Greg Gutfeld was playing a dangerous game.
The acerbic Fox News funnyman has been building a reputation for years as one of the keenest, funniest minds on the conservative side of the aisle, and his hugely successful nightly comic commentary show is just cementing that in place.
But on Friday night, Gutfeld turned the sharp edge of his wit against his own employer — and left his audience stunned.
Gutfeld’s topics were corporate cowardice, advertiser pressures, and the growing censorship regime taking over too much of the Western media.
To polish off his point, he broke an apparent taboo on Fox against using the name of Tucker Carlson, the former Fox commentator removed from the air in April.
NEW: Fox News guests get visibly uncomfortable after host Greg Gutfeld calls out advertisers and his employer for firing Tucker Carlson.
You could feel the tension in that room.
“Musk may be the last man standing between real freedom of speech and the suffocating block of the… pic.twitter.com/pwC9POWM1B
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) December 2, 2023
Gutfeld was springing off his “Video of the Day,” feature, which on Friday featured X owner Elon Musk telling an interviewer last week that any advertiser trying to “blackmail” him into abandoning his free speech principles could “go f*** yourself.”
“The fact is, Musk may be the last man standing between real freedom of speech and the suffocating block of this censorship industrial complex, which is made up of government, media, and tech forces,” Gutfeld said.
“He realizes that advertisers have no spine and can be easily cowed by special interest groups in cahoots with political allies.
“If you don’t believe me, I’ve got two words for you: Tucker Carlson.”
The full video is available below. Gutfeld’s panel’s reaction was almost as interesting as the words themselves.
The unease among Gutfeld’s guests was almost as palpable as the audience reaction was audible. They were no doubt relieved when he continued the topic without returning to Carlson’s ouster from Fox.
But it’s likely not the end of the story.
What Gutfeld did was open insubordination against the Fox executives who had no problem jettisoning their most popular primetime host for reasons that never were explained — though Fox media analyst Howard Kurtz might have offered an unofficial hint in the immediate aftermath.
And while Gutfeld is popular in his own right, and a reliable ratings draw for Fox, he’s got no guarantee that he won’t find himself out of a job soon too, and following in Carlson’s footsteps with a video show on Musk’s X.
There were plenty of social media users who were thinking the same:
OMG. He went there. Will he be the next to be fired at Fox? Much respect for Greg.
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) December 2, 2023
Greg Gutfeld is moving in the right direction.
He can only go so far.
Fox will muzzle him.
— MatthewJshow (@MatthewJshow) December 2, 2023
Gutfeld has been “musked”. He now has the courage to call out the media. He may be joining Tucker soon at X. We welcome him.
— floridanow1 (@floridanow1) December 2, 2023
As Newsmax reported in May, Gutfeld was one of the few Fox names to defend Carlson when, in the wake of his ouster, a series of videos surfaced that were apparently intended to just to make Carlson look bad.
In a May 2 social media post, Gufeld branded those criticizing Carlson over the videos as “hall monitor failures bitterly chronicling the lives of the far more successful.”
But blasting anonymous “hall monitor failures” is one thing. Very publicly shaming your own bosses, on their own network, is another thing entirely.
It’s a dangerous game Gutfeld is playing. He better be sure he can win.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.