SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Which is worse, the vulgar or the (stunningly) stupid?

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2024

Gutfeld! lets you decide: This afternoon's exercise is for extra credit only. We offer it as an attempt to complete our preliminary study of the culture of the Gutfeld! primetime "cable news" show, as seen on the Fox News Channel.

Last night, host Greg Gutfeld surrounded himself with the usual four-member panel. As usual, the panel included one former professional wrestler; two B-grade comedians; and one conventionally attractive woman dragged in from Outnumbered.

(Full disclosure: There's nothing "wrong" with being conventionally attractive.)

At this site, we continue to marvel at the culture of this extremely low-rent "cable news" primetime show. Today, we pose a basic question about that culture:

Which is worse? The gruesome coarseness of the program, or the blinding stupidity of the program's pseudo-discussions?

We'll start with the coarseness. 

Each Friday night, the program's host—he's 59 years old!—begins the show with a monologue called "Greg's Leftovers." Allegedly, these are the jokes the host didn't get around to using at some earlier point in the week.

Last night, the host offered 23 such jokes at the start of the program. The call of the roll went like this:

He started with the standard denigrations of the standard targets (Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi). 

One joke—the joke whose punchline was "Calendars"—was actually well-composed. Whatever you think of its premise, it was a flat-out well-written joke.

All in all, the other six were pretty much basic hackwork. Inevitably, they included a violent death fantasy regarding Vice President Harris and a euthanasia jibe directed at President Biden.

That left sixteen jokes to go. These jokes showcased the host's obsession with body parts, bodily functions and the standard misogynist denigrations, insults and taunts. 

To wit:

Joke 8 was a joke about breastfeeding and transgender women. Joke 9 was a bit hard to decipher, but its general theme seemed to be that Nancy Pelosi eats [BLEEP].

The next two jokes dealt with an attempt to "grow artificial testicles in a lab." 

(Joke 11 involved a naughty-boy double entendre involving Chock full o' Nuts coffee. In Joke 12, the host suggested that Prince Harry needs to buy a new pair.)

Joke 13 involved a man who was arrested for sticking items in an antique shop up his rectum, then placing the items back on the shelf. Joke 14 turned on the observation that Chris Christie is way too fat.

In Joke 15, we're admonished not to conduct prostate exams on ourselves through use of selfie sticks. Joke 16 turned on the bromantic jibe that Jesse Watters is "a fraudulent blowhard with no friends and a micro-penis."

(Are you starting to get the general drift of this work of comedic art?)

Joke 18 concerned a severed human leg found on a subway track. Joke 19 turned on the premise that women are mainly concerned with not looking fat.

With Joke 21, we're back to transgender athletes, the problem being that the audience didn't seem to recognize a photo of Dennis Rodman. The premise of Joke 22 was that Madonna is way too old and rather ugly to boot.

Joke 23 turned on the claim that Joy Behar is way too old, and also that she's a dog.

You might think that no discussion could be as stupid as that monologue was. If you thought some such thing, you would, of course, have been wrong.

After the reading of the Leftovers, the host launched a discussion of Google's announcement that it's "pausing its artificial intelligence tool Gemini’s ability to generate images of people."

Headline included, here's the start of CNN's recent report on this matter:

Google halts AI tool’s ability to produce images of people after backlash

Google is pausing its artificial intelligence tool Gemini’s ability to generate images of people after it was blasted on social media for producing historically inaccurate images that largely showed people of color in place of White people.

The embarrassing blunder shows how AI tools still struggle with the concept of race. OpenAI’s Dall-E image generator, for example, has taken heat for perpetuating harmful racial and ethnic stereotypes at scale. Google’s attempt to overcome this, however, appears to have backfired and made it difficult for the AI chatbot to generate images of White people.

Gemini, like other AI tools such as ChatGPT, is trained on vast troves of online data. Experts have long warned that AI tools therefore have the potential to replicate the racial and gender biases baked into that information.

When prompted by CNN on Wednesday to generate an image of a pope, for example, Gemini produced an image of a man and a woman, neither of whom were White. Tech site The Verge also reported that the tool produced images of people of color in response a prompt to generate images of a “1943 German Soldier.”

At least in theory, we can imagine the possibility of a serious discussion of this embarrassing breakdown. To see how stupid it got on this primetime "cable news" program, we'll offer this suggestion:

First, steel yourself against the possible onset of anguish, dismay and despair. Then, to see the rumination which emerged from the former professional wrestler as he attempted to handle this particular topic, you can start by clicking here.

(Warning! Another fat joke from Gutfeld ahead!)

