Trending Topics:

Obama high-fives Jimmy Kimmel after he calls Netanyahu a warmongering ‘yahoo’

on 65 Comments

White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Go to 21:22, with a smiling Obama in attendance, then check out the high five a few minutes later:

I have a question: Who are these people who think it would be a good idea to attack Iran? I hear people say, Bomb ’em, nuke ’em, just do it now. They’re a real bunch of yahoos, and Netanyahus.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

Other posts by .

Posted In:

65 Responses

  1. CloakAndDagger on April 29, 2012, 12:27 pm

    Its a pity that only a jewish comedian could pull off such an innocuous joke.

    • mjrosenberg on April 29, 2012, 1:42 pm

      Jimmy Kimmel is an Irish Catholic

      • Blake on April 29, 2012, 2:23 pm

        Whatever his persuasion he was dead on the money regarding the fuhrer yahoo.

      • CloakAndDagger on April 29, 2012, 3:13 pm

        Sorry for my ignorance. In that case, it was doubly brave of him.

      • ritzl on April 29, 2012, 4:39 pm

        @CnD Please do be less “shoot first”-y and, yes, it was doubly brave of him.

        The underlying problem has to be solved collaboratively, imho.

      • American on April 29, 2012, 5:01 pm

        I don’t think you have to apologize either. The fact is we are all conditioned to the fact that something said about Israel that gets public exposure is usually because a Jew said it, not a non Jew. Everyone is thrown by the fact that that is changing somewhat now.

      • Kathleen on May 1, 2012, 11:44 am

        many non Jews have been talking about, living with and witnessing the Palestinian oppression, lobbying and petioning their Reps about this issue for decades. Has seldom gotten press.

      • Daniel Rich on April 29, 2012, 6:13 pm

        @ mjrosenberg,

        side note: how’s your status on the USS Liberty survivors? Any progress yet?

      • Citizen on April 30, 2012, 6:22 am

        Yeah, mjrosenberg, how is your status on the USS Liberty survivors? And how about freedom for Pollard?

      • RoHa on April 29, 2012, 9:28 pm

        He sounds American, not Irish.

      • seanmcbride on April 29, 2012, 11:53 pm

        How about he sounds Italian-German-Irish American. He’s not an ethnic nationalist or chauvinist of any variety, apparently. His emotions are not wound up with any foreign homeland. He is a mainstream American who is focused on American concerns.

      • Citizen on April 30, 2012, 6:24 am

        Who had a thing with Sarah Silverman for awhile; I don’t know why they broke up as a couple…

    • Daniel Rich on April 29, 2012, 6:08 pm

      @ CloakAndDagger,

      I think it’s sad state of affairs that only comedians can/are able or allowed to tell the truth. Not funny at all.

      • RoHa on April 29, 2012, 8:45 pm

        Traditional role of the King’s jester. He was able to tell home truths to the King without ending up in the Tower.

        But I’m not convinced that the ADL is as tolerant and easy-going as, say, Henry VIII.

      • Daniel Rich on April 30, 2012, 12:16 am

        @ RoHa,

        1 – 0

      • Citizen on April 30, 2012, 6:27 am

        Daily Show?

      • Citizen on April 30, 2012, 7:33 am

        Well, I remember, on an early Kathie Griffin HBO stand-up show she introduced herself, said she was a no-holds-barred kinda gal, no taboos; she jokes about everyone, then paused, and laughed out something like, “–except the Jews! Nobody makes fun of the Jews! Are you kidding? I want to keep my job!”
        Then she did not let this hang, but immediately went into her prepared schtick, her usual jokes at celebrities, her “My gays,” etc.

        Kathie is the child of first generation Irish Catholic immigrants. She makes joke at the expense of Catholics very often. She didn’t like how the nuns treated her in school, growing up. She likes to attack the likes of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

        Griffin is one of the most famous female comedians the USA has these days. And her book was on the NYT best seller list.

      • pabelmont on April 30, 2012, 9:43 am

        RoHa: “Traditional role of the King’s jester.” Indeed. Shakespeare did it a few times, I think.

        And another thing — the joke about media folks working only to enrich their corporate masters (“Just something that some people are saying” — so he’s not merely a jokester but a reporter, with unnamed sources).

      • Kathleen on May 1, 2012, 11:46 am

        Did she really say that? Brave woman. Jon Stewart would not touch the issue for over 15 years. The last few years his show is opening up

  2. atime forpeace on April 29, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Check out what Jeremy Haber says about the impotent Israel-lobby…where have you been living Proff Emeritus Slater?

