Greg Gutfeld of FOX News attacked for alleged anti-Semitic comments

If I have the TV on at 7 P.M. P.T. now, I often tune around, since I am not particularly a fan of Greg Gutfeld's nightly satire-comedy program Gutfeld!, which now airs at that early hour in the Pacific Time Zone.  Imagine my surprise, then, when I switched to CNN yesterday evening after 7 P.M. P.T. (transcript of that hour is here) and happened upon a segment featuring a Holocaust survivor who was bashing FOX News because one of its hosts had supposedly said something anti-Semitic.  After a search online that took only seconds, I saw that the host in question was none other than the aforementioned Greg Gutfeld!

In a search at Google News, it appeared that every MSM outlet on the planet was covering Gutfeld's alleged toxic and inexcusable faux pas of saying something totally politically incorrect on Monday on the #1 cable news program, The Five, on which he is a regular co-host.

Below are the specifics, as reported in a wide variety of media.

In a discussion during The Five on Monday (5 P.M. EDT), liberal co-host Jessica Tarlov made some comments regarding a discussion with her four co-hosts of the new curriculum on the history of race in the U.S. in Florida that the left — including VP Kamala Harris — is busy criticizing.

An article at CBS News's Website (curiously attributed to CNN!) reported it:

Jessica Tarlov, a liberal-leaning co-host on "The Five," expressed disapproval of the new history standards and questioned whether arguments used to defend them would ever be made in regard to the Holocaust.

"I'm not Black, but I'm Jewish," Tarlov said. "Would someone say about the Holocaust, for instance, that there were some benefits for Jews? That while they were hanging out in concentration camps, they learned a strong work ethic? That maybe you learned a new skill."

Gutfeld replied, asking if Tarlov had read the "Man's Search for Meaning," a bestselling book written by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl who was imprisoned during the Holocaust and described the atrocities committed in concentration camps. In his book, Frankl detailed how people can cope with suffering and find meaning in the most horrific of circumstances.

"Frankl talks about how you had to survive in a concentration camp by having skills. You had to be useful," Gutfeld told Tarlov. "Utility! Utility kept you alive!"

As the late Jack Benny might have exclaimed, "Well!"

Greg Gutfeld on The Five, FOX News Channel, July 24, 2023.

The one-minute video clip of what Tarlov and Gutfeld said on The Five is here (logging on to a Twitter account may be required to view the video).

If you don't have access to a Twitter account to view the video, it can also be accessed here.

CNN via CBS News summarized as well as any other MSM outlet the immediate blowback.

Gutfeld's assertion immediately ignited criticism, including from the Auschwitz Memorial, which said in a statement, "Being skilled or useful did not spare [Jewish people] from the horrors of the gas chambers."

On Tuesday, the White House weighed in, blasting the right-wing channel over its silence on Gutfeld's comments.

"What Fox News allowed to be said on their air yesterday — and has so far failed to condemn — is an obscenity," Andrew Bates, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement to CNN.

"In defending a horrid, dangerous, extreme lie that insults the memory of the millions of Americans who suffered from the evil of enslavement, a Fox News host told another horrid, dangerous and extreme lie that insults the memory of the millions of people who suffered from the evils of the Holocaust," Bates continued.

"Let's get something straight that the American people understand full well and that is not complicated: there was nothing good about slavery; there was nothing good about the Holocaust. Full stop," Bates added. "Americans deserve to be brought together, not torn apart with poison. And they deserve the truth and the freedom to learn, not book bans and lies."

A spokesperson for Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

One wonders if this blowback is simply the latest attempt to target a leading FOX News host and program.  Last week, FOX News debuted its revised prime-time schedule, and Greg Gutfeld, dubbed "the king of late night" for his successful 11 P.M. E.T. nightly program on the news channel, is winning the 10 P.M. time slot against CNN and MSNBC since his program moved to that earlier hour one week ago.

When Tucker Carlson, FOX News's previous #1 host, was around in prime time (2017–2023), he was the leading target of every leftist, Democrat politician, and competing or angry MSM media outlet on the planet.  But now he's gone off to Twitter (AKA X), which is also being targeted in numerous articles, blogs, and broadcasts.

Will this latest dust-up become a major issue or amount to a tempest in a teapot?  We'll just have to wait and see, I guess.  I'll leave it up to the readers to form their own opinions about this.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who has covered national politics and the politics and economics of health care, popular culture, and media for over five decades.  He is a regular contributor to the BBC Radio and Television. His web page with links to his work is  Peter's extensive American Thinker archive:  Peter's Twitter account is @pchowka.

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