We remain astonished by the fact that this gruesome "cable news" program is actually on the air—in prime time each weekday night, no less. Meanwhile, as in The Emperor's New Clothes, so too here:

Denizens of the upper-class mainstream press seem unable to articulate the fact that the host of this gruesome program is an aging, angry fellow who has no discernible journalistic clothes. Everyone has accepted the presence of this ugly, stupid TV show as part of our "cable news" culture.

The host's coarse sensibility sets the tone for the nightly show. The "discussions" signal a basic fact:

This whole discourse is out of order and has been for some time!

Can a modern society function this way? We dare you! Steel yourself against despair, then go ahead:

Click those links!


48 comments:

  1. No one watching Gutfeld is ever ever ever going to vote for Biden or any Democrat. It doesn't matter how many crude jokes Gutfeld makes, these are Republican true believers and MAGAts. The only point of the show is to sell advertising for products that the morons who like this humor will spend their money on, and support our economy. Beyond that, Gutfeld has no significance at all.

    Bemoaning this sort of humor strikes me as a major waste of energy. We have wasted our time too, by reading this essay. Why on earth does Somerby think anything on Fox matters to the upcoming election or anything else?

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    1. “We have wasted our time, too, by reading this essay.”

      And yet you continue to read him every day, just so you can insult him. What’s wrong with you?

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    2. No, I am not writing here just to insult Somerby. I am also trying to counteract some of the potential damage Somerby does when he claims to be liberal and then denigrates Biden, who we need to win more than in 2020 because of Trump's dangerous plans for an authoritarian, revenge-oriented regime. It clearly mattered that Biden won in 2020, well it matters more that Biden win in 2024. THAT is why I am here. And I NEVER call Somerby names, the way other commenters do here. I point out his behavior so that people can see Somerby for what he is.

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    3. So when JFK asked what you could do for your country, you figured hanging out on a blog and bashing the host was how you could do your patriotic duty. Inspiring.

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    4. I’ve done a lot of useful things in my life. This is what I’m doing now. Should Somerby bash Biden without pushback? What do you think comments are for? He could disable them whenever he wants. Who made you his sycophant and defender? Who are you helping with your attacks on other commenters here?

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    5. A lot of long time fiends started being Rush or Fox news curious 20-30 years back. I admonished them not to listen to or watch that crap. They went from Normal R voting folks to slobbering Q anon Maga Men. It leaves a mark on folks. Just insufferable asses loudly complaining about how hard it is to be white, and how the blahs, illegals, and trannies get all the jobs and government handouts. Fuck em.

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    6. “Who made you his sycophant and defender?”

      This is grade-school argument.

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    7. Grade school kids don’t say sycophant.

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  2. The computing industry has known for a long time that its machine learning algorithms produce racially biased results. What I don't understand is why anyone would release even a beta version of an AI product without evaluating it for such bias first. Every time they do that, it insults black people and makes the industry look foolish.

    What is there to discuss beyond that?

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  3. If you ask the AI for a video of Trump talking about ED, does it show him as a black man wearing his $400 sneakers?

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  4. Given Somerby's support for Dr. Bandy Lee's claim that Trump is mentally ill, Somerby might discuss this recent interview with Dr. John Gartner, another psychologist and former profressor at Johns Hopkins University Medical School (more prestigious than Yale).

    https://www.salon.com/2024/02/23/dr-john-gartner-on-a-tale-of-two-brains-bidens-brain-is-aging-brain-is-dementing/

    Gartner says about Trump:

    "Not enough people are sounding the alarm, that based on his behavior, and in my opinion, Donald Trump is dangerously demented. In fact, we are seeing the opposite among too many in the news media, the political leaders and among the public. There is also this focus on Biden's gaffes or other things that are well within the normal limits of aging. By comparison, Trump appears to be showing gross signs of dementia. This is a tale of two brains. Biden's brain is aging. Trump's brain is dementing.

    What evidence do you have for that conclusion?

    "Phonemic paraphasias" —the substitution of non-words for words that sound similar—are not normally seen until a patient enters the moderate to severe stages of Alzheimer’s.

    "What I don’t understand is why those clips aren’t replayed over and over in the mainstream media. Isn’t Trump babbling incoherently the most newsworthy part of his rally? You can be sure it would be if it were Biden."

    Some examples of Trump’s non-words: Beneficiaries becomes “benefishes.” Renovations become “renoversh.” Pivotal became “pivobal." Obama became “obamna.” Missiles became “mishiz.” Christmas became “Crissus.” Bipartisan became “bipars.”

    This is a fundamental breakdown in the ability to use language. If you were talking to your father on the phone and he did this you would think he is having a stroke. There is no healthy older person who speaks that way.

