May 15, 2019
Jimmy Kimmel Finds People Willing To Say Kind Things On The Occasion Of FDR’s ‘Death’ Yesterday
Jimmy Kimmel sent a crew to get reactions to the “news” that Franklin Delano Roosevelt died yesterday. Big surprise: plenty of people wanted to be on teevee despite having no idea what they were talking about. Discard the tape of anyone saying “forget you, FDR died in 1945,” and what’s left is comedy. (Also, note that Kimmel is very careful to set up the bit by reminding the viewing audience that FDR was born in 1882, and very definitely did not die yesterday.)
It’s pretty simple TV — stick a camera and microphone in somebody’s face, ask them a question — any question — and rather than admit they don’t know, they will happily send condolences to Eleanor Roosevelt on the loss of her husband, who was a good man and did his best for the country. But it works — and hey, for all the laughing at the woman who said that Roosevelt’s “greatest achievement” was the Louisiana Purchase, you have to admit it’s a better choice than the Sacajawea dollar, or even the Monroe Doctrine.
And it’s also probably a good clip for teachers to show in social studies classes, for multiple reasons, from the simple, “pay attention in school or you’ll be mocked on late night TV” to the useful reminder that in any poll, a lot of people who should answer “don’t know” will express a definite opinion, which is why you can get something like 10% of Americans to agree with just about anything in a poll.