Politics

Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld isn’t scared of offending people

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Jamie Weinstein
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

In the world of television political commentary, no one is quite like Greg Gutfeld.

Co-host of Fox News’ “The Five” and host of the network’s hysterically funny late night show (actually, early morning show) “Red Eye,” Gutfeld has a seemingly natural talent for zoning in and cutting to the heart of a political story or cultural phenomenon in a humorous but biting way.

In his new book, ”The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage,” Gutfeld utilizes that talent to tear apart what he sees as the modern cult of outrage.

“The joy of hate reflects people who get off pretending to hate something, or hate you in order to score political points,” he explained to The Daily Caller in an interview.

“I call them the ‘tolerati’ — you know, a group of people who claim to be tolerant, except when they run into someone who disagrees with them. Then the joyous hate comes out and it’s directed almost always at you, but never at anybody else on their side. And the book is designed to kind of expose the phony outrage, make fun of it, and also try to teach you how not to fall into the same trap.”

But Gutfeld said there is such a thing as legitimate outage. For instance, he is outraged by “the elimination of actual language in favor of euphemism.”

“[O]ne of the things I talk about in the book is the kind of the destruction of fact, the elimination of actual language in favor of euphemism,” he explained.

“So what to me is outrageous is calling Fort Hood ‘workplace violence.’ And I see that as a trend in the way the administration manipulates language. I mean look at Benghazi; Benghazi is the same thing. That was called a ‘spontaneous mob.’ Both of these things, whether it’s Fort Hood or Benghazi, were acts of terror, but people were scared to say that out of fear of being labeled Islamophobic. I call this Islamophobia-phobia, the fear of being perceived as Islamophobic. Which is basically a fear of being accused of hurting feelings. So we’re kind of in a state now where our country is scared of offending people who don’t like you.”

The “Joy of Hate” isn’t merely a book; it’s a movement — at least, if a bus tour can be considered a movement. Gutfeld’s book bus tour starts in Coral Gables, Florida on Nov. 28 and goes all throughout the South, because that’s where he was told his “audience would be — or people that would like my book, I guess.”

He doesn’t think people in San Francisco — near where he grew up — would appreciate his book?

“Actually, when I was in LA this weekend, I met a lot of fans,” Gutfeld shot back. “You know what it is? You don’t think there are a lot of fans there. It’s just that they don’t speak up! You know, they are not as open — they’re in the closet.”

See TheDC’s full interview with Gutfeld below:

Explain the title, “The Joy of Hate,” and how can one triumph over whiners in the age of phony outrage?

The joy of hate reflects people who get off pretending to hate something, or hate you in order to score political points. I call them the “Tolerati” — you know, a group of people who claim to be tolerant except when they run into someone who disagrees with them. Then the joyous hate comes out, and it’s directed almost always at you, but never at anybody else on their side. And the book is designed to kind of expose the phony outrage, make fun of it, and also try to teach you how not to fall into the same trap. Because I’m guilty of it. I mean, I got over it. But a few years ago, you know, I see some kind of political pundit on the left say something I don’t like, and I’d start screaming and yelling. And maybe I wouldn’t scream and yell as much if it happened on my side, and I realized that’s hypocritical. And that you should cast a jaundiced eye on people who are constantly outraged, because it’s impossible to be mad all the time. It’s psychologically impossible and it’s ultimately damaging to your brain.