In yet another Fox News discussion about that “controversial trip to Cuba” taken by Jay-Z and Beyoncé (and the possible role of President Obama), Greg Gutfeld was hardly a fair and balanced host of The O’Reilly Factor last night as he made a hammy show of laughing at and ridiculing his guest who clearly knew more about the subject of Cuba, the legalities of traveling there, its race relations and the rappers who visit there than either Gutfeld or the other guest.
UCLA Professor Mark Sawyer lived in Cuba for a year and wrote a book about it. The expertise of the other guest, James Hirsen, seems to be limited to his belief that there’s a “huge” “political gap between Hollywood and the public” and how “the New Media are leading a counterattack against the liberal assault that is coming from East Coast newsrooms and Left Coast studios.”
In other words, the whole purpose of the discussion was not to inform any viewers about what it’s really like in Cuba but to have a food fight over just how much we should hate Jay-Z and Beyoncé and just how much in cahoots with their evil deed of visiting Cuba was President Obama. And Gutfeld didn’t even try to inform the viewers about that, either, or else there would have been an actual reporter or someone in the know. Instead, we heard Hirsen say, “there’s something wrong” with the permission given to Jay-Z and Beyoncé without producing a scrap of actual proof.
Sawyer offered up what Gutfeld called the “interesting” view that rich, beautiful celebrities visiting Cuba undermines communism instead of amplifying its message. Sawyer called it “exactly the kinds of things we should be doing.” He also noted that our embargo policies have been in place for 50 years and have not changed the regime. But then he committed Fox News heresy by saying the following:
Marco Rubio’s an idiot that doesn’t know anything about it. He’s completely emotional about the policy and the fact is that Treasury issues the licenses, Treasury issued my license and you know how I got it? It was taking a long time, Treasury’s very slow. I called my senator and asked to have someone call Treasury and they did and my license was there the next day. So I was able to travel, do my research and write my book, some of which is critical of the regime, some of which talks about things they did like the literacy campaigns. But the point is, is that we need to engage more with Cuba and Jay-Z and Beyoncé being there is just the right way to go.
Rather than debate Sawyer’s point, Gutfeld made a hammy show of laughing silently at his guest.
And I just don’t know what the controversy is about. …I think on some hand, it’s like people want to say something negative about Jay-Z …and Beyoncé because they’re too beautiful, good-looking, rich and having too good of a time.
Now Gutfeld was laughing out loud.
And the other part of it is just, you know, the sort of right-wing imaginary machine about Obama. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s nuts.
Gutfeld interrupted at “right-wing imaginary machine” and made his stand on behalf of He Who Must Not Be Criticized on Fox: “Do you honestly think calling Marco Rubio an idiot actually helps your argument? It kind of makes you look stupid,” Gutfeld said with one of his asinine smirks.
Of course, what Gutfeld really meant was, “it kind of makes you look stupid unless you’re talking about a liberal.” Because in that case Gutfeld, who once called President Obama “a hot chick” and Jim Carrey “a pathetic, sad, little freak,” would have been lauding Sawyer. And speaking of looking stupid, let’s not forget that Gutfeld is the guy who boasts about being ignorant. From Alexander Zaitchik’s review of Gutfeld’s book:
Gutfeld’s winding road to right-wing punditry began as a student at UC-Berkeley during the 1980s. There he developed hatred for the left rooted in splenetic tendencies and cultural resentments more than any engagement with campus protest. Thirty years later, Gutfeld still doesn’t know anything about the era he says forged his political identity. In The Joy of Hate, he shrugs off the debate over Reagan’s Central America policies by calling it a bunch of “stupid crap” about which he says he’d “be lying if I told you I had a clue.” This is just one of many similar asides, and after a while you start to wonder if it’s part of an act when he jokes about not knowing the major combatants of World War II.
Nevertheless, this proud ignoramus whined, “Couldn’t celebrities do a little bit of homework before they go? I mean, I have a feeling Beyoncé thinks Raul Castro is a member of Santana. I don’t think they actually take any effort to know the history. If they did, if Jay-Z knew about the history of Cuba, he wouldn’t be wearing a Che Guevara shirt, would he?”
Sawyer pointed out that many other black celebrities have visited Cuba and that neither Gutfeld nor Hirsen knew what they were talking about.
Gutfeld said, “Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘useful idiot?’ You almost qualify.”
“Like Marco Rubio?” Sawyer shot back.
I’ve also made no bones about correcting Fox-inspired hatred of her. And not just because Fox Watchers seem hell-bent on forcing kids away from her so they can listen to Ailes-approved singers, who just also happen to be registered as Republicans, and also just happen to have some really sick views on minorities and women’s rights.
Edited for brevity/applicability in any situation
Marco Rubio is an idiot on many issues.
The US embargo policy of 50 years has not brought about positive change in Cuba.
We need a fresh look at our Cuban policy with an eye toward improving relations after the Castro brothers. Sadly, our policy to date has been dictated by the vehement anti-Castro Cuban community in South Florida.