The childish exchange got ugly beyond the usual name-calling by Hannity.
Since Jimmy Kimmel has used his ABC talk show as a platform to speak on issues such as health care and gun control, the host has found himself the target of attacks by right-wing citizens and pundits. Following the White House Easter Egg Roll, Kimmel poked some fun at the first lady’s accent in what many on both sides of the political aisle saw as a lazy, insensitive joke, but lacking any obvious malice.
That stunt (if one could even call it that) drew a response from frequent critic Sean Hannity of Fox News, who took Kimmel to task for mocking the first lady, despite the fact that Hannity made a habit of such attacks during the Obama administration. While Hannity may have had a kernel of legitimacy in a claim that the Kimmel piece was distasteful, he escalated his claims to an absurd level, calling Kimmel a pervert, a racist, and a pig.
He also called Kimmel an assclown, a moniker that may fan the flames of sensationalism, but does little to actually drive a point home.
In a more telling tweet, Hannity pledged to harass Kimmel for “the rest of his career” if the late-night host continues his “attacks.”
Hannity threatens to go after Kimmel every night "for the rest of my career" if the comic keeps attacking the Trump family— Scott Greer (@Scott Greer) 1523064068.0
Kimmel responded to the surreal backlash in a monologue on his show.
Kimmel, amidst the emotions and game of social media one-upmanship, fired off an ill-advised tweet comparing Hannity’s subservience to the Trump agenda to a gay relationship.
Don't worry - just keep tweeting - you'll get back on top! (or does Trump prefer you on bottom?) Either way, keep… https://t.co/DR0xaAzuVz— Jimmy Kimmel (@Jimmy Kimmel) 1523050013.0
Amid a fruitless campaign by Hannity attempting to paint Kimmel as a “pervert” with virtually nothing to support the painfully vague claim, Kimmel fired off a number of pithy responses, all visible in his Twitter feed.
However, on April 8, Kimmel crafted a more thoughtful message to Sean Hannity (and Twitter users), expressing a desire to call off their feud. In the missive, Kimmel apologies for the homosexual innuendo he tweeted, as well as his targeting of the first lady in what was a fairly benign joke. Shockingly, the message also touches on threats and attacks directed to his wife and infant son as a reason for wanting to end the fight.
Still, amid the somber tone of the note, he manages to take Hannity to task, using his rabid defense of Melania as a tongue-in-cheek indication of a reformed outlook on women’s right and immigrants.
re. @seanhannity https://t.co/DMtWJTMsDU— Jimmy Kimmel (@Jimmy Kimmel) 1523209243.0
The only response Hannity has crafted thus far reads:
So stay tuned. Or don’t, if you don’t happen to care what Sean Hannity’s response is.