    He also mentions the many blogs that deal with the I/P issue but doesnt even mention mondoweiss dot net.

    ” I want to take (mild) issue with that, and especially with MJ Rosenberg, who today wrote: “If he speaks out on Israel/Palestine, the lobby will try to shut him down….After all, if they can shut Paul Krugman up, who exactly will be allowed to speak?”

    A bit over the top, dear MJ? “They?” “shut Krugman up?” Who will be “allowed” to speak?

    The Israel lobby isn’t that powerful, indeed not by a long, long shot. Indeed, by suggesting that the lobby has the power to shut up the critics, we are in danger of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. It doesn’t take much bravery to take on the lobby; rather, a fear of doing so, when the consequences are so trivial, might be labeled as timidity.”

    • American on April 29, 2012, 4:40 pm

      “” I want to take (mild) issue with that, and especially with MJ Rosenberg, who today wrote: “If he speaks out on Israel/Palestine, the lobby will try to shut him down….After all, if they can shut Paul Krugman up, who exactly will be allowed to speak?”

      Well, the lobby can only shut down public figures they can threaten or take something away from.
      That’s where we non-public figures and average citizens come in.
      We can say whatever we think to whoever we want…nothing AIPAC can do about it.

      • ritzl on April 29, 2012, 5:11 pm


    • Daniel Rich on April 29, 2012, 6:10 pm

      When I read this article it made me wonder why this was/is possible in the first place

    • Citizen on April 30, 2012, 6:32 am

      Yeah, Americans can say anything they want nearly anytime so long as they are not running for public office, especially congressional office, or trying to keep such office. Ditto for high political appointees in any slot influential relative to US foreign policy. And ditto for military brass. And key jobs in the mainstream media, especially on TV news shows and news banter shows.

  3. eljay on April 29, 2012, 12:50 pm

    >> Its a pity that only a jewish comedian could pull off such an innocuous joke.

    My understanding is that he’s Catholic.

  4. on April 29, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Yeah, except he’s not Jewish. So hurry up and change your statement to keep it consistent with your prejudices.

    • libra on April 29, 2012, 2:08 pm

      Yeah, except he’s not Jewish.

      My goodness Terry, you’re right. He’s German.

      So hurry up and change your statement to keep it consistent with your prejudices.

      I certainly didn’t realise Germans could be this funny.

      Is that better for you, Terry?

      • Antidote on April 29, 2012, 3:38 pm

        “I certainly didn’t realise Germans could be this funny.”

        Well, Grass was serious saying the same thing (Israel/Netanyahu wanting to bomb/nuke Iran). No high-five for him.

    • CloakAndDagger on April 29, 2012, 3:29 pm

      @ Terryscott

      For once, you are right. That was clearly a prejudiced statement on my part, and I apologize.

      • PeaceThroughJustice on April 29, 2012, 4:16 pm

        There’s no reason to apologize to Terryscott (and not just because no amount of apology will ever weaken his suspicion of gentiles). Your statement was a perfectly rational opinion (shared by me), based on plenty of empirical evidence, that most gentiles in our mass media try desperately to avoid touching on topics of Jewishness and Israel. By social convention, these are usually reserved for Jews if they’re going to brought up at all. In fact, I imagine that’s why Phil highlighted this otherwise pretty innocuous comment, to show that the broader community is beginning to talk about these things.

        (Now you’re going to feel like you’re being attacked from both sides! Sorry.)

      • libra on April 29, 2012, 4:29 pm

        PTJ: There’s no reason to apologize to Terryscott (and not just because no amount of apology will ever weaken his suspicion of gentiles).

        Well Terry tells us that he is, himself, Irish and seemingly Kimmel is part Irish. So who knows why Terry took offence at Kimmel being misidentified as Jewish? Either way, I agree he doesn’t deserve an apology.

      • CloakAndDagger on April 29, 2012, 4:39 pm

        The prejudice on my part is the belief that a disproportionate number of successful people in the media are jewish, so I “prejudged” Jimmy Kimmel to also be jewish, and this is what I was apologizing for.

      • ritzl on April 29, 2012, 4:41 pm

        Yeah buddy… Well said.

