ARMIES: When Gutfeld threw to the clueless Kat Timpf...


...democracy died in the dust: What would a reasonably intelligent public discourse actually look like?

Almost surely, it wouldn't start with a 59-year-old termagant-adjacent, "cable news" shouter referring to a sitting president as "President Poopy Pants." 

It wouldn't start like that! But so it now goes in the adult-free erogenous zone now being developed in the vineyards at Fox. 

That said, what might a less ridiculous discourse possibly look like?

In yesterday's report, we started to sketch that out. At issue was a specific claim by President Biden—the claim that food prices in our grocery stores are now being driven, at least in part, by some degree of corporate price-gouging.

The president advanced that claim in a speech on South Carolina on Saturday, January 27. Below, you see the full, though rather limited text of what he said on that topic that day.

For the White House transcript, just click here. The full excerpt goes like this:

From Biden's speech: Saturday, January 27

But look, folks, things this country has—have been through have been pretty tough for a lot of people.  But we’re making progress.  There’s a lot more on the way.

Inflation is coming down.  It’s now lower in America than any other major economy in the world.  


The cost of eggs, milk, chicken, gas, and so many other essential items have come down.

But for all we’ve done to bring prices down, there are still too many corporations in America ripping people off:  price gouging, junk fees, greedflation, shrinkflation. 

You see that article about the Snickers bar?  


Well, it’s going to stop. Americans, we’re tired of being played for suckers.  


And that’s why we’re going to keep these guys—keep on them and get the prices down.

For the record, those insertions about the laughter and the applause strike us as perhaps overstated. But there you see the full extent of what Biden said on this topic that night.

The president did say that some corporations have been involved in price gouging. And as Jim Tankersley noted in last Saturday's New York Times, Biden "made a similar point last fall in a post on the social media platform X."

To our eye and ear, Biden's claim sounds underwhelming—heavily meh—when we watch the tape of that speech. Still, he had made a fairly specific claim about a matter of great current concern.

To his credit, Tankersley advanced the discussion with his news report about the claim—with the news report from which we quoted in yesterday's report. 

For the record, Tankersley's report appeared online on Thursday, February 1. The following evening, the resident red tribe pundit army on the primetime "cable news" program Gutfeld! pretended to conduct a discussion of what Biden had said.

As we noted yesterday, Tankersley had included some basic information in his report—information which might bear on the accuracy of President Biden's claim:

He reported that grocery stores "had increased their [profit] margins by about two percentage points since the eve of the pandemic, reaching their highest level in two decades." According to a government study, those profit margins "have stayed elevated" post-pandemic, "even as other retailers’ margins have fallen back."

Also, "food producers...have continued to raise prices even as their costs have declined, leading to heady profit margins," Tankersley reported. 

Does this mean that price-gouging is going on in the casino? Not necessarily, no. But it might be the start of a serious effort to analyze Biden' claim.

Tankersley's report appeared online late in the evening of Thursday, February 1. Roughly 24 hours later, the resident army on the Gutfeld! show pretended to stage a discussion.

It started, as all such Gutfeld! discussions must, with adolescent name-calling from the program's 59-year-old host. After he played tape of one part of what Biden had said, the first expert he consulted on this question was Kat Timpf, a low-grade comedian and the author of a (very briefly) New York Times best-selling book.

Timpf seems like a perfectly decent person. On the other hand, her analysis of this news event went exactly like this:

GUTFELD (2/2/24): Kat, is it me or does this guy have no concept of how the economy works? He always blames the outcomes for the cause of the outcomes.

TIMPF: Yeah. And also, just kind of the whole thing felt very like "old man yells at cloud." You know, it's like:


And the grocery stores and the Snickers and the thing, and the Snickers. It's like, And I I told them, you better [unintelligible]—

It's like, "OK, Grandpa! [chuckles] You got them! You're right."

I don't think anybody, regardless of any of their political views, watches that and is like, "You know, I think he's on it. I think he's got it." 


I think, when I go to the store, like it's going to take—

People are like, "Okay." I don't think anyone's even thinking about it that much any more. It's just like, what?

Like, he doesn't know how much anything costs. He doesn't know what he's saying. I think that even saying he doesn't know how the economy works, that's like very charitable. He doesn't say anything close to that.

GUTFELD: Yeah. Tyrus, does this piss you off? Or is this just funny?

Such was the full analysis of Kat Timpf, purveyor of narrative.  Moving right along, Tyrus is the former professional wrestling heavyweight champion who is now making the stand-up scene and appears most nights on the Gutfeld! show. 

