From the Gutfeld -- 'RedEye' Laughs at Politics
Today's cuppa: Irish breakfast tea
Click here to go to Zap2it's "From Inside the Box" blog to see my interview with Greg Gutfeld, host of FOX News' late-night comedy-news show "RedEye w/Greg Gutfeld," a story which will also be offered to newspapers in syndication.
I recommend you go there, then come back here, because, loyal Cuppers, I have very nearly saved the best of Gutfeld -- who blogs at "The Daily Gut" -- just for you.
Here's a sampling of our further conversation.
Each night, Gutfeld's "disgusting" (or so Gutfeld says) sidekick, writer and editor Bill Schulz, offers the Billabuster, his liberal (or at least contrarian) counterpoint to Gutfeld's generally conservative monologue, a k a the Gregalogue. I admit to Gutfeld that I've been known to fast-forward through the Billabuster.
Gutfeld: "Yeah, I've been getting a lot of that lately. I think it's time. You're not the first person who's said that. I think half the time (the Billabuster) is really good, but it's a hard thing to do on 'RedEye.' My Gregalogues are generally fairly tongue-in-cheek. It's hard to take a counterpoint to something that isn't taking itself too seriously.
"I'm actually, a lot of time, in my own Gregalogues, making fun of my own opinion."
Gutfeld: "It's amazing. I hear rumors that they're actually going to do a show together. It's going to be 'Huckabee and Small.'"
Since "RedEye" is at least partly political, I wonder whether either a presidential win by GOP contender Sen. John McCain of Arizona, or by Democratic contender Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, might affect how the show is done.
Gutfeld: "I would say, you should just tackle each day's stories with the same attitude no matter who wins. So I don't think, if McCain wins, that will affect how we do our show, or if Obama wins, that that will affect how we do our show.
"But if Obama wins, there will be more stories to tell, because you're going to have a Democratically controlled House and Senate, and if they start going down their Christmas list, it's going to be an interesting year. There will be a lot to choose from."
Some in conservative circles are concerned that an Obama win, coupled with the aforementioned Democratic majorities in Congress, might revive efforts to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, which could force broadcasters to allot time equally to differing political viewpoints. No one knows right now if this will happen, but if it did, it would likely have its greatest impact on conservative talk radio, which has proven in recent history to be more financially successful than its liberal counterpart.
Gutfeld: "The hilarious thing about the Fairness Doctrine is, why does it apply only to talk radio? That is because the overwhelmingly successful kind of talk radio is conservative, or what you'd call commonsense talk radio. That is the only area the Fairness Doctrine is focusing on.
"It doesn't apply to the Web. Think about entities like the Huffington Post or the Daily Kos. If you said, 'OK, if you go to the Huffington Post, and you count the number of people that post there, 99.99 percent are liberal -- you have to cut that in half.'
"Of course, that's completely ridiculous, but that's what they're talking about with talk radio. If you just apply it to another realm, you see the idiocy.
"I wouldn't be surprised if the idea is reintroduced, and I wouldn't be surprised if Obama doesn't veto it. Then again, I don't know, he could surprise you."
As a citizen, Gutfeld's focus in this seemingly endless political campaign isn't always on the candidates (and for the record, he has said he is a McCain supporter).
Gutfeld: "I don't mind the candidates. I mind the behavior of supporters. I could definitely stomach Barack Obama, but I can't stand the endless stream of knucklehead celebrities that feel they need to open their mouths in support. All it does is hurt his cause.
"There is a certain kind of almost fascism...behind these supporters, that if you don't accept the world of Obama unquestioningly, there's something wrong with you.
"I think he's an exceptional person. There's no question, he's one of the smartest political people I've seen, but I just can't stand this Messiah complex. It makes me ill.
"On the other side, McCain's campaign is just troubling at times. You don't know what's going on.
"There are issues, but it's really not about the candidates. For me, it's about supporters and stuff. That's what annoys me.
"But basically, it's a great time to be working on a news network."
Gutfeld also isn't in the mood to hear overseas comments on whether America is ready for an African-American president.
Gutfeld: "I'm not offended, but a little bit insulted, by people who assume that America has a problem with electing a black president. This is usually from European critics. I've lived in England, and I've been around the world. There's far more discrimination going on in other parts of the world that you'd ever see in America.
"America is the most successful melting pot in the history of the world. Don't tell us we're racist. They have to look in their own backyards."
Gutfeld started as a magazine writer and editor and later was a Huffington Post blogger and author before becoming the host of "RedEye." But he hasn't done what many other conservative pundits have done and served a stint as a radio talk-show host.
Gutfeld: "Yeah, I've guest-hosted Dennis Miller's show. I've done a lot of radio shows as a guest. It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of freedom. You don't have to take a shower, and you can eat a sandwich."
But, will Miller -- a regular contributor to FOX News' "The O'Reilly Factor" -- appear on "RedEye?"
Gutfeld: "Not yet, but we've been gently prodding him. I'm sure he's going to do it, but we haven't nailed him down. But we will. He's a big fan."