On Monday, Nov. 26, Greg Gutfeld — former magazine editor and conservative blogger, current host of Fox News’ weeknight roundtable “RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld” and co-host of FNC’s weekday roundtable “The Five” — brought his new book to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Before a book signing, he gave a lecture (video below, in which he tries, occasionally successfully, to repress his sense of humor in respect to the surroundings). But before all of that, Gutfeld sat down with Zap2it.
His book is called “The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph Over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage,” and the description reads, in part, “Greg Gutfeld hates artificial tolerance. At the root of every single major political conflict is the annoying coddling Americans must endure of these harebrained liberal hypocrisies. In fact, most of the time liberals use the mantle of tolerance as a guise for their pathetic intolerance. And what we really need is smart intolerance, or as Gutfeld reminds us, what we used to call common sense.”
Gutfeld does political commentary — heavily laced with irreverence and pop-culture references — on both “RedEye and “The Five,” but the book didn’t come out until almost a week after the recent presidential election.
Sitting at at green-room table piled with books, Gutfeld says, “It was actually supposed to come out later. It was more like, ‘Can I write this, because I’m doing two shows?’ The actual deadline was probably January 2013. But there’s a huge problem with this book. That is, all of the examples in here keep reocurring over and over again. While I’m writing it, the next day, there’ll be another example of faux outrage, and then I’ll just start writing that one.
“So I’ll send in the book, they’ll get the draft, and I’ll go, ‘Oh, wait, I have to add another chapter.’ I started doing that constantly. I realized there’s absolutely no way this book is going to get done, so I just stopped doing it.
“There were probably 300-plus pages that I got down to 250. There could be ‘Joy of Hate 2,’ ‘3,’ ‘4,’ ‘The Reckoning,’ ‘Electric Boogaloo,’ in which I actually fight a Russian columnist, and I get killed. So I wasn’t thinking about the election. I was thinking of trying to get the book out.”
Reminded there’s a meme circulating in conservative circles that more attention should be paid to making an impact on the culture rather than just on politics, Gutfeld says, “We’re at a disadvantage. By the way, I admire your use of ‘meme.’ Well done. I think I banned that phrase [on ‘The Five’].
“I come from the culture. It just so happens that I happen not to be a liberal. My feeling is, we’ll always be outnumbered, but we always still should be making our voice heard. I don’t ever see that really changing much. We have to embrace culture. We just can’t write it off. That’s what we always do.”
Asked why he believes conservatives will be outnumbered, Gutfeld says, “It’s because you are awarded for being liberal in the entertainment world. And it all comes from one place — academics. All the journalists are schooled by journalists, who are all liberals.
“It comes down to this, the moment that Republicans were told they were mean. That was when it was over. It’s the ideas that feelings trump thinking.”
Gutfeld says, though, that writing “The Joy of Hate” didn’t depress him.
“There are so many examples,” he says, “that it seems like it will never end. It’s not depressing — it gets you angry. In a sense, you play into the hate, because you’re like, ‘My God, people are trying to silence you by using the argument of tolerance everywhere. They’re doing it everywhere.’
“I talked to Jim Norton about this [on the ‘Opie & Anthony’ radio show], and he said, ‘The only way you can do this is just to come at them and just fight.’ I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s easy for you to say, because you’re a comedian that’s off on your own.’ The only way you can do it is, you have to mock them.
“I keep holding out that at one year, one point, in the future, the media will see that they’re part of this problem, that they play into this faux tolerance, and that they’re actually the most intolerant people around. But I don’t know. I don’t see it happening.”
Gutfeld was a good friend of the late new-media entrepreneur and conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart, who had been known to respond to bursts of outrage with a quizzical, “So?”
“That was Gavin [Vice co-founder and ‘RedEye‘ regular Gavin McInnes], who made shirts that said, ‘So?’ The idea is that, rather than right and left being a horizontal relationship — one versus the other — that it’s actually vertical. You start as a liberal, and you become a conservative.
“The way I see it — and by the way, I’m not the first person who said this — a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. It’s about growth. That’s kind of how I looked at it, how Gavin looked at it, how Andrew looked at it — they’re not there yet. It is kind of an arrogant thing to say, ‘You’re just not there yet.'”