In fact, Tyrus is a highly capable raconteur. He's plainly a very bright person. But on this occasion, he wandered the countryside at considerable length, apparently in search a humorous double entendre built around Biden's use of the word, "suckers."

Either that, or he didn't understand what the president had said. At long last, he settled for this:

TYRUS: To Kat's point, he has no idea what he's talking about, and the American people can see it. You have to kiss us now before you bang us. We know now. 


At least he didn't use the f-bomb this time; he'd been BLEEPED only moments before. But here, he saved his floundering attempt at commentary with an old fashioned, if incoherent, trip to the d*ck joke pile, the place to which this undergrown program almost always returns.

Having said that, let's return to Timpf's oration. As we do, let us say this:

We're now repeatedly told by the Washington Post: Democracy Dies in Darkness. One of the building blocks of a working democracy lay dead and dying in the dust as Timpf staged that imitation of human life on last Friday evening's show.

To all appearances, the stunningly privileged "cable news" star didn't have the first [BLEEPING] idea what she was talking about. She had exactly nothing to say about the actual topic at hand. All she had was a stream of generic insults aimed at the man she derided as "Grandpa"—at President Poopy Pants.

Can democracy die in darkness? Just as a matter of fact, democracy was dying right there, as the battalion of overaged children on the Gutfeld! show conduct their latest clueless imitation of actual human life.

Timpf knew as much about the topic at hand as we would know if we were asked to discuss the Bolshoi Ballet. For the record, there was no sign that any of the program's gang of five had ever perused Tankersley's day-old report at the Times—the news report which almost surely led producers to build a segment around that particular topic.

None of them knew what they were talking about, but they all knew their brief. Gutfeld said it, then everyone did. This is the way they played:

Gutfeld: Kat, is it me or does this guy have no concept of how the economy works? 

Timpf: Like, he doesn't know how much anything costs. He doesn't know what he's saying.

Tyrus: To Kat's point, he has no idea what he's talking about.

Walter Kirn: Kat [is] right, because he sounds like he's ranting in a dog park or something.

Todd Piro: It's from a position of ignorance. He completely has no idea how a supermarket works.

Everyone agreed with Kat, and Kat agrees with Gutfeld. 

On the down side, Timpf had nothing whatsoever to say about the topic at hand. Neither she, nor anyone else showed any sign of having read the New York Times report which almost surely trigged the selection of the price-gouging claim as a topic the next night.

To appearances, no one had the slightest idea what they were taking about. They did understand their charge from the corporate behemoth by whom they're all employed:

Their assignment was to bring in the insults. Timpf played the insult card well.

Ten thousand years ago, Hector's body was dragged through the dust outside the towering walls of Troy after that shining citadel fell. 

Today, our way of life is dragged through the dust when strivers like this mediocre "comic" take the money from corporate owners and pretend to conduct a human discussion, in prime time, on this major "cable news" channel.

Democracy is already dying in the dust as Gutfeld sprays his insults around, then calls on his vacuous guests. For the record, we've barely scratched the cat-scratch surface of how stupid, but also possibly ugly, last Friday night's program got.

Tomorrow: Almost beyond the reach of belief. Gutfeld limns Morning Joe!


  1. Imagine trying to be more edgy than Joseph Biden and failing. Hats off to Fox.


  2. "Almost surely, it wouldn't start with a 59-year-old termagant-adjacent, "cable news" shouter referring to a sitting president as "President Poopy Pants." "

    Of course not. It would start with all cable news referring to a sitting president as severely mentally ill.

    1. I think Timpf’s description of Pres.
      Biden as The Simpsons grandpa character is apt. Especially when Biden starts shouting for no apparent reason.

    2. Knowing what groceries cost is the government learning what it's like for you. It's a good basic thing for a republic to do.

  3. I guess we can be a little thankful somebody is taking the time out to mention how stupid Gutfeld! is, but is there hope for anyone to whom that is not immediately obvious? Fair to note, Bill Maher had Timpf on his podcast and drooled all over her as a shining hope of our comedy future. He did tell her She was dumb for suggesting She should pay no taxes. He had Gutfeld on too. Maher seems to did show biz bottom feeders, as when he haunted the Playboy Mansion as it was crumbling into the House of Usher.
    At least today Bob does not try to use his disgust with Gutfeld as a cover for justifying Fox’s politics. There immigration nonsense has rather exploded, eh? And “legal trivia” is before the high court today with more to come.
    Can a democracy long endure that has to keep restating that Presidents are not kings? No Bob, it can’t, not when people like you keep looking away from the situation.

