Fox News hosts: Palin 'pulled punches' admission a 'joke'
August 4th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Fox News hosts: Palin 'pulled punches' admission a 'joke'

(CNN) - Two Fox News Channel hosts said Thursday they were joking when they previously claimed they felt awkward about commenting on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin because she's a fellow Fox employee.

"The only problem with talking about Sarah Palin is that she works here, and it's like a co-worker," said Greg Gutfeld, co-host of "The Five," the network's show on Wednesday. "And if I say something bad and I see her in the hallway, I feel really awkward and wrong, so I just kind of say, 'good job'."

Co-host Bob Beckel agreed, saying he'd also held back his criticism of Palin, a Fox News contributor who makes more than $1 million per year from the network. Palin is flirting with a run for president in 2012.

"It has nothing to do with that, it has everything to do with your paycheck. That's what you feel awkward about," Beckel said. "I know exactly what you mean. I'll be honest: I've pulled my punches on her."

After the comments spread on the internet, the hosts during Thursday's show replayed the remarks and clarified that they were joking. Republican panelist Dana Perino referred to the segment as a "mea culpa."

"So you make one joke and left-wing sites… go crazy because they're so desperate for any kind of Palin anecdote–that's like their heroin," said Gutfeld.

Co-host Beckel, a Democrat, touted his record of criticizing Palin on Fox in the past and said Wednesday's comments were a way to break up some of the tediousness on the show. "We were joking," he said.

"Everybody happy now? Good," Beckel said as their comments came to a close.

Beckel is a long-time Democratic operative and commentator while Gutfeld is a conservative television host. The two are among a cast of rotating hosts on the Fox show that bills itself as a discussion and debate of the day's top stories.

The original Wednesday exchange followed a playback of Palin's comments Tuesday night over reports that Vice President Joe Biden had likened tea party activists to terrorists.

In Palin's response, she said President Barack Obama should look into his own past with Bill Ayers if he wants to see "domestic terrorists."

Filed under: Fox News • Sarah Palin
soundoff (494 Responses)
  1. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, I am sure Fox goes easy on Palin because she is a co-worker. Because we remember they were sooo harsh critics of her beforehand, when she was running for VP...

    August 4, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Mauve

    Sarah Palin is an idiot. The problem here is, who watches Faux News anyway? 1.If you don't watch Faux News you are not subjected to Fake News reporting and/or Sarah Palin. You are not subjected to FNews, news readers being soft on Palin. 2.It is old news. 3.There's always Michele Bachman to pick up the Palin slack. She is rather dense too– and Michele admits it! 4. Let's talk Santorum, another person the Republicans need to "cross off their dance card" –they need to do it quickly. Santorum will drag them down even more.

    August 4, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Doc

    Not a big surprise, sadly. Though it's pretty much human nature to feel awkward in the presence of someone you criticized openly, Palin puts herself out there as a former candidate, a possible, or even likely candidate, and certainly a political influence peddler, and if a "journalist" admits to pulling punches with someone who would run the country if she could, then they should be dropping their resignation letters on the news producer's desk right now. End of story.

    August 4, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. MiddleoftheRoad

    In other shocking news: All other networks go soft on Obama and his moronic minions.

    August 4, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. DJH

    Now, if only the rest of you would admit your pathological obama bias we'd start getting some where.

    August 4, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Carol

    You democraps will be eating out of trash cans if the big tax paters decide to take their business out of the country. cause almost all of you don't pay any taxes, which covers your ssi and welfare checks and ss checks. You will be doomed! We will see at the end of the day who is the most resented race on the planet.

    August 4, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. Mindie from India

    Eeew, don't sniffit, just flushit!
    Yet CNN and the rest of the lamestream media continue to go extra soft on little Barry and shield him from much-needed scrutiny!

    Oh really?

    Apparently you haven't visited the lame stream website drudgereport or watched fake news lately – they named him a freaking Tar Baby they wouldn't want to touch, you uninformed person. Or maybe you're just a lying hypocrital Chrisitan Republican Tea Bagger Conservative, which is more likely, but you really need to get some better news sources because apparently you just watch/read liberal news outlets if you think the lame stream is easy on your President.

