On Tuesday, yet another horrific school shooting left families mourning, survivors traumatized, and 21 people dead — including 19 elementary school students.
There is a lot that needs to be said about this tragedy, from on-the-spot failures by law enforcement to systemic failures by politicians.
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel opened up on Wednesday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live with a tearful monologue and call to action.
The nearly 9-minute segment was suspiciously edited when it aired in Texas, drawing questions from fans.
Jimmy Kimmel spoke to the camera without his studio audience during the opening of the May 25 episode.
He called out senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and Governor Greg Abbott, all of whom have worked to weaken gun laws and ensure that these massacres continue to take place.
"Once again," Kimmel lamented, "we grieve for the little boys and girls whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed."
"While our leaders on the right, the Americans in congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this," Kimmel noted.
He continued: "They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it."
Kimmel explained: "Because they don’t want to speak about it because they know what they’ve done and they know what they haven’t done."
"And they know it’s indefensible," Kimmel acknowledged, "so they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”
“Our cowardly leaders just aren’t listening to us,” he pointed out.
“They’re listening to the NRA," Kimmel admitted, "they’re listening to those people who write them checks that keep them in power. Because that’s how politics works.”
It was not a perfect monologue — at one point suggesting that Ted Cruz is "not a monster," and also suggesting that the problem could include mental health.
(Mental health’s primary role in shootings is in suicides that involve guns; a mass shooter being evil, personally or ideologically, is not a mental illness)
But it doesn’t have to be perfect to be a good segment. While we included a short clip, you can view Jimmy Kimmel’s full monologue here.
The episode aired all across the United States.
However, those viewing on Dallas/Forth Worth’s ABC affiliate channel, WFAA/Channel 8, saw a shortened version.
In the age of social media, it is very quickly apparent when two friends or family members watching the same show see different versions.
People brought this to Kimmel’s attention, understandably asking why this had happened — in Texas, of all places.
He did not accuse anyone of censoring him — not in so many words, anyway.
But the editing of the segment was suspicious to say the least, and Kimmel could not rightfully ignore it.
"To my friends in Dallas who are asking," Kimmel tweeted.
"I do not know whether our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut away from my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently," he admitted.
"But I will find out," Kimmel vowed, sharing a link to the full video. "In the meantime, here’s what you didn’t get to see."
Director of Digital Content at WFAA Pete Freedman responded in a public tweet.
"We’d made the decision earlier in the day to extend our 10 o’clock news to include *extra* Uvalde coverage in our broadcast," he wrote.
"It had nothing to do with your monologue," Freedman claimed. "We’re on the same team."
Freedman’s social media history includes some colorful remarks that could complicate this story, but reports back up his claims.
Apparently, the 10pm newscast ran long, and the bizarre cuts to commercial also extended to other segments, including an interview with Seth MacFarlane.
It sounds like the network is just saying that they did a poor job of editing and decision-making. Is that a satisfactory answer? Maybe not, but it’s the answer that they offered.