Greg Gutfeld is a host of the Fox News late-night political show Red Eye as well as the channel’s daily news roundtable, The Five. He is also the author of The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage (Crown Forum). In November, Reason TV Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie spoke with Gutfeld about tolerance, liberalism, and why it’s so much fun to hate people.
Q: Your book concerns itself with something called the “tolerati.” Who are they?
A: The tolerati are [people] who claim to be tolerant until they run into someone they don’t agree with—primarily a conservative or a libertarian or anyone who doesn’t hold their liberal assumptions. If you have anything that deviates from that belief, you are considered a bigoted, inconsiderate monster.
Q: You started developing this concept of fake tolerance or repressive tolerance when you were a student at Berkeley.
A: This is the early ’80s, and I think it was the beginning of the politically correct movement, where language was under fire. There were certain things you couldn’t say, or there were things that had meanings that you didn’t understand. And I think that came from deconstructionism.
Q: And you had gone to an all-boys Catholic high school?
A: Serra High School, home of Barry Barnes, who used to sit behind me in Spanish class and cheat off me.
Q: But did you come out of that as a liberal?
A: I remember there was a time when one of the religious teachers asked if anybody had done drugs, and I raised my hand and nobody else did. And he said that he had such tremendous respect for me because I said I’d done drugs in front of everybody. To me that was like: Wow, if you make a stand or draw attention to yourself in a certain way you get points. And I learned that.
Q: So you come out of a high school where to be liberal is to be good. You go to Berkeley where to be liberal is to be good and then you realize…
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