Fox News hosts: Palin 'pulled punches' admission a 'joke'
August 4th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
3 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. please stop!!!

    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."
    ****************
    Did you ever notice that terrosrists never identify themselves as terrorists?
    Thank you Sarah bin Laden.

    August 5, 2011 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  2. Travis

    Now that they've admitted to it, how about doing something about it? Start calling this woman out on her nonsense, half-truths, and outright lies! Too many people in this country listen to people like Sarah Palin, and the country is going down the toilet because of it. Granted, she isn't the entire reason, as there are plenty of guilty parties all over the political spectrum, but somehow Palin and those like her have managed to cultivate a following of overzealous and under-informed voters who may be well-intentioned, but are easily manipulated by political elites who have managed to speak the language of discord and malcontent. If you guys at Fox, CNN, MSNBC, or anywhere else need to pander to a voice of opposition to the current administration, the least you could do is find someone who is actually qualified to take the job and not someone who is just there to cause chaos.

    August 5, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  3. sc341

    To those commenting that Greg Gutfeld is on a show at 3 am on Fox, he has recently appeared on a show at 5 pm called "The Five" which is a roundtable show with 5 commentators on it which was put together to replace Glenn Beck's show (which was cancelled). So that makes him a regular commentator.

    He's another corporate shill on Fox News shilling for the Republican party.

    August 5, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  4. iTALIAN NONNO

    Keep the course President Obama,.. you were handed a dog's breakfast, and are doing an admirable job, trying to clean up the mess, despite all the obstructionism and sabotage from the Right. These polls mean squat,.. they're manipulated and phony.

    August 5, 2011 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  5. Lenny Pincus

    Nice try, right wing dreamers. Anyone awake knows that Fox is a political organ of the insane portion of the Republican Party, and Sarah Palin is the queen of that cult.

    August 5, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  6. Whoosh

    SO much ado about nothing.

    August 5, 2011 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  7. Robin

    Certainly, Fox must have some concerns about credibility. Any objective analysis would lead someone with even rudimentary critical thought skills to realize that having a "contributor" to the show who was purposefully dancing around the candidacy question fundamentally challenges any claims of credibility. You either sever ties with that person until they state publicly that they are not and will not run for the presidency, or you accept that not doing so demonstrates your tacit support of that "candidate."

    Of course, why should we expect critical thought from them, when so much of the electorate exhibits the same lack of candor and unwillingness to think critically. Judging by the posts here that are littered with words like "conservaterrorist" or "libtard", the electorate is made up of developmentally challenged fourth graders.

    August 5, 2011 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  8. Reverend Bob

    After the Couric "Gotcha" ... "What do you read?" ... We have seen nothing but Beer League slo-pitch from Fox to Sister Sarah! Katie threw a 70mph "Can of Corn" and she wiffed!
    Read "Blind Allegiance" you will understand our Sister Sarah HATED her job as governor, as her skin was as thin as tissue paper, she was more petty than Spiro Agnew!

    August 5, 2011 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  9. SSampson

    A co-worker on a six month trip in a giant bus painted like a giant USA advert......Is it Palin running fro President?? All of FOX?? or Rupert Murdoch et.al?

    August 5, 2011 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  10. Jude

    the fox show is such a waste of time..sure reading the star or national enquirer is entertaining..folks need entertainment, especially folks who do not like boring real world stuff. like most americans. a little slow, stuck with thinking a little backwards and comfortable being mediocre...fox can keep them entertained like kids being mesmerized by the clown while the adults go about getting things done. hey, them rich folks are real foxy, keeping them masses entertained and distracted.

    August 5, 2011 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  11. Laudness

    Gong soft on Sarah is the only way she can seem marginally intelligent. No doubt her ego has gotten a big boost being among such mollifying colleagues.

    August 5, 2011 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  12. McCain-in-4

    When "Fox News Reports, You Decide" reported they were soft on Palin, I decided they were 100% right. Now that they changed their News, I've decided they were 99% wrong. That 1% is a gift.