    Trump also engages in what we call "tangential speech." He just becomes incomprehensible when he engages in free association word salad speech that is all over the place. Again, that's a sign of real brain damage, not being old, not being slow, not losing a step not being, but of severe cognitive deterioration. What I don’t understand is why those clips aren’t replayed over and over in the mainstream media. Isn’t Trump babbling incoherently the most newsworthy part of his rally? You can be sure it would be if it were Biden.

    Biden has been excoriated for forgetting names, which can be a normal part of aging. But Trump isn’t just forgetting names, he’s forgetting and combining people. Trump believes Nikki Haley is Nancy Pelosi. He has said repeatedly that Obama is still president. He said his father was born in Germany when that was his grandfather.

    There is also a person's baseline. This is an essential tool for evaluating a person's mental decline. If you look at Trump's interviews and speeches from the 1980s for example, he may have always been a bit of a jerk, but he was articulate and polished. Now if you look at Trump there is great deterioration. By comparison, Biden has never been the most articulate person; he always had a stutter. He always made gaffes. But Biden has a good heart and good judgment. Over the decades we have not seen much evidence of deterioration in Biden's speaking.

    The mainstream news media is now advancing a narrative that President Biden is old, too tired, and needs to retire. By comparison, Trump, who is only a few years younger than the president, is being depicted, inaccurately, like he is some type of Immortal or human fountain of youth and vitality. I have made the intervention that Trump looks to some like he is full of energy and life because he is clearly so unwell and out of control and dangerous. President Biden is deliberate and measured. "

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    1. Somerby is one of the people who has been depicting Trump inaccurately. He has also been grossly unfair to Biden. Why would Somerby promote Bandy Lee's view of Trump's mental illness, but now, when it matters, revert to calling Biden too old and claiming that Trump has vitality and energy?

      Most clinical psychologists understand the difference between Alzheimer's (for example) and normal aging. They have been speaking out about Trump's cognitive deficits. Why won't people like Somerby listen and stop pushing the man who is most impaired because he "looks" younger than Biden on a stage? Trump is not well. Biden is a healthy, mentally competent man doing well for his age and showing only normal signs of aging, which most of us work around to maintain functionality as we get older.

      Somerby is either making a huge mistake, or he is being paid to promote Trump on his blog. Pied Piper asks for evidence. Here is some. Why would anyone claiming to be a liberal promote a demented person like Trump over an admirable president like Biden?

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  5. Rhetorical questions, especially dumb ones, are not evidence.

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    1. I feel your pain, PP. I hope you master it.

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    2. Calling a question “dumb” is not an answer or an argument.

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    3. Fair enough. Your premise that Somerby promotes Trump over Biden is false, and a rhetorical question is not evidence. Happy?

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    4. When has Somerby ever promoted Biden at all?

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    5. I asked for the evidence supporting your accusation that someone pays Somerby. Your quibbles are delections. Put up or shut up.

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    6. I can’t spell. *deflections*

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    7. No one would write what Somerby does for free. It should be obvious even to you that someone is paying him.

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    8. Keep up. The theory is that in 2015 somebody began paying Somerby. Nobody doubts that he was a liberal hero before then, and nobody doubts that as a liberal hero he was writing for free for many years.

      So nobody doubts he can write for free for many years.

      And that undercuts the argument that “He must be paid - who would do this for free?” Because we know that Somerby would.

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    9. Somerby went bad in 2015. Pied Piper’s denial of that obvious fact is a gross delection.

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    10. The mental status exam for dementia that Trump took one Saturday in 2021 during an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed Hospital that was afterward described as a routine visit was anything but and never adequately covered for its significance by the mainstream press. Trump appears to have a fairly rapidly progressing cognitive decline that will only be more evident in the coming months. The Johns Hopkins expert is on point. Trump’s sleep habits as reported may be contributing to a degree. The fact that no one in the Republican cabal has the integrity to act on this fact is dangerous. His family knows he is losing his marbles without a doubt but probably fears him as much as does Lindsey Graham. All this will become more and more obvious as the months progress. It will be increasingly more difficult to distinguish his blatant lies from the rantings of a demented mind. By November he will be toast.

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    11. Anonymouse 9:17am, for years Somerby has called Trump mentally disordered and unfit for his office. Bob has sited Trump’s clinician niece and a professor of clinical psychiatry at Yale, Bandy Lee.

      Anonymices have excoriated Bob for wanting more attention paid to these concerns, Yet here you are now, claiming that Trump has incapacitating mental issues without any documentation from an expert who has examined Trump.

      What gives?