      • on April 29, 2012, 7:35 pm

        Thanks C and D! Although the consensus here is that I don’t deserve it, it really is encouraging to be treated like a human being.
        Of course I wasn’t offended as Jimmy Kimmel being labelled a Jew–it was the statement that followed, i.e. that no gentile could get away with saying what he said. Ultimately, that sort of sloppiness is self-defeating.

      • CloakAndDagger on April 29, 2012, 9:26 pm

        Of course I wasn’t offended as Jimmy Kimmel being labelled a Jew–it was the statement that followed

        Just to be clear, I am not apologizing for the second part, only for the first part (my prejudice).

        It is an observable fact that a non-jewish person is afforded a lot less latitude in what they can state that is critical of Israel than what a jewish person is, and is immediately suspected of antisemitism. This is true at least here in the US, if not also your experience in Ireland.

        Now I understand why Phil posted this about Jimmy Kimmel – because it is remarkable for a non-jew to have made the joke he did. Hopefully, it will cease to be remarkable soon.

        The joke itself is still pretty innocuous, and hardly a knee-slapper or even particularly controversial, and the lobby will be hard-pressed to spin this as being anti-Semitic in any way, but it is still a brave step for a gentile and certainly separates him from those who would robotically adhere to “accepted” speech and self-censor such expressions.

        It will be interesting to see if there is any reaction to this, but he may be fortunate to have made this comment in a week that is crowded by statements by prominent Israelis decrying Netanyahu as a “messianic” warrior.

        I am sorry if you feel that you are not treated as a human being here at MW.

        Sometimes passionate debate can spiral into mutual disrespect. For the most part, I find the people here to be very well-read and well-informed on the topics they debate and sometimes there is impatience when someone proposes a counter-point that is not equally well-researched or backed up by cogent links. I also think that there is a human reaction in a debate where one side is unwilling to be persuaded by the points of the other’s logical, well-documented, well-articulated, and unrefuted arguments. It may lead one to conclude that the purpose of the offending party is not to debate but to silence or divert.

        I am not suggesting that this is the case for you, but it is something to consider. Someone said that when an honest man discovers that he is mistaken, he either chooses to stop being mistaken, or stop being honest.

      • Sumud on April 30, 2012, 3:13 am

        Someone said that when an honest man discovers that he is mistaken, he either chooses to stop being mistaken, or stop being honest.

        I think you have summarised fairly well why people have at times a short fuse with the ziobots; facts be damned, and apologies few and far between.

  5. PeaceThroughJustice on April 29, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Pretty timid. Colbert’s 2006 roast was much more against the grain.

  6. yourstruly on April 29, 2012, 2:15 pm

    re: whether there’s something new developing in the obama administration –

    LA Times lead article yesterday – “U.S. shifts its stance on nuclear Iran – White House might support letting Tehran enrich some uranium if it agrees to other U.N. restrictions.”

    and today, same newspaper, pA3, “Iran may be open to U.S. offer – A Tehran official says a possible deal on limited enrichment may be a ‘good start'”.

    don’t know whether the rest of msm is covering this, and could be the adminstration’s doing a number on the public, building up hope for the big letdown, where from the oval office just before he gives the “bombs away” order, the pres says “nobody can say I didn’t try.”

    but what if this time it’s for real?

    • yourstruly on April 29, 2012, 3:18 pm

      might this election turn out to be a replay of the ’64 election in which lbj took on barry goldwater for having suggested that tactical nuclear weapons be used against vietnam – that issue + goldwater’s disdain for the great society? but if obama were to follow lbj’s blueprint, if elected would he go back on his word, just as lbj did when he intensified and broadened the war? seems that posing as a peacemaker before an election but then, post-election, doing a turnabout is par for the course?

  7. radii on April 29, 2012, 3:07 pm

    the Obama administration has outplayed israel on Iran … it may well be a fait accompli at this point … Netanyahu (in a good interview by Erin Burnett) said “no Swiss cheese” and “contiguous” regarding a Palestinian state, and so many senior and important israeli officials have thrown cold water on Netanyahu and Barak’s Iran plans that public perception inside and outside of israel is now that this is a project of these two men and their supporters, not the nation of israel, not the friends and allies of israel, and certainly not the United States … Iran is contained, making a deal, off-the-table … if israel were to attack the blowback is all on them now (meaning Netanyahu, Barak, and their supporters) … oh, and Kimmel rocked it

    • dahoit on April 29, 2012, 5:43 pm

      If Obombas administration hasn’t decided to attack Iran,it’s only because the winds of public opinion aint blowin their way,just ask the used Iranian car salesman.
      Of whom a word has not been said lately,neh?

