This week saw the latest media outrage du jour when Morning Joe co-host described Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a “wannabe dictator’s butt boy” while criticizing him for not holding Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Brezinski’s comments were met with swift backlash due to the obvious homophobic nature of the insult, resulting in the MSNBC pundit issuing an on-air apology on Friday morning.
Conservative media saw the Brzezinski episode as further proof of a double standard when it came to the left making inflammatory and offensive comments without repercussions. During Friday’s broadcast of Fox News’ The Five, co-host Jesse Watters lamented over his belief that if he had said the same thing on the air, he would have been “toast.”
“There would be no Watters World,” he added, referencing his weekend Fox News show. “It would be a very sad day. There’s an unequal system of justice in America.”
He would then go on to mention other commentators and reporters who he felt had gotten away with using homophobic and racial slurs but went unpunished because they aren’t conservative. What Watters failed to mention, however, is the fact that he continues to host two Fox News shows despite facing outrage over his racially insensitive Chinatown segment in 2016 and last year’s suggestive penis joke about Ivanka Trump.
During the same Five segment, co-host Greg Gutfeld seemed to in a far more forgiving mood than Watters, noting that Brzezinski had apologized for her remarks and perhaps it was best to take it at face value.
So was Gutfeld just feeling charitable? Was he sticking to his principles and choosing to not further feed the outrage machine? Or was it something else altogether?
On Friday evening, Last Week Tonight executive producer Tim Carvell spotlighted a 2013 episode of Red Eye in which Gutfeld and one of his guests used the term “butt boy.”
Hey! I think I figured out why Greg Gutfeld was a little more charitable about this! https://t.co/stCWX0zAeH
— Tim Carvell (@timcarvell) December 15, 2018
On that broadcast, conservative political commentator and writer Andrew Klavan criticized comedy website Funny or Die helping to promote the Affordable Care Act, saying “to have them become the government’s butt boys — it is enough to give butt boys a bad name.”
“There is nothing worse than a butt boy with a bad name,” Gutfeld snarked in response.
As Carvell noted on Friday night, “I think I figured out why Greg Gutfeld was a little more charitable about this!”