- Associated Press - Thursday, August 4, 2011

NEW YORK — Two Fox News analysts say that their comments about going easy on fellow Fox employee Sarah Palin were a joke.

Fox’s Greg Gutfeld and Bob Beckel both say they weren’t serious when discussing Palin on Wednesday’s edition of “The Five,” the network’s summer replacement for Glenn Beck.

Gutfeld suggested he was reluctant to criticize Palin because he might feel awkward seeing her in the hallway. The veteran Democratic strategist Beckel said that he’s pulled punches on her.

The only on-air suggestion it was a joke came when Beckel followed up his comment by criticizing Palin for taking on critics of the tea party.

Beckel says that nobody at Fox had ever asked him to go easy on anyone, adding that “I’d punch them out if they did.”

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