Today, in the middle of the week, Juan Williams announced it was his last day cohosting The Five. The Daily Beast reports that insiders point fingers at Greg Gutfeld.
From The Daily Beast:
According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, one major driver of Williams’ sudden departure from the highly-rated opinion show was his run-ins with colleague Greg Gutfeld, who had wanted The Five to return to studio and felt Williams was the main reason they were filming remotely.
Juan Williams, you may recall caught coronavirus in December. The Five went to a remote format afterward.
In April, Gutfeld agitated on the air for the show to go back to the studio, with the apparent support of most of the cohosts. Williams, on the other hand, remained stone-faced. No concern was shown for how Williams may have felt.
Gutfeld has long behaved like a disrespectful, bully toward Williams. As the network has gotten Trumpier and Gutfeld’s star has risen with the launch of his nightly “comedy” show, Gutfeld has turned even nastier. More from The Daily Beast:
Gutfeld and Williams rarely ever spoke with one another off-set, going to great lengths to avoid interacting with each other, something both former and current Fox employees could attest to.
The bickering appeared to grow more heated following the January 6 Capitol insurrection, especially when Williams would accuse Gutfeld and his other conservative colleagues of downplaying Donald Trump’s role in the violence. “Don’t mind read me, Juan!” Gutfeld yelled in February when Williams said he was ignoring the impeachment trial because it was a “reminder” of what Trump did.
The New York Times notes that Fox says it will replace Williams with another liberal, with substitutes auditioning rotating until a permanent one is chosen. But I think we can expect someone like Geraldo Rivera or Harold Ford, Jr., each of whom have guest hosted in the liberal slot, rather than a more fiery Jessica Tarlov or Marie Harf. The last two were canceled by the Outnumbered show in favor of Lying Kayleigh McEnany and Ann-Coulter-knockoff Tomi Lahren. Rivera, who has publicly criticized Trump, supported his re-election and attended a fundraiser for him in 2019. Ford is a real Democrat (or at least he was in Congress) but he has proved himself willing to pander to the conservatives at Fox.
Williams said in his announcement that he will remain a political analyst working for Fox from Washington, D.C.
After Williams announced his departure, cohosts Dana Perino and Jesse Watters expressed some sorrow. But not Gutfeld. He gave a tight-lipped smile and silently nodded his head. Fox has denied Gutfeld had anything to do with Williams leaving the show but a picture is worth a thousand words.
You can watch Gutfeld’s classlessness below, from the May 26, 2021 The Five.
He’ll of course stay on Fox News as a contributor to various other shows (probably on Perino’s daytime show and on Wallace’s Sunday show, among other things). But I wouldn’t expect to see him trying to join up with any legitimate news organization after this. He simply doesn’t have any journalistic credibility at this point. He knew what it meant to join up with Fox News, and he was happy to accept a lot of money from them to do so. Nobody forced him to do so.
I agree that it’s cringeworthy to see him constantly getting shouted down by attack dogs like Watters, but Williams could have put a stop to that at any point if he really cared about it.