    • Daniel Rich on April 29, 2012, 6:17 pm

      @ radii,

      Q: …not the friends and allies of israel…

      R: Friends and allies? Are you jesting?

      • radii on April 30, 2012, 1:03 am

        the friends and allies of israel: hmmm … I know they have them … some leaders in Azerbaijan? … some deposed leaders in Georgia? … some old South Africans? … arms dealers? … ecstasy smugglers? … people who like bribes? … all right, that’s too easy – israel does have “friends” in the diplomatic sense in that they can and do make deals around the world – the U.S. is its only “ally” but I think we’re more of a “host” to a parasite

      • CloakAndDagger on April 30, 2012, 1:29 am

        the U.S. is its only “ally”


        An alliance requires a treaty. We have none.
        A treaty entails well-defined borders. They have none.

      • Citizen on April 30, 2012, 7:21 am

        C&D, how about those MOUs that promise Israel US will protect it militarily whenever Israel says it’s security is threatened, and the one that promises Israel if it needs oil and get get it, the US will send it, even if the US cannot afford to send it? BTW, if memory serves, the US offered to sign a mutual defense treaty with Israel but Israel refused because it wanted to be totally independent in deciding when and if it wanted to go to war.

      • CloakAndDagger on April 30, 2012, 11:14 am

        Our constitution says nothing about our obligations with respect to MOUs. We are only obliged to uphold our treaties.

        Yes, I know that our constitution has been rendered quaint since the Korean war, and is just a damned piece of paper – another reason to help Ron Paul.

  8. Opti on April 29, 2012, 3:49 pm

    Kimmel makes it sound like he is equating Iranian (Persians) with Arabs, when he talk about peace between Israelis and Arabs.

  9. thelepathy on April 29, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Well I reckon Kimmel gathered a stupefying-narcissistic smile.
    Big ROFL for his following statement about, what jews and arabs have in common!

  10. seanmcbride on April 29, 2012, 8:38 pm

    To straighten this out:

    category; Jimmy Kimmel ethnicity; Irish American
    category; Jimmy Kimmel ethnicity; German American
    category; Jimmy Kimmel ethnicity; Italian American
    category; Jimmy Kimmel religion; Roman Catholic

    • unVet on April 29, 2012, 10:19 pm

      That’s James Christian Kimmel!

    • RoHa on April 29, 2012, 11:46 pm

      So he’s American, and not German, Irish, or Italian.

      • seanmcbride on April 30, 2012, 12:14 am

        And he is not brimming over with hostility towards “the enemies of the German people,” “the enemies of the Irish people” and “the enemies of the Italian people.” In other words, he is sane.

  11. seanmcbride on April 29, 2012, 8:48 pm

    Wikipedia on Jimmy Kimmel:

    “He is Roman Catholic and, as a child, served as an altar boy. Kimmel is of German and Irish descent on his father’s side and Italian descent on his mother’s side.”


    “Kimmel co-founded the annual LA Feast of San Gennaro, which celebrates Italian culture through entertainment, music and cuisine. The festival also honors outstanding members of the Los Angeles community and raises funds to aid needy children and families in the city. He hosted Los Angeles’ eighth annual feast of San Gennaro from September 28 to 30, 2009. Kimmel served as Master of Ceremonies for the National Italian American Foundation’s 34th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2009.”

    Which brings to mind the fact that the level of ethnic nationalism among Italian Americans is rather less conspicuous and contentious overall than that among Jewish Americans. This should be a non-controversial statement, right? It is obviously true. There is no equivalent to Charles Krauthammer, Alan Dershowitz, William Kristol or Pamela Geller among Italian-American mainstream media pundits.

    The most urgent problem facing the Jewish community is to reduce the level of conflict over its ethnic nationalist issues and controversies in American and European politics.

  12. Citizen on April 30, 2012, 8:41 am

    On Imus In The Morning today, moments ago, all Kimmel’s jokes at WH correspondents’ dinner were shown in video clips, and discussed–except the one discussed here.

    • Woody Tanaka on April 30, 2012, 9:50 am

      Of course not. Imus is a cutting-edge-shocking humorist — when he’s mocking people of other races and ethnicities.

