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. Dave

    Yes, money or paycheck does make a difference on who you comment on. Fox News should fire Palin, but they keep her on to get more conservative viewers.

    August 4, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. senorDerp

    is this the show with the 3 bimbos and the fat guy in suspenders?

    August 4, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Psychologist

    Somebody not reading/knowing any newspaper publications should not be contributor on any newschannel. How twisted is that? Journalism is about being objective, not blabbing empty-headed, subjective sentiments without knowing any facts. Who is Sarah to accuse our president of anything while she and Bachmann want to impose what women can do with their fetus/vaginas/wombs/ovaries? By the way, brilliant, witty comment, Madtown, about 'Todd going soft on Sarah.' You had me rolling on the floor laughing.

    August 4, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. DrMabuse

    I think Palin should drop out of sight and put a gaping hole in some media outlets' news coverage. They might have to fill the time with talk about how bad Obama really is.

    August 4, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. cleareye1

    If Fox commentators start telling the truth, where will it all end? Can the public be trusted with facts? Personally, I would be embarrassed to say I worked for a criminal enterprise that also employed the likes of Palin, Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, etc.

    August 4, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. chuck

    In other words the fox anchors cannot comment on how THEY REALLY FEEL about this dimwit because they feel awkward about seeing her at work. Hey Fox it;s called , fire her. Maybe, maybe you will gain some credibility with seroiuious viewers. Send Hannity with her-he has a crush on her , looks like a fool when he drools over her.

    August 4, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. calm_down seemed to miss this story, as it does not appear on their website. excuse me while i go disinfect my computer

    August 4, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Alina77

    Feel awkward about commenting on Sarah Palin? I have a solution: Fire her and Fox will be "comfortable" talking about her again.

    August 4, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. chuck

    ..Palin is hiisssttoorryyy!!!!!

    August 4, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. George

    What was their excuse BEFORE she was an employee?

    August 4, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. FactCheck

    the ever-increasing bad news for Obama, today being a 300+ point drop in the Dow.


    Yeah Obama sure was responsible for the credit crisis in Italy which directly resulted in the Dow drop, right? Dolts like you should stick to you Fox News talking points and leave the real conversation to adults.

    August 4, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. Diane

    Most of the comments made so far , are obviously being posted by the radical , left wing , sheep-like ,terrorists . They are so afraid of consevative white women , that it's laughable . Feel threatened ? Is your self esteem being brought into question ? Bash away !!! It just shows your weakness .


    Really, and your support of Fox & Palin just shows that you are certifiably loonier than old Caribou Barbie!
    You betcha we all feel "threathened"....if a nutcase like this quitter should make it to the White House you better pack your bags and head for parts unknown because this crazy witch would be the complete downfall of America!
    But, I'm really not too worried....soon enough she'll tell the world she's NOT running.....because if she did then she might have to shut her fat piehole and acutally try to convince America that she has a brain in that flea ridden skull of hers! NOT!!!!

    August 4, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |

    I'm shocked, shocked I say! The GOP network soft on Palin? Why no mention that the GOP network is soft on every other GOP candidate, or senator or congressman that they interview. I'm just shocked.

    August 4, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. cleareye1

    Palin is just smart enough to know she has no chance of being elected to anything, anywhere. She is also mart enough to know she can convert her pretty face into cash in the bank and he will do it as long as there are suckers that will watch her sideshow. I give her credit for finding a path to Tea Party pockets.

    August 4, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Millie Bea

    SOFT? That's too harsh a term. How about GOOEY, GAGA, VOMITOUS, DELUSIONAL,

    August 4, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Chris

    So this story is about a news network asking soft questions to a vice presidential candidate 3 years ago? What about all of the non-Fox news networks asking soft questions to a presidential candidate 3 years ago and continuing the trend even after he was elected into office by the sheeple?

    August 4, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Todd

    Going soft? It was NEVER hard to begin with

    August 4, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Rob Johnson

    Anybody who things MSNBC gives Obama or other Democrats a "pass" in the same sense is delusional.

    I see plenty of criticism of Obama on MSNBC, usually for not being liberal enough.

    August 4, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. sf

    it seem to be the same way during the 2008 Presidentail campaign...what's new?

    August 4, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. nagrom

    As Sonny and Cher would have it. And the beat goes on and the beat goes on and on and on and on. And your up-righteous radical right wingers and tea baggers. We'll see who is still standing come 2012. Certainly won't be one of your class of clowns we have seen and heard so far. Better find a progressive Repuke for next year or kiss all your asses good bye!

    August 4, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Eye of Newt

    Fox News and Palin brutally trashed in one article – Two for One!!!

    August 4, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Keith in NJ

    The ayers stuff happened 100 years ago. I don'y have the same friends I had 30 years ago. Palin is a sean Hannity puppet. she probably does not even know who ayers is.

    August 4, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. demetri

    Wow she gets paid 1 million a year. Not bad considering her education and background. It's all about the personality not the talent or skills, but then that would be considered unfair advancement.

    August 4, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Jay

    SHOCKING! As if – DUH!

    August 4, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. MTATL67

    HEY FOX NEWS – Tell us something that American did not already know. I'm sure those anchor's journalistic ethics are really tied up in knots over taking it easy on Mrs. Palin and her fiscal terrorist group . They need to come clean if they like their UK counterparts hacked the VM and Emails of Americans.

    August 4, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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