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Fox News’ new comedy show is amazingly bad and here are some funny reviews

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There are a few things Gutfeld does on his show: he attacks MSNBC’s Brian Williams, making the same joke over and over again—Brian Williams tells big story lies; he says Joe Biden is old and makes jokes about Joe Biden being old and senile; he attacks liberals for being racists who are all white and condescending; and he attacks comedy for being funny. The attacks on Biden and liberals are standard Fox News copy, and the attacks on Brian Williams are likely the result of Gutfeld’s financial need to outperform Williams as the two men share a time slot, and Gutfeld’s Gutfeld! likely only lives as long as it can compete with Williams.

To be clear, the idea of having a conservative comedy show has long been a holy grail that compassion-free right-wingers have hoped to achieve. You might remember the short-lived Fox News attempt at doing their own Daily Show, back in 2007, Half Hour News Hour. You don’t have to watch it, but I would suggest you take a peek at the 50 second mark joke attacking liberals for not being able to tell the difference between television characters and real life politicians.

Gutfeld hosted Fox News’ Red Eye, a wee hours in the morning show that frequently had on real comedians, in a radio morning-drive-style format. As Red Eye faded away, Gutfeld found himself getting shots on other Fox panels, and the whiff of his sense of humor seems to have been the only quality he had. 

Gutfeld’s lack of intelligence, and his general mediocrity, has always been touched with this delusion that he was somehow the wry humorist on Fox News panels. Really, he just says the exact same racist shit that the rest of Fox News’ hosts say, but from a lightly reclined physical position (see Glenn Beck’s use of pens or glasses as a hand prop to denote thoughtfulness and avuncular trust), with a smug (most likely Bill Maher-inspired) turn of the face that indicates to the white supremacist automatons on the panel that he is making a sort of joke and one should laugh after he’s finished.

But let’s get to the jokes! Trigger warning: These jokes are neither laugh-out-loud funny nor are they groan-out-loud groan-y. In fact they aren’t really anything more than somehow more poorly written Fox News copy, said in an approximation of a humorous delivery.

Oh. My. 

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One of the reasons why conservatives want and need people like Gutfeld to succeed is that humor and satire does have the ability to allow for more controversial opinions to get through into the mainstream without being analyzed for their worth. Not truly great humor, mind you, but being allowed to make generalizations is a part of comedy, and sweeping generalizations are the entirety of the right-wing intellectual platform.

There is also a large comedy market for more libertarian-like (mostly) males that are not nearly as conservative as the Republican Party, but are stressed out about cultural change. Frequently, people like Gutfeld use the excuse that they were “joking” when saying something offensive, hoping to lessen the brunt of the backlash to their putrid ideas. There is a never-ending conversation from the comedy world about “cancel culture,” and it is identical to the conversation comedians had about political correctness years ago.

The argument goes that people’s livelihoods are being attacked because some people don’t find them funny. The comedy-line goes that any comedian should be allowed to say anything because comedians are constantly trying to push the envelope on socially accepted boundaries in search of humor, and sometimes they will miss the mark. The conclusion of these arguments is that attacks on comedians amount to censorship.

Truly great comedian Laurie Kilmartin pointed out that Gutfeld isn’t the guy to carry this version of comedy across the finish line.

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And because she’s actually funny.

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We are talking about this show.

Yeaaaaowch!

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Here’s a little comedy math for you.

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But not everyone is excited about being scooped by Gutfeld!.

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Frighteningly, like a performance artist, there is something so watchable about a garbage fire.

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Seriously, this is so bad it almost seems like it was written by someone punishing Greg Gutfeld.

In fact, a parody account popped right up, called “Gutfeld Writer’s Room.” It’s a fine slice of pastry, but it’s considerably funnier than the Greg Gutfeld show.

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And this made me laugh.

Greg Gutfeld says the reviews are wrong because he knows funny.

Well, we got that out of our system.