    1. Gutfield is a Californian who went to a white Catholic school and in college got a literature degree, then turned on social liberalism of Berkeley to be a clown on corporate media.

      You can imagine the kind of alienation he felt as a Roman Catholic Christian in what's basically a Buddhist retreat of a school.

      He's insane because this country is still segregated. Fox is just the kind of outlet to encourage those wounds to fester and never heal.

      The American Church and school system are both sorted by class and race segregation through geography and redlining itself and soft eugenics of high school and college selection. Why wouldn't that make people crazy?

    2. Bill Maher thinks he's more progressive than he is and arbitrarily takes stereotypical opinions about people too much. His father left the Catholic Church over abortion rights and probably made a big impact on his suspicion of religious sentimentality, since he isn't able to look at topics on a deep historical level, it's coarse. He doesn't know history well. Sort of a dimwitted attempt at being centrist by taking right wing positions half the time.

    3. I think a lot of comedy we are used to, left and right, has sprung from “morning zoo” type radio. Some funny people emerged, but the overall effect had been not good.

    4. Packaging white snark back to itself is profitable to the media owners

  4. Snickers is the best candy bar.

  5. Cecelia, did Biden start shouting for no apparent reason? You got a link?

    1. Anonymouse 11:12am, if you bothered watching him onstage you’d see him do it on occasion.

    2. So you ain’t got no link.

    3. I ain’t going to look for a link.

      You know anonymices are prone to yell for no reason, just like Biden, and for emphasis you all shake your fist at the sky.

    4. I guess Trump isn't yelling when he sends out his ALL CAPS screeds?

    5. Anonymouse 2:16 pm, Trump is the personification of ALL CAPS and there’s no doubt of the target.

    6. I keep trying to imagine a Republican who gives a darn about the border, and I keep coming up blank.

  6. Fox is a good news organization:

  7. Supermarkets are wonderful institutions. They provide a wide selection of food conveniently, reliably and at low markup over cost. They keep perishable foods safe. Thank goodness for our well-run supermarkets

    1. No, obviously it is David who has become a lobbyist for Big Grocery. We should be so happy with them that we beg to pay more, right David?

    2. We should be so happy that we shouldn’t pass I’ll-designed laws and regulations that mess them up.

    3. Price gouging is OK as long as the bread tastes good, amirite?

    4. Innumerate arguments like @2:25's are how counter-productive laws come about. Food prices are high, but the profit margin has almost nothing to do with the high prices. Nevertheless, the focus on profit margin can lead to laws regulating profit margin. These laws won't make food cheaper, but they make food less available.

    5. No, the pandemic dod that.

    6. Nice to see David is pro-inflation today.
      You've come a long way, baby brain.

  8. Somerby calls for adult discourse on Fox, but then he ruins it by referring to Gutfeld as "termagant adjacent" and Fox itself as an erogenous zone. Nothing adult about either of those references.

    Termagant definition: "adult-free erogenous zone"

    This is a gendered insult and women just love to hear men berated by being called female. For Somerby it is a two-fer. He gets to insult women and Gutfeld in one shot.

    Erogenous definition: "(of a part of the body) sensitive to sexual stimulation"

    Unless Gutfeld is actually providing some sort of sexual turnon during his show, Somerby is implying that Republicans get sexual stimulation from whatever political or poopypants jokes he does make. Sexualizing Republican humor strikes me as a bit over the line for "adult" discourse.

    Both of these remarks suggest to me that Somerby is getting bored with his own schtick here. These hypocritical remarks are similar to when Somerby used to complain about Maddow stuffing cash down her pants (a crude reference) while berating her for making teabagger jokes (a gay sexual reference that most of us found pretty funny juxtaposed with earnest right wingers wearing hats ringed with teabags on strings).

    I don't see much adult about Somerby on most days.

  9. "For the record, those insertions about the laughter and the applause strike us as perhaps overstated."

    Here is the kind of gratuitous anti-Biden remark that Somerby tends to make while proclaiming that he will vote for Biden.

    Unless you are using instruments to measure decibels, the assessment of applause and laugher is subjective. Whoever did the transcrption was not being a scientist about it, but noted when there was laughter and when there was applause.

    It is fairly easy to make a judgment about whether there is or isn't any laughter or any applause. So Somerby's contention that laughter and applause were "overstated" has nothing but subjective appraisal to back it up. There is no agreed cutoff for properly stating there was laughter or applause. Vague situations give people a chance to project their own bias onto whatever is being estimated. In this case, Somerby's negativity toward Biden is the only support for a gratuitious claim that applause or laughter were being exaggerated (overstated).