    August 4, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. joe

    Unfair and Unbalanced.

    August 4, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Mindie from India

    Caribou creep wonders why people call her a hypocrite and we wonder why she calls herself a Christian.

    August 4, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. doug

    "Any reporter who pulls back a punch for whatever reason is no longer a reporter, but a simple fan."

    So then Danny is stating here that the only television outlet that should be allowed to interview or comment on our president is Fox News.

    What about a mentally unstable hatred and irrational desire to smear at all costs truth be damned interview? You could make the case that not a single reporter from the mainstream media should have been allowed to interview President Bush, as typical average Democrats foam at the mouth by their mear mention of his name.

    August 4, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. repuklican

    Well, I don't have any problem criticizing her: She is a an idiot. There I've said it in a Fair and Balanced way so that YOU can decide.

    August 4, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. DJH

    "She makes $1,000,000 a year for her uneducated often incendiary comments, doesn't anyone see anything wrong with this"
    I don't know – do you have a problem with obama doing the same thing and getting paid for it?

    August 4, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Tina Stockton

    So much for objective and rational journalism. I guess Caribou Barbie has those folks by the balls.

    August 4, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Joe from Boston

    Hey guys – time to grow a pair.

    August 4, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. mkjp

    It gives me such comfort to be reminded of the several orders of magnitude more money she makes working at Fox than she would as President. It reminds me of the 800,000 reasons per year she will NOT run for President.

    August 4, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Mindie from India

    @ the toilet mouth
    ...Do the American people a favor CNN – start doing your duty and start digging into and examining the extremist background and influences, lack of any pertinent executive experience of this liberal ideologue that has lead to one after the other failed policies of this "messiah" you obviously protect! He's killing our country....

    Wow! Angry some? Racist some? Bigoted some?

    You'd better start thinking with your brain in stead of your head.
    Mama Grizzley? I don't think so – she's a freaking coward and blames everyone but herself for her failed political career.

    Mark my words – Obama will win by a landslide in 2012 – mainly becasue we see what you tea baggers want for this county. No SS, No Medicare for the elderly or sick – corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich do not resonate with the American public.

    August 4, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Tom in the Great NW

    Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, why oh why DO YOU HOPE THAT THE US ECONOMY TANKS? Would it be part of your teanut plan to 'take control' next November?
    ...YOU AND YOUR TEANUTS almost sunk our economy in 2008 – NOW YOU ARE PART OF DOING IT AGAIN!!
    ....To the teanuts – LAY OFF MY SOCIAL SECURITY, LAY OFF MY MEDICAID; we, the DEMOCRATS, will make sure that YOUR RICH FRIENDS (Dubya called them YOUR POLITICAL BASE) PAY THEIR WAY!

    August 4, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Patty - Illinois

    Every news channel itches daily to get some tidbit about Sarah ..... they ignore real news items in order to post every comment she makes regarding any subject she chooses to throw up on..... not that she has anything of value to say, but because they are media whores and she is their media darling.

    August 4, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Reginald Van Gleason III


    August 4, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. jk from MN

    This shouldn't shock anyone. After all, it's more like Faux News than Fox News.

    August 4, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Tom in the Great NW

    COME ON SARAH, WRITE IT DOWN ON YOUR HAND - "SURE, I CAN BEAT HIM". (and be sure to write down PRESIDENT OBAMA – just so you won't forget)

    August 4, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Tim

    How about the "reporters" just be fair? They don't have to be "hard" or "soft" on people, just ask the questions and point out the things that need to be pointed out. The problem is the people at Fox are so wound up about attacking any non Republican, that it's not really a news source anyway, it's just a tabloid. If they were legitimate reporters, they'd ask the right questions regardless of the person's affiliation of party.

    August 4, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Mark from Louisiana

    That's no different than the way CNN,ABC,CBS,&NBC treat obama.

    August 4, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Bill

    Ya know, she's not even a candidate yet and may or may not be later. Technically she's just a private citizen so why all the fuss?

    August 4, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Banda53

    The inference is that if she wasn't a Fox employee that Fox would be critical of her. Does anyone really believe that?

    August 4, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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