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FOX News Pundit: Celebrities Who Criticize America While Abroad Should “Re-Apply” For Visa To Come Back

Reported by Ellen - December 5, 2006 -

Hannity & Colmes did some PR last night (12/4/06) for a new FOX News “pundit,” Greg Gutfeld, host of a “web show” on FOXNews.com. Gutfeld was obviously trying to make a good impression by showing off just how snide and mean-spirited he could be, sort of an Ann Coulter wannabe without the glassy eyes – at least as far as I could tell. Like Coulter, he seemed to be his own biggest fan, and delighted in his own malice, even when it made no sense.

The excuse for rolling out Gutfeld on prime time was an attack on actress Gwyneth Paltrow for making what Sean Hannity called “anti-American” remarks, as quoted by the European press. The TV screen showed those remarks: “The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans. I love the English lifestyle… I’m not as capitalistic as America. Peole talk about interesting things at dinner – not about work and money.”

Hannity acknowledged that Paltrow told People that she had been misquoted and claimed to have never said anything against the US. “I felt so upset to be completely misconstrued and I never, ever would have said that,” Paltrow reportedly said.

“I suspect that she said it,” Hannity said, as though it made a difference. The "fair and balanced" banner on the screen read, "GOOD GRIEF, GWYNETH."

Gutfeld agreed. “She’s had a history of this but then again, remember, we’re talking about a woman who named her baby after a fruit.” Hannity laughed. Gutfeld went on to gratuitously say that only liberals give their children funny names.

Gutfeld made the unsubstantiated claim that bashing America is a celebrity’s way of “getting into the cocktail party… If you ever said anything good about America, you’d be thrown out.”

“I love your irreverent attitude,” Hannity told him.

Demonizing those who dissent is a pundit’s way of getting onto prime time FOX News, of course. But, sadly, neither Alan Colmes nor the liberal guest, Rachel Sklar, of Huffington Post, addressed the fact that Gutfeld was doing his utmost to stifle free speech while anointing himself as a patriot. Instead, they focused on arguing that Paltrow said she had not made the remarks, as if that was really the point. Colmes even smiled, as though he were trying to keep from laughing, as he read an excerpt from Gutfeld’s blog. “(People like Paltrow) should be beaten,” Colmes read, “whenever possible… with big sticks, possibly with spikes on the end.”

Gutfeld admitted, “I was using hyperbole there,” but, he said, “I will say this. I think whenever somebody, a celebrity who is abroad, says something bad about America, whenever they need to go back to America, they should actually re-apply for a visa. We could call it the famous idiot visa.” Gutfeld paused, evidently so that the audience could admire his cleverness. But, in fact, his “suggestion” was not just ludicrous – no American applies, much less re-applies, for a visa into the US – it was downright menacing to suggest that an American should be barred from this country because of “bad” remarks.

“Whenever there’s an opportunity to point out evil in the world, it’s always America, it’s never our enemies,” Gutfeld, the FOX News pot, said about his fellow Americans. “Everybody on the Huffington Post is ashamed of America. They’re ashamed of Bush. They’re embarrassed about how we’re looked at by Europe,” Gutfeld continued condemningly. But Gutfield, himself, has been a regular contributor there since May, 2005, the month it began. Nobody mentioned that.

Colmes rightly made the point that Paltrow’s comments were insignificant and that Gutfeld was making a mountain out of a molehill. Colmes asked sarcastically, “Do you think Gwyneth Paltrow speaking out like this could be the beginning of the fall of the Republic? Do you think we’re in danger of the end of Western civilization?”

That must have touched a nerve with Hannity because he could be heard sullenly mumbling from his side of the desk, even though it was his turn to be quiet.

Gutfeld replied, “No, I hope we’re maybe witnessing the end of Gwyneth Paltrow’s career.”

And I hope we’re witnessing the end of Gutfeld’s.