White House: We Can't Force Jimmy Kimmel Off the Air

The White House originally instituted a policy that it would respond to every petition that garnered more than 25,000 signatures. After responding to cute requests for Death Stars and the deportation of Piers Morgan, they raised the threshold to 100,000. But today they had to comment on Kimmel.

In October, Jimmy Kimmel aired a sketch where he asked little kids how they would solve America's debt to China. One kid said, "Kill everyone in China," and everyone laughed and moved on, until they didn't.

The comment blew up in China, Kimmel apologized, ABC's president apologized (twice), and someone started a petition on WhiteHouse.gov asking the White House to shut down the show and formally apologize for it. More than 100,000 people signed the letter, which compared the skit to the "rhetoric used in Nazi Germany."

The White House's response essentially points out that everyone involved has apologized, and America is great because anyone can say what they want to say.

The Federal government cannot force ABC to remove this show. The First Amendment of the Constitution protects free speech, even if individuals might personally find it offensive or distasteful. It may be upsetting when people say things we might personally disagree with, but the principle of protected free speech is an important part of who we are as a nation.

The letter also directs offended viewers to the FCC Complaints page, which are generally hilarious.

[image via AP]