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FOX's Red Eye: Sophomoric Gabfest Lacks Sparkle

Reported by Marie Therese - February 6, 2007 -

Last night FOX News Channel unveiled its latest attempt to attract the young conservative viewer. If Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld is an example of what appeals to today's modern conservative youth, the liberal progressive movement has absolutely nothing to fear. In addition to host Greg Gutfeld, whose comedic timing ran the gamut from A to B, the show featured a trio of self-conscious thirty-somethings trying too hard to be hip and cutting edge. Andrew Breitbart of breitbart.com and author of Hollywood Interrupted was by far the most relaxed and TV savvy of the bunch. By contrast, Canadian import, political columnist Rachel Marsden seemed forced, maybe because it's hard being the token female in a frat house. The most unfortunate one of all was "former magazine writer" Bill Schulz whose inane, ill-at-ease delivery was painful to watch.

Greg Gutfeld runs a blog called the Daily Gut, whose motto is "A Handerkerchief of Hard News Soaked in a Sneeze of Thought Snot."

Yup. That about sums up Red Eye.

As News Hounds has reported ad infinitum, while conservatives like to talk about principles, morality, clean-living, high-priced cars, sports, real estate, stock portfolios and guns, there are two topics that are far and away their favorites - sex and violence.

Clearly no one at FOX News was listening last week when Laura Ingraham blasted Bill O'Reilly and FOX for showing soft core porn under the guise of reporting a news story.

Sex sells when your audience is made up of repressed conservative males.

The topic of children getting unwanted porn offered Gutfeld a chance to titillate the audience with several shots of bare-breasted women (the nipples carefuly blocked out, of course), in a variety of poses guaranteed to arouse. At one point, Bill Schulz joked that one of the women was also an employee at FOX News, saying "I think she's in HR. I'm not sure but I think she's the one who gave me my badge." (It must be sheer hell to be a woman working at FOX News Channel!)

Many times I thought the panelists were reading from cue cards, like a badly rehearsed soap opera. There is nothing more conducive to sleep than a bunch of conservatives straining to prove that they're really "with it".

Gutfeld segued from sex to the effects of media on children. He cited a mysterious unsubstantiated survey that allegedly revealed that parents are more worried about the effects of the news and the internet on their children than they are of pornography. Bill Schulz made one of many stupid remarks, saying "I think Brian Williams [of NBC] is much more a threat to our nation's youth than [porn star] Ron Jeremy ..."

Andrew Breitbart made the one truly astute comment of the show, backing up Laura Ingraham and inadvertently commenting on Gutfeld's own use of porn at the beginning of the segment. "What about these god-forsaken shows that talk about pornography as a means to actually show pornography ..." He later made an astounding statement that I am surprised actually made it past the FOX News censors: "The media is completely repulsive on countless enjoyable levels and there's no one within media - there are no watchdog groups that have true accountability other than, of course, David Brock's Media Matters ..." !!!

The quartet then did a smarmy segment that essentially made light of kids who are overweight and whose parents may resort to stomach stapling to correct the problem. Gutfeld summed up the segment with his last words on the topic: "I think we've beat this topic into the ground just like a fat kid."

They then aired some earilier Man on the Street interviews on effects of global warming on polar bears. However the rest of the segment essentially trashed the whole idea of global warming. Andrew Breitbart said "What I love about the global warming crowd is that it's a group of people out there that cannot acknowledge that Islamic extremism is the real big threat of our time and so instead of confronting that huge massive thing where we could all die in ten or fifteen years - and they have no answers for it and it's too hard to deal with. It's the runway model cop-out. When I'm in Los Angeles, every hot chick is really worried about global warming. Well, they'd kill you because you're a hot model running on the runway with your nipple falling out of the dress."

Yes, indeedy, folks, more incisive thinking from the meat and potatoes crowd!

The next segment was entitled "10 yd lines, tatoos, and the tiny guy at half-time", referring, of course, to Prince, who did the half-time show for the Super Bowl. The guest was Will Leitch author and editor of deadpan.com. This was football banter, pure and simple that led to some of the most infuriating commentary of the show.

Rachel Marsden hardly said anything until Gutfeld read a New York Times headline from an article by Stuart Elliot about the Super Bowl ads - "Super Bowl Ads of Cartoonish Violence Perhaps Reflecting Toll of War." She quipped "So now Bush is responsible for bad advertising."

Andrew Breitbart one-upped her on the nastiness scale: "The online world and the newspaper world are trying to bring in fresh writers, bloggers out there. This obviously was submitted by a stoner in a communications program at a state college. It's the single stupidest thesis in a national paper I've ever heard. There hasn't been one image of violence in this war. It's been antiseptic."

Rebuttal: Go to The New Yorker" Abu Ghraib or Dahr Jamail's Mideast Dispatches or robert-fisk,com or The Unseen War by photographer Peter Turnley or The Memory Hole. (Warning" Graphic images.)

