In response to petition, White House says government can't force comedian Kimmel off the air - InfoNews

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In response to petition, White House says government can't force comedian Kimmel off the air

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2012 file photo, television host Jimmy Kimmel, attends a reception hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama honoring the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors recipients, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The White House has responded to a petition on the White House website calling for an apology and the removal of Jimmy Kimmel's television show, by saying the comedian can't be forced off the air. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
January 11, 2014 - 8:23 AM

WASHINGTON - The White House has responded to a petition calling for an apology and the removal of Jimmy Kimmel's television show by saying the comedian can't be forced off the air.

More than 105,000 people signed the petition on the White House website. It followed an October broadcast of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" featuring a segment in which Kimmel spoke to young children about U.S. government debt owed to China.

One boy said "kill everyone in China" when Kimmel asked how the U.S. should repay the Asian power.

In its response, the White House noted that ABC and Kimmel have apologized, and that the network has removed the segment from future broadcasts and its online platforms.

The White House also noted that the Constitution protects free speech, even when it's offensive.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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