It is rare for a television personality to criticize his or her own employer — particularly while appearing on that very network. That appears, however, to have been Fox News Channel host Greg Gutfeld’s intention during a recent episode of his evening program.
During a discussion on Friday of Elon Musk’s recent remarks about companies that have pulled ads from X, the social media platform known as Twitter when he acquired it last year, Gutfeld praised the billionaire’s unique ability to stand up to corporate pressure.
The host noted that Musk’s behavior was a refreshing change of pace from the status quo of more mainstream platforms — apparently including Fox News.
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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
“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 added. “He realizes that advertisers have no spine and can be easily cowed by special interest groups in cahoots with political allies.”
Going further with a thinly veiled attack on Fox News, he referenced the network’s decision earlier this year to abruptly end its top-rated primetime show.
“If you don’t believe me, I have two words for you: Tucker Carlson,” he said.
After Carlson’s ouster, he launched an extremely popular show on X that routinely draws millions of views.
In September, Musk cited this success in making a call to other traditional media figures interested in delivering their content in a new format.
“For those considering putting their work on the X platform, consider that Tucker Carlson’s show when he was on TV, had single digit million viewers,” he wrote. “Strong by legacy news standards. Views for his episodes on X now exceed the population of the United States.”
Following Gutfeld’s monologue, the panelists on his show seemed uncomfortable and remained generally silent. The host took note of the muted response to his thoughts.
“Wow,” he said.
Even as now-former advertisers attempt to portray Musk and his company as purveyors of hate speech and misinformation, he stood firm against them in a recent interview that served as the basis for Gutfeld’s remarks.
Musk was clearly on board with the Fox News host’s assessment, sharing a clip of the segment along with his own succinct caption.
“Correct,” he wrote.