might weigh up the wisdom of blacking up for a gag, but a clever person may just see the joke. Of course, this skit took place long before Kimmel became the moral arbiter of American television- so we shouldn't judge people on their past mistakes.

I see that Jimmy disagrees with my position- and so who am I to argue with him? As it is evidently a moral good that our intellectual betters muckrake in search of precious political collateral, I assume it is okay for the rest of us. After all, if it is okay for Jimmy Kimmel to interview Stormy Daniels about unproven allegations because he thinks it will further his crusade against President Trump, then surely he cannot complain if we question his own liberal credentials based on his public body of work. I think that is treating Kimmel with a greater degree of fairness than he treats anybody else.

This is a very clever joke about gun control that is a good excuse for Kimmel to get groped by good looking White women.

A clever gag indeed, but not intelligent. I think I've made my point here. Kimmel is a clown, a court jester at the Progressive Palace. A vain man of now fifty years of age, Kimmel has fallen for one of the most readily understood truths about human beings- we are prone to over-estimation of our own abilities.

"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool" Shakespeare, As You Like It, V. i

We know this phenomenon today as the Dunning-Kruger effect, but the sages of antiquity recognized the problem also. Kimmel, like many people, thinks that they are smarter than they actually are. This flaw is particularly common among clever men- cleverness of mind leads to arrogance, as the clever man outwits the intelligent and dumb alike. Speaking from experience as quite a clever person myself, the fall from such a precarious perch is humbling in the extreme.

"The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."  ~ Kruger, Justin; Dunning, David (1999). Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.

The fall from the lofty peak of Mount Hubris is long indeed. Invariably it begins with the realization that in reality, your mouth is writing checks your ass can't cash- and has been doing so for a long time. Clever and successful people- usually men- avoid this realization for far longer than the less-adroit, who learn as children that they cannot rely on cleverness alone to navigate the world. Cleverness goes a long way, particularly when one deliberately avoids encountering situations in which one will appear unskilled.

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I believe this is where Mr. Shapiro enters, stage left. The challenge laid down by Austen Fletcher will be legitimately disconcerting for Kimmel- we can at least grant Kimmel with enough intelligence to recognize when he is utterly outmatched. As much as one might disagree with Shapiro on issues (or that he throws around accusations of White supremacy far too frequently) it is indisputable that he is formidable in debate. The incidences of Shapiro actually losing in debate are so few that they should be stored in the Smithsonian as examples of the rarest things known to man.

Kimmel knows that a fate worse than that which befell Cenk Uygur awaits.

Kimmel knows about the offer of a debate, and while soaring on his wings of moral authority he has begun to notice the melting wax holding his feathers in place. The clever thing for Kimmel to do is to avoid the debate. The clever thing to do is to wait for the furor to blow over and carry on flapping- it's what Kimmel has always done and always will do because he is incapable of true intelligence.

To be excellent intellectually requires humility because no man is the Library of Alexandria made flesh. Woodrow Wilson said that “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.” We all understand this idea but few put it into practice, arrogantly strutting across the stage of our lives as if we are infallible. Shapiro does exude a certain arrogance himself, but at the very least he is not unintelligent enough to ignore his own failings. This is how intelligence operates in a practical sense, to recognize what you do not know and to take measures to acquire knowledge.

Is that the certain intelligence it requires to be a late-night talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel? Or can you muddle through with wit and a broad smile? Appealing to emotions and virtue signaling are not intelligent acts, though they will garner you a large following of unintelligent people. Debating from a position of well-rounded principle certainly is an intelligent act- though it draws far smaller crowds. That is why we shall see no response from Kimmel. He will not debate Shapiro, not even with half a million dollars raised for sick children on the table. His ego is too precious to be harmed in such a manner, and his reputation too fragile, too vulnerable to being picked apart and exposed as being the thin veneer of a shyster'sconfidence trick. Kimmel depends on not being interrogated to draw his authority. Jimmy Kimmel Live! is the longest-running talk-show in ABC's history; how often do you suppose Kimmel himself has had to defend his positions based on principle, as opposed to his usual fare of emotional bargaining or special pleading?

I will wager you can count these instances on one hand, which if I am correct is a pretty sad scene for Kimmel- more than 15 years in the same job, and he stands on nothing but castles made of sand. No wonder he only speaks his mind when he is beyond the reach of his many detractors. I'll leave the last word to Ben Shapiro.

I have a question: who died and made Jimmy Kimmel God? Who’s Jimmy Kimmel to decide whether thoughts, your thoughts and your prayers, are insufficient? So, your thoughts and prayers are only sufficient if you do what Jimmy Kimmel wants you to do? That’s the way this works now? Who died and made him Jesus? Really, how did this work exactly, that Jimmy Kimmel gets to be the great moral arbiter of our time? A late-night talk show host who used to host “The Man Show” with women bouncing on trampolines? He’s now the great arbiter of what constitutes morality in politics and if you disagree with him, your thoughts and prayers are insufficient. It doesn’t matter that you were fervently praying for the victims, doesn’t matter that you were donating your time or your blood. None of that matters if you disagree with Jimmy Kimmel; what you’ve done today is insufficient. You must pay. You will burn in the fiery bowels of Jimmy Kimmel’s hell. Just gross.

Put your money where your mouth is, Kimmel. Why do you hate sick kids so much?

Ash Sharp

by Ash Sharp

Editor.