  13. Kathleen on April 30, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Kimmel and his writers are amazing.
    But what a total myth that Kimmel perpetuates @ 10:55 “MSNBC has moved a bit to the left of Hugo Chavez lately” Yeah right. The Rachel Maddow who has repeated many unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Never touches the Israeli Palestinian issue. Will cover gay human rights issues but never touch the I/P issue. And Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell, Martin Bashir will not touch the topic honestly if at all. Dylan Ratigan has stepped way out on the issue. Much further than Chris Hayes

    Well Chris Hayes is touching the issue but makes sure he says that Iran has repeated “bellicose rhetoric” about Iran but Hayes does not have the balls to say that Israel and the I lobby have endlessly repeated inflammatory rhetoric about Iran .


    My favorite white house correspondents dinner was when Colbert ripped up the Bush administration

  14. Kathleen on April 30, 2012, 12:30 pm

    To the press @ 22:58: Kimmel “Some people say journalism is in decline. They say you have become too politicized. To focused on sensationalism. They say you no longer honor your duty to inform America but actively try to divide us, so your corporate over lords can rake in the profits” Nailed it. They sure went silent after that. Total silence! Wish he would have paused just a bit longer here. Give them time to drown in their complicity in keeping the majority of American people blissfully ignorant of the results of our foreign policy

    Then Kimmel gives himself a way out ” I don’t have a joke for this. Just want to let you know what some people say. Really liked the closing.

    Barbara Walters sure did not like the “tweet” comment. Where is her sense of humor?

    • LanceThruster on April 30, 2012, 7:13 pm

      I agree with his dig at the closing. Well deserved by the press whores..I mean corps.

      And I suppose JK could have used tweets and Elmer Fudd, but it would not have been as topical as BW.

      I think Bill Maher had it right when he spoke of fake outrage (though he is pretty much fully in league with Z-team apologetists – he gushed over Bibi and went pretty easy on Michael Oren if I remember correctly).

      • Kathleen on May 1, 2012, 11:49 am

        The audience went silent after that much deserved and accurate dig. Really wish Kimmel would have paused longer so others would have noticed the stunned silence. He saved himself with his next sentence. That is what I have heard others say. Tee hee

  15. Fredblogs on April 30, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Somewhat inaccurate headline there. Since it was technically “after” Kimmel made that joke that the president high fived him, but not because of that joke, as the headline implies. It was also after Kimmel made a joke (speaking to a dog) “if the president starts to butter you, run.”

    • Talkback on April 30, 2012, 4:26 pm

      It’s not “somewhat inaccurate”, it is totally misleading.

      • Citizen on April 30, 2012, 6:27 pm

        Aw, too bad a high-profile American comedian made a joke about war-mongering yahoos and included Bibi N in that catagory, and at the WH correspondents’ dinner yet. Afraid somebody in congress won’t genuflect next time Bibi makes a speech to them over Obama’s head? Obama did high-five with Kimmel immediately after Kimmel told his line of jokes. If Obama was really annoyed he could have avoided the high-five, by just putting his hand on Kimmel’s shoulder and turning side-ways, as if shooing him on his way. Then the press could spiel over what pissed Obama off. Now they got the joke, let’s see what they do with it.

      • Talkback on May 1, 2012, 7:05 am

        Kimmel didn’t get a high-five for his jokes and especially not for his comments about Netanyahu. He kindly asked Obama for a high five to prove his teacher wrong who told him in school that he wouldn’t make it far.

        The title IS totally misleading (regrettably not the first time) and was playing on the situation between Obama and Sarkozy in which Sarkozy called Netanyahu a liar and Obama gave him a different kind of ‘high five’.

  16. katharine on April 30, 2012, 3:52 pm

    A very interesting post. I have been following the evolution of zionism and followers of zionism since it emerged in the mid-1800s about the time D’Israeli became prime minister of Great Britain during the time of Queen Victoria. I have followed everything about it since the “Balfour declaration”, etc. The Liberty massacre was really a prime example of their attempt to cover-up their true colors. America is not a true friend of this little “state” as most American know what kind of “democracy” Israel purportedly is. One day I hope they will mature and realize how to behave with those how don’t agree with them. Killing and neutralizing enemies is not the way to win friends and influence mothers worldwise.

  17. blacktea on May 1, 2012, 5:05 am

    What an unfunny chap, producing cringe-making attempts at jokes. If this is the best (most publicly acceptable) opposition the US can muster to the Zionist lobby then god help us all

Leave a Reply