Thank you, Andrew Breitbart for verifying what we who opposed this war have been saying all along. Virtually the entire American media establishment has kow-towed to the Bush administration throughout the past four years and refused to show the American public what readers in the rest of the world see daily - the utter horror of Bush's folly in Iraq. You, as a self-described libertarian-conservative, haven't seen the above images because you, as a libertarian-conservative, didn't want to see them!

Greg Gutfeld went on to make some inane play on the word "antiseptic", saying "It is an Anti Septic war. I'm repeating exactly what you said. And it's like this guy [Stuart Elliot] hasn't seen, like, Wile E Coyote or Roadrunner. Ach! Cartoon violence has existed since the beginning of time!! Before there were TVs, we had cartoonish violence! ..." Will Leitch offered his take on it by saying he was sad when the cartoon robot killed himself [The Iron Giant?].

Gutfeld then stated in a nutshell the best description I've heard of conservative blindness and insensitivity: "You know what? I was sad when I watched the robot die. I could only empathize with inanimate objects. I can't empathize with other people. But when I see a robot die, I get really sad. I get choked up there."

Again, Rachel Marsden was completely marginalized in this segment.

The next segment featured the appearance of the Red Eye "ombudsman", Andrew Levy and degenerated into gossip about Rudy Giuliani's bid for the Presidency and Gavin Newsom's decision to seek treatment for addiction to alcohol. At one point Gutfeld realized the segment was dying, saying to Rachel Marsden "Rachel, Rachel, save this segment."

It ended with Gutfeld airing footage of his "accidental" run-in with Neil Cavuto at FOX central in New York.


NEIL CAVUTO: "If not for FOX, we'd all be saying 'You want fries with that?'"

GUTFELD: "Exactly."

CAVUTO: " So, ya' gotta look at the bright side. You know - we - we - we realize we're lucky."

GUTFELD: "Exactly."

CAVUTO: "And I think as soon as your viewers come to that conclusion, you've got a home run."

Huh? Let me get this straight. Gutfeld will be a success when his viewers come to the conclusion that he, Gutfeld, is lucky to be working at FOX News Channel?

GUTFELD: We're gonna get - I'm aiming to get at least 12 viewers, half of them being members of my family."

CAVUTO: "That's actually a couple more than me, but they're wealthy."

GUTFELD: "Yeah."

CAVTUO: "They're very, very wealthy."

GUTFELD: "Yeah. Mine are all in retirement homes. I think the aggregate number will be about 50, but they'll be in 4 rooms."

CAVUTO: "Yeah, but that's a lot of rooms and if they each have TVs in those rooms, you know, the cume could be very good."


GUTFELD: "I gotta tell ya' man. His breath smells like lilacs."

RACHEL MARSDEN: "Can he say cume on TV?"

GUTFELD: "What?"

MARSDEN: "Can he say cume on TV?"

GUTFELD: "I don't know what ..."

MARSDEN: "I think that might be dirty."

Later Gutfeld admitted he has no advanced degree and this is the reason viewers will be attracted to his show. "You are unencumbered by knowledge,' said Rachel Marsden.

How true. How true. How sad.

The fourth segment featured Hollywood gossip, with guest Jessica Coen of Gawker.com.

The last segment was more Hollywood gossip and included digs at variety.,com, a discussion of Katie Holmes' underwear and hubby Tom Cruise's paunch, and a nasty put-down of Bob Geldof's new Peace Channel.

GUTFELD (to Coen): "Jessica, I have a question for you. Why is it that people who are into peace and activism always - or, rarely, bathe? He looks so dirty."

COEN: "They don't have time to bathe. They're too busy helping people and handing out granola to homeless children. A showeer's not at the top of the list."

GUTFELD: "It's like they think globally but they don't bathe locally."

GUTFELD: "Geldof wears his heart on his sleeve and he believes in doing all these things. He's very self-righteous when he's on TV but none of the things that he's done has helped. Am I right, BIll?"

SCHULZ: "You're not wrong. Um ... would be the best way for me to say that. I mean, the guy wants to remind people that he came before Bono and this is his way of doing it."

MARSDEN: "Well, it's symbolism over substance is what liberals are all about. And I don't know if Geldof is all that liberal ..."

GUTFELD: "You could also say that about conservatives. We like symbolism as well as the next guy."

MARSEN: "No. George Bush is bombing the heck out of Iraq right now!!"

The show concluded with another interchange with Andrew Levy and then a direct rip-off from David Letterman. Gutfeld interviewed his own mother by phone from Santa Clara, California, designating her the new FOX Senior Correspondent.

She gave a run-down of her FOX watching for the day. She likes Shepard Smith and might vote for Rudy Giuliani.

Maybe Gutfeld was right when he told Cavuto that his viewers live in retirement homes!