    August 5, 2011 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  13. Andy

    "Oh shoot we made the news with that lil confession of going easy on Sarah?!? Um... we were joking!! we think she's really competent!!"

    In all seriousness, can my fellow folks who wanna call Fox viewers and conservatives stupid, at least check your spelling? You're making it look like a (low) level playing field!!

    August 5, 2011 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  14. Daws

    Well it's kind of a true half-joke I bet...seriously that would probably have an affect... at least on the token dems they have at Fox. But really for the rest, a nose can only get so brown.

    August 5, 2011 05:24 am at 5:24 am |
  15. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Snooki Palin will soon make a 100 yard dash toward Bachmann's money and media attention since her movie tanked bigtime.
    She and her wingnut hostage takers continue their plan to wreck America's economy for 2012. Look at the Dow shakeup that their debt ceiling ignorance caused. Run Snooki Palin run!

    August 5, 2011 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  16. Marie MD

    Jesus! Enough of this woman. I'm half asleep and I open up the ticker to see that ugly cross-eyed witch face!
    Come on, ENOUGH!!!! That's about four stories on a nobody this week.

    August 5, 2011 06:16 am at 6:16 am |
  17. Lynn

    This is why I never watch Fox news – too slanted towards the right!

    August 5, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  18. Terry

    How is this news? No company can report on an employee, other than to verify that the person works there now, or did work there in the past. If you want to find out what a co-worker thinks, buy the person a drink after work. What a waste of time even reporting on this type of news. News Corp is pulling the same old bologna, spin – spin – spin.

    August 5, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  19. Greg Gilbert

    Since she is not running this story really doesn't matter. So employees don't like to talk bad about other employees on the air.. big deal.

    August 5, 2011 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  20. DanMan97

    I appreciate that they were honest, but they ditched their journalistic integrity so they wouldn't feel uncomfortable around Sarah. That shows how afraid they are of her. I don't know about anyone else, but I want a journalist who has the guts to tell the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. You think Frost would have gone easy on Nixon if he was afraid of him?

    August 5, 2011 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  21. Barking Alien

    Coming from Fox (Facts Optional) this is surprising. But since they are collecting a pay check from Fox they will just turn a blind eye to $arah Failin and her theatrics.

    August 5, 2011 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  22. JD

    mea culpa? that doesn't sound like a mistake, that sounds like honest venting. It has to be a little odd to be a political figure AND be paid a million dollars a year by a "news" network. I don't see a conflict, do you? Sure, I go on about what an idiot she is and how biased Fox is but I don't have to. That simple fact is enough to raise my eyebrow. Fair and Balanced and paying a political figure a million dollars.

    August 5, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  23. keith A. sillsbury

    HA! don't even have the cajones to stand by your comments. what happened? found out the hardway palin is the one under the bosses desk! cause she sure didn't get her job because of her speaking skills or her I.Q.

    August 5, 2011 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  24. Mark

    Being a "Democratic operative" on Fox News is like being a German soldier on "Hogan's Heroes." By contract, the German soldiers we never allowed to win. On Fox News anyone who claims to present the Democratic view is either very weak-kneed or laughed out of the studio. How many years was Colmes nothing more than Hannity's punching bag?

    So these two are "presenting the news," but when they get called on the carpet for doing what they are told, then they have to backtrack to make Fox look "fair and balanced."

    Hey Rupert! How are you going to fix this one?

    August 5, 2011 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  25. The Jackdaw

    FOX is a joke. I understand that all news is slanted one way or another, but FOX is simply irrational and insane. If the Dems said that the Earth has gravity they would argue and say that Jesus holds you on this planet. I would not be a bit suprized if Palin actually was on their payroll.

    "errr......ummmm....I mean.....we dont really pay her.....on the books......errrr."

    August 5, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
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