- 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.

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