- The Washington Times - Monday, January 26, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld” href=”/themes/?Theme=Greg+Gutfeld“>Greg Gutfeld” on the Fox News Channel must be boycotted or taken off the air. Its sexist, misogynist, homophobic, racist, speciesist and self-hating host must be maimed, lynched and/or killed.

If not, someone might be offended. And that cannot happen - especially now that President Obama is poised to make everything really great.

In an era of extreme political correctness, when almost everyone is offended by almost everything, and with self-appointed advocacy groups organized to find offense on behalf of almost everyone - offensively, without the majority in the group’s consent - it’s nice to know that there’s a place to go where everyone can be offended almost all of the time.

Even if it’s hidden on the offensive cable news network, according to offensive liberal watchdog David Brock’s Media Matters, and shown at an offensive hour - Monday to Friday, 3 a.m. EST.

Two years into its late, late, late-night (or early, early morning - depending on your biological clock) cable news run, “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld” has solidified itself as television’s most reliably absurdist, unpredictable and laugh-provoking news hour.

It’s less a comedy competitor to “The Daily Show” - the budget’s too low, and Gutfeld isn’t a marm at heart - or an insomniac’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Who cares what people who wake after noon think?) than it is a surrealistic “Fernwood 2-Night” (Fred Willard rocks!)

No topic of discussion - ethnic houseboys, torture pits, cannibalism as a “lifestyle choice,” seedy tricks in parks, allusions to drug abuse, etc. - is off-limits, and no ideology is predetermined. Show regulars Bill Schulz, a liberal; Andy Levy, a libertarian; and Mr. Gutfeld, a conservative, ensure that the show’s point of view isn’t rigged.

That means, unlike all other cable news shows, participants aren’t pitted to hate one another for disagreeing over farm bills, sex dolls and first-family fist bumps. It’s also the go-to show for the rigid and the joyless - those poor wonks at watchdog blogs whose only way of income is creating a universe of make-believe offensiveness.

“Red Eye” guarantees that their shrill cries of outrage keep their fridges stocked with hummus for another day.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the totally un-“gay” gay-activist group, declared Mr. Gutfeld one of its “Anti-Gay Voices of 2008” for allowing a guest to engage in ribald ridicule of a sex-change operation and for repeatedly pointing out the media fraud of Thomas Beattie, the “pregnant man.” To think the political left promotes itself as “pro-science” when it declares people with ovaries men.

A varied guest list includes the handsome and the grotesque. Instead of the usual talking heads, Mr. Gutfeld picks from his unusual punk-influenced music collection to start the discussions. King Buzzo of the Melvins, Jerry Casale of Devo, Dick Valentine of the Electric Six, Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, and Joe Escalante of the Vandals join similarly off-the-beaten-path comedians such as Neil Hamburger, Greg Proops, Sherrod Small and Jim Norton.

Any show without Kathy Griffin is a friend of mine.

Fox News’ regular list of pundits and anchors (S.E. Cupp, Patty Ann Brown, Brian Kilmeade, James Rosen) earn kamikaze points for putting their careers in Mr. Gutfeld’s hands. I’m one of them. Each appearance feels like it could be the end of my professional run. And for what? That’s why the show has developed a cult following. Countless upright luminaries whisper to me their admiration of the show. If only they would raise their voices.

Mr. Gutfeld, a former lad-mag editor (Stuff, Maxim UK, Men’s Health), Huffington Post standout (the show launched on the heels of his epic baiting of Arianna & friends), and best-selling author, plays the moderator and the fool. Think Chris Elliott as Chris Matthews as played on a cocktail of club drugs.

Joshua McCarroll, the tanned and trim booker for “Red Eye,” plays a shirtless “Matthew McConaughey correspond-aughey.” It’s pointless and homoerotic entertainment at its best.

Unicorn Jones and Fluffy McNutter, a cat-dog hybrid, both drawn by artist-savant Mr. Gutfeld, serve as the show’s mascots. Online animated series “Planet Unicorn” - starring three talking unicorns - Feathers, Cadillac and Tom Cruise - is brought up with recurring glee the way other talk shows discuss “American Idol.”

Yes, the unicorn motif holds the show together.

As an editor, Mr. Gutfeld has an eye for finding talent in the strangest places. “Red Eye” ombudsman Andy Levy offers the show’s most reliable laughs in the Half-Time Report - “sponsored by David Gregory’s hair.” Mr. Levy was discovered in the comments section of Mr. Gutfeld’s notorious Huffington Post threads. Bill Shultz is the fearless “method pundit” who would gain 125 pounds for the show (doubling his current weight) if required. His man-on-the-street segments would make Steve Allen roll over in his grave.

“Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld” is the only bar in town where everyone still smokes. Each meal is saturated in trans-fats and MSG. And the waitstaff is filled with slaves from Third World countries in the midst of sex-change operations taking in massive wafts of second-hand smoke. Classic rock is forbidden on the jukebox. And motley patrons mingle amid punk rockers, obscure actors, sundry dolled-up pundits-in-making, shirtless men and mythical woodland creatures.

And most bizarre: Traditionalism and normalcy are usually reaffirmed when outlandish behavior and postmodern thought are exposed as tired and fraudulent. Yes, the show is weirdly, deeply conservative.

In the discussion on who can help influence the political right to be more pop-culturally relevant, there are few in the same league as Mr. Gutfeld. But as much as the right wants to reach out to younger voters (and cable news viewers), it is terrified to speak to them in their language like Mr. Gutfeld does.

And to the brave suits at Fox News who dared to televise this offbeat talent, could you please move him up an hour or two? Some of us have to work in the morning.

Andrew Breitbart is the founder of the news Web site breitbart.com and is co-author of “Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon - the Case Against Celebrity.”

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