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Beckel And Gutfeld: We Were Kidding When We Said We Pulled Our Punches On Sarah Palin

Reported by Ellen - August 5, 2011 -

I recently posted about Fox News' Bob Beckel and Greg Gutfeld talking on The Five on Wednesday (8/3/11) about how they pulled their punches on Sarah Palin. Gutfeld said he did it because she's a co-worker and he'd feel awkward running into her. Beckel ribbed Gutfeld by saying it was to protect his salary before going on to admit his own punch pulling. Now that the comments have received a fair amount of attention, Beckel and Gutfeld are saying they didn't mean it.

On yesterday's show, the subject was revisited. Gutfeld said, "So you make one joke and left-wing sites, left-wing sites like, I don't know, Politico and HuffPo go crazy 'cause they're so desperate for any kind of Palin anecdote, that's like their heroin. The fact is, I was joking about seeing them in a hallway because it's impossible, she lives in Alaska."

Funny how Gutfeld said he was joking about seeing them in a hallway, not joking about it being a problem because she's a co-worker. Gutfeld's original statement was:

The only problem with talking about Sarah Palin is that she works here and it’s like a co-worker and, if I say something bad and I see her in the hallway, I feel really awkward and wrong. So, I just kind of say, "That was a good job.”

Just saying.

Beckel mugged by yanking his tie as if to choke himself before saying, "Get a life, you people. We were joking... To say about me that I am not tough on Sarah Palin, are you kiddin' me?" He went on to cite critical comments about her chances of becoming president and seeing Russia from her backdoor.

But Beckel never said he wasn't tough on her. He said he pulled punches. Maybe he would have criticized her inflammatory rhetoric or her shallow grasp of policy.

Again, just saying.

In an interview with AP, Beckel said that nobody at Fox had ever asked him to go easy on anyone, adding, "I'd punch them out if they did."

But I'll bet nobody at Fox would have to ask. All workplaces have unwritten rules that everybody understands.

In any event, while it was clear Beckel and Gutfeld were kidding around, it's not at all clear they didn't mean what they said about pulling punches.

Here are the two segments, in chronological order. I report, you decide.

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