    To make the laughter and appluse less overstated, a listener might just turn up the volume on the speech. It is a stupid and unfair remark that Somerby has made, not at all like when Trump exaggerates his crowd sizes, which can be counted, whereas there is no agreement about when a transcriber should note the presence of laughter or applause.

    Somerby just wants to say that maybe the crowd did not support Biden by providing laughter or applause after all. But that isn't fair or true in this context -- so the remark merely shows us that Somerby doesn't support Biden himself and will take any opportunity to knock him.

  10. "To our eye and ear, Biden's claim sounds underwhelming—heavily meh—when we watch the tape of that speech."

    Somerby then goes on to discuss the Tankersley article but Biden's speech also talks about junk fees, which his administration has legitimately been addressing.

    For example, on Oct 11, 2023, there was this:

    "Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing bold, new actions to crack down on junk fees and promote competition: The FTC is proposing a rule that, if finalized as proposed, would ban businesses from charging hidden and misleading fees and require them to show the full price up front."

    On Jan 24, 2024, there was this:

    "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed today to block banks and other financial institutions from one potential source of new junk fee revenue – fees on transactions declined right at the swipe, tap, or click."

    Business is, of course, retaliating against such proposals, but Somerby's excessive focus on grocery store prices ignores that this is an action addressing other sources of greedflation too, such as new bank fees and hidden fees that consumers find tacked onto their purchases without prior disclosure.

  11. Why does Somerby keep mentioning that Gutfeld is 59 years old?

    Is Somerby such an ageist that he thinks Gutfeld would be any different if he were 10 years older or younger? Does he think a certain age (such as Biden's 81) is bad whereas a certain other age (such as Trump's 77) is good? Would Gutfeld be given a bye if he were 35, or chastised more severely if he were 70? Or is Somerby suggesting that Gutfeld cannot be called senile because he is only 59, despite the FACT that early onset Alzheimer's has afflicted people in that age range and traumatic brain injury can occur at any age. We know that Somerby dislikes those youngish female journalists, but they are in their 30s. Maybe he thinks they are too old and we have been misunderstanding his objections? Anything is possible.

    1. I would say Bob is merely pointing out that Greg is cracking jokes calculated to make a toddler laugh as he closes in on seniorhood. Fun fact: it’s the same age as Trump when he engaged in “locker room talk.”

    2. Are toddlers 59 now?

  12. I wonder how much Somerby is being paid to lobby against charges of greedflation in the grocery industry? Free catfood for life, perhaps?

    If Somerby isn't protecting retail stores against charges of price gouging, then he is probably spending so much time on this topic because he wants to embarrass Biden, along with Gutfeld. Is that how a supposed liberal supports his choice for president? Not exactly, but maybe Somerby likes higher prices. Or maybe he is so fond of Trump that he wouldn't mind paying them if it meant he could see Dear Leader's shining orange face in the White House again.


    In fairness, Somerby should note that maybe this self-serving notation in the Fox transcript is "over-stated" too. Or does he think these descriptions are factual when Fox does them?

  14. Gutfeld and associates are busily agreeing that Biden doesn't know what things really cost or anything about what is happening, meanwhile here's Trump:

    "“You know, if you want to go out and buy groceries, you need identification. If you want to do almost anything you need identification. The only thing you don’t need identification for is to vote, the most important single thing you’re doing – to vote,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Lake Charles, Louisiana."

    In fact, Trump said this multiple times, so apparently no one told him about his gaffe.

    This appears to be another case of the Republicans turning around one of their own flaws and accusing Democrats of making that error.

    Biden's actions to help consumers is a strength of his term in office, so the Republicans are trying to pretend he is the opposite, as clueless about economic struggles of everyday people as their guy with the gold toilets.

    You have to ignore Biden's ACTIONS to control greedflation in order to believe anything said by the right, but that is exactly what Somerby is doing today, as he repeats Gutfeld's critical remarks against Biden without refuting a single one of them. Is that how a liberal would support a candidate for President? Not any liberal I know of.

  15. Somerby no doubt plans to spend the rest of the week making sure that all of his readers are bathed in Gutfeld's accusations against Biden (without any refutation or fact-checking), just in case any of us liberals happened to miss Gutfeld on Fox. Maybe it is Gutfeld who is paying Somerby to promote his show, relentlessly, to people who don't want to know what he said because it is pure shit from the ground up? Anything is possible, amirite?