Today Greg Guttfeld took to Twitter with me in his sights. You can read the full blast here on Twitchy complete with said anonymous poster’s schadenfreude, but the gist of it concerns a post I wrote when The Five was first announced.
I was going to do a full mea culpa here and say, “Yes Greg, I got it wrong! I have no excuses.” After all…I did get it completely wrong. It’s been two years and The Five is still on the air. Not only is it still on the air…it’s absolutely flourishing. You can’t get more wrