Let me preface this by saying that this is not a post (necessarily) about legislation to prevent gun violence. It’s a post about what happened while a late night host was talking about gun violence prevention.
Last night, Jimmy Kimmel, whose show airs after the 10 p.m. news broadcast on WFAA, spoke emotionally about the shooting in Uvalde. He directly called out Gov. Greg Abbott and senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, but he also talked about the toll gun violence has taken on children in particular, with gun violence outpacing literally everything else as the highest cause of death for kids.
During his monologue, which was taped without an audience, Kimmel addressed Texas leadership directly, saying, “It’s OK to admit you made a mistake, in fact, it’s not just OK, it’s necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake is killing the children in your state.”
But viewers in Dallas didn’t see that monologue. Not long after Kimmel started it, WFAA cut to a station promo.
The host took to Twitter.
Almost immediately, the station’s digital content director, Pete Freedman, said the decision to cut away was actually about extending coverage on the Uvalde massacre.
People asked him about a viewer video circulating that seemed to indicate that the station cut away from Kimmel’s monologue, and Freedman said the show ran an additional 10 minutes Wednesday night, ending at 10:40, but that he was personally going to make sure that Kimmel’s monologue appeared on the station’s website.
By Thursday morning, WFAA had a fuller explanation on its website, attributing the cutaway to a glitch in its automated system.
“‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ aired immediately following our newscast,” the station said. “Unfortunately, the automated system that triggers commercials aired the first commercial break in error, interrupting Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue. The same technical error also impacted two commercial breaks later in the program, not just the one interrupting the monologue.”
The station’s Twitter followers weren’t exactly buying it, but station manager Carolyn Mungo did confirm that the plan was to re-air Kimmel’s monologue during its Daybreak show and during the noon broadcast.
That may not be enough to appease some viewers, however, who are demanding the station re-run the show (or at least the monologue) during primetime.