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    12. What gives is this: no one has explained why Trump went to Walter Reed for an unscheduled Saturday neurological examination to test for dementia. His physician, lying, said it was a routine visit. Experts in neuropsychology do not need to be in a room with someone to make an assessment that the type of disordered speech they witness is typical for dementia. Trump’s medical team was and likely still is biased liars. The test he took is not routine for any gerontological visit. There was a reason for it. No one was forthcoming about it. His primary doc that gave him a clean bill of health before his presidency was a gastroenterologist. No one goes to GI for primary care. And furthermore he admitted that he signed off on what Trump wanted. So if you are expecting Trump to submit to an independent assessment that is accurate and honest about his health mental and otherwise past history says you are mistaken. You probably know better. I am not criticizing Somerby here.

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    13. Anonymouse 1:24pm, in other words it’s okay for you to advance a conspiracy theory that would include medical professionals, but Bob was endlessly dragged by anonymices for saying that Trump is psychologically impaired based upon the expressed opinions of two medical professionals.

      By the nature of their professional calling to go after TDH,, anonymices constantly put themselves in the position of directly contradicting themselves in a “pot calling the kettle black” scenario.

      That is always amusing, but in instances where anonymices confront this dilemma in an attempt to defend a politician, it’s particularly funny.

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    14. Somerby said he was mentally ill, without any competent evaluation. The professionals now are saying he has dementia (not a mental illness) which can be dianosed using the evidence of his speech. at rallies and public appearances.

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    15. Cecelia, my comment was responding to anonymous 6:23. I have no qualms with Bob. If someone wants to quibble with Bob on a regular basis, it is their prerogative, although mystifying to me. There is no conspiracy theory here. The public was lied to about a trip to Walter Reed taken by Trump several years ago at which time he was given a test for dementia. Only his doctors know why and how well he did on it. Dr. Gardner is a professional with an opinion that you can consider or not. I believe that based upon his recent public musings, Trump is losing his marbles. Don’t forget to bring your ID the next time you go out for a loaf of bread. Apparently it’s mandated now.

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    16. On the other hand if you bring your ID it may make it easier to debank you. Probably best to avoid bread altogether and pay cash, not showing anyone in the banking industry your ID. Yes, that makes the most sense, no bread, no ID, no chance at being debanked without an ID, just pay cash, but very sad about the bread.

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    17. Of course, anyone can get their wife's name wrong in the middle of a campaign speech.

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    18. There are folks who remember checkbooks, Einsteins. There are even people who are still “buying bread” with that method. They’re pulling out ID.

      The same thing goes for young people buying cigarettes and booze.

      When I vote, they look for my name in a big ole book and they ask me to pull out ID.



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    19. Anonymouse 6:37pm, don’t talk to me about there being mo doubt that Trump is mentally incapable of being president. I’ll just roll my eyes.

      Do your spiel to the people who lecture Bob up and down when HE says that. Although we both know that in that scenario you’re singing a different tune.

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    20. Trump wasn’t talking about showing ID in order to pay with a check. That type of ID is required by the grocery store. He was talking about some government mandate that you have to show ID to buy bread, with or without writing a check.

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    21. Anonymouse 8:20am, it’s just the stuff of your urban legends.

      https://news.yahoo.com/trump-bakes-loaf-nonsense-bizarre-052500102.html

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  6. A shocking upset: Donald Trump has defeated Nikki Haley in the GOP primary in her home state.

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  7. Ira von F├╝rstenberg has died.

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  8. “With Joke 21, we're back to transgender athletes, the problem being that the audience didn't seem to recognize a photo of Dennis Rodman.”

    That’s hilarious!

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    1. These jokes were written for you.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. People who do recognize Dennis Rodman.

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    4. I don’t recognize Dennis Rodman.

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    5. Back when Rodman was winning Championships I was at a Greek deli outside of Ft. Worth. A Rodman entourage pulls into the lot and enters the restaurant. My wifes' friend starts telling me to get an autograph for her sons. I say you get the fucking autograph. My wife gives me the look so I queue up at the end of a line of about 15 autograph seekers. Rodman is talking on his cell and nonchalantly signing away. As I pull up to get the coveted autograph one of the little ones in the group shoves his hand up into my face and asks me if I "have any manners?, can't you see Mr. Rodman is on the phone." As usual, fuck me.

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  9. Kevin is confused:

    https://jabberwocking.com/america-is-a-wreck-america-is-great/

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  10. What a giant waste of time Somerby is engaged in, parsing out and listing Gutfeld “jokes.” Does anyone in his right mind think that any news media ought to spend any time on this? It’s mind boggling that Somerby “thinks” so.

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