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Oath Keepers ‘lifetime member’ agrees to cooperate with prosecutors in Jan. 6 insurrection case

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Schaffer’s guilty plea to two charges—obstructing an official proceeding and illegally entering the Capitol grounds—makes him the first participant in the insurrection to agree to provide evidence against his fellow rioters. Schaffer, who originally faced six felony charges, will enter the government’s witness protection program as part of the deal.

According to an earlier filing, which was mistakenly made public, Schaffer in March began engaging in “debrief interviews.” As The Washington Post notes, the plea bargain marks a critical step forward in the prosecution of the cases, as other defendants face similar choices in terms of providing evidence for prosecutors, particularly when it comes to the activities of the two key paramilitary organizations involved in the insurrection, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

“Whenever you have a large group of people arrested,” criminal defense attorney Martin Tankleff told CNN, it’s common for prosecutors to pressure defendants to flip on each other. “They’re going to start talking. They’re going to start sharing information.”

Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, who was present in Washington on Jan. 6 but did not enter the Capitol, is one of the key figures being drawn into the net prosecutors are creating with conspiracy charges involving other members of his group. Though federal indictments handed down against his Oath Keepers and Proud Boys cohorts have not named him personally, he is referenced in several of them as “Person 1,” a central player in what prosecutors are describing as a conspiracy to “stop, delay, or hinder Congress’s certification of the Electoral College vote.”

“I may go to jail soon,” Rhodes recently told a right-wing rally in Texas. “Not for anything I actually did, but for made-up crimes. There are some Oath Keepers right now along with Proud Boys and other patriots who are in D.C. who are sitting in jail denied bail despite the supposed right to a jury trial before you’re found guilty and presumption of innocence, were denied bail because the powers that be don’t like their political views.”

Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola’s attorney wrote in court filings that he believed a so-called “cooperating witness” was sharing information about the Proud Boys. An earlier filing by prosecutors had revealed that this witness heard Proud Boys members claim that “anyone they got their hands on they would have killed,” including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and that they would have also killed then-Vice President Mike Pence “if given the chance.” The men—who all had firearms or access to them—also talked about returning to Washington for Inauguration Day, and that “they plan to kill every single ‘m-fer’ they can.” That witness, prosecutors noted, has not been charged with a crime.

Most of the defendants, as a New York Times piece recently explored, are facing substantial evidence of their crimes culled from videos and photos both in mainstream media and on social media. Indeed, a large portion of that evidence was provided by the insurrectionists themselves.


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Republicans can’t agree with themselves on how tiny an infrastructure package to demand

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An estimated $41.8 billion is needed to repair structurally deficient bridges alone—never mind getting ahead of the bridges that will become structurally deficient in the coming years. Or talking about roads, rail, broadband, schools, veterans’ hospitals, ports, airports, replacing lead pipes for drinking water, caring for our elders while boosting some of the fastest-growing occupations, and supporting medical manufacturing.

As absurd a low-ball as Capito’s $600 to $800 billion was, though, at least she said something that she would be willing to talk about. More Republicans are just saying “No! Smaller!” and counting on voters to recoil from a corporate tax increase.

Voters, however, support raising corporate taxes to pay for infrastructure—in one poll, telling people that infrastructure would be paid for by a corporate tax hike actually increases support for the plan. Another new poll, from Navigator Research, finds narrow majority support for the infrastructure plan that grows to 70% support when people learn what’s in it, with large majorities of independent voters supporting many of the specific components of the American Jobs Plan, including the senior care proposal that congressional Republicans are so intent on disqualifying as “not really infrastructure.”

Even a majority of Republicans polled support that proposal, along with eliminating lead pipes, investing to protect against future pandemics, investing in rail systems, upgrading and building new schools and child care facilities, and more. Things like clean energy and investing in communities of color don’t get Republican majorities, but they do get independent majorities and strong Democratic support. If these proposals would get support from just half the proportion of Republican lawmakers as Republican voters, they would be seen as strongly bipartisan. But instead, congressional Republicans ignore the polling and yell about how Biden is steamrolling them because his willingness to compromise doesn’t extend to being steamrolled himself. These people are not operating in good faith. Doing so would be in violation of their deepest principles and would probably get them kicked out of their party. And they should be dealt with—and reported on—accordingly. 


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McConnell flat-out tells Republicans to use Manchin and Sinema to obstruct Biden, Democrats

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While that was happening, McConnell was telling Republicans to make nice to Manchin and Sinema to co-opt them to his agenda by boosting their already healthy egos. In an interview with Politico, McConnell demonstrated the tactic. “What they’ve been very forthright about is protecting the institution against pressures from their own party. I know what that’s like,” McConnell said, recalling Trump’s constant pressure to make him nuke the filibuster. “Every time I said no. And it’s nice that there are Democrats left who respect the institution and don’t want to destroy the very essence of the Senate.”

Of course, McConnell didn’t get rid of the filibuster on legislation because he cared about the Senate, which he had already laid to waste. He kept it because it kept the truly bonkers stuff the Republican House and Trump were coming up with in the first two years of Trump’s term from being viable in the Senate. McConnell didn’t want to have to preserve the Republican majority on that record. The second reason was that all he really wanted coming out of the Trump years was a stranglehold on the judiciary, which he achieved by—nuking the filibuster on Supreme Court appointees. Oh, and tax cuts. Which he achieved by the same non-filibusterable budget reconciliation he’s condemning now. So much for his vaunted love for the institution.

Nonetheless, his team is going forward on his command to co-opt the two tools of the Democrats. “For me right now, they’re almost guardians of democracy because they’re trying to protect us from the loss of the legislative filibuster and everything that would come with that. They’re good people,” John Thune, McConnell’s number two, told Politico—which is always willing to help spread GOP gospel. “They want to do the right thing.” If by “democracy” you mean minority rule, which Thune clearly does. Because that’s what Sinema and Manchin are protecting here.

Manchin told Politico “I just hope [Republicans] help me a little bit in bipartisanship. […] That’s all.” Good luck with that, Joe. “He said he believes Republicans aren’t all talk and no give, that ‘they really want to work.'” Sure. Because here’s what’s really happening, and Republicans are happy to admit it: “When they can’t drive compromise directly through legislation that’s passed through budget reconciliation, GOP senators can influence the process by keeping close ties to Sinema and Manchin.”

For example, Manchin’s last-minute intervention that nearly blew up the American Rescue Plan—the critical COVID-19 relief bill passed last month—was so much string-pulling by his Republican “friend” Rob Portman of Ohio, to cut back unemployment benefits by $100 a week and to cut the federal boost in payments off in early September, instead of at the end of October.

Politico baldly lays out the machinations here: “No Republicans supported that legislation, but they were able to make their mark through Manchin.” In other words, he’s being used.

Manchin and Sinema’s influence has “been very helpful,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). “Now, I don’t want to overstate that. I don’t think either one of them have fundamentally changed the direction of important Democratic legislation just yet. But they’ve certainly slowed down a lot of the more radical ideas.”

Like the radical notion of voting rights. Or the radical idea that $7.25 an hour is not enough to live on in almost every part of the country.

One of the “moderates” in the Democratic conference, the Maine Independent Angus King, basically endorsed Schumer’s approach. He said that he wants to see just how many Republicans are willing to cross over to help out before reforming the filibuster, but he is definitely putting the onus on them. “It’s up to them,” he told The Hill, citing a Washington Post op-ed he wrote last month: “What happens to the filibuster depends on how Republicans play their hand.”

Whether Manchin got that message isn’t entirely clear. “Chuck Schumer spoke more about bipartisan today than I’ve ever heard him speak about,” Manchin told reporters. “He wants—’Everything we’re doing, we’ll try to do bipartisan. Let’s work on bipartisan, reach out to your friends,'” is how Manchin interpreted it. It was probably more grammatically correct in the original.

Schumer’s deploying the only strategy that makes sense at this point, with Manchin and Sinema digging in their heels—put the onus on them to find Republicans to help. It would be satisfying if he took that a bit further and made Manchin, in particular, prove his assertion that there are 10 Republicans willing to work with him by getting public statements from them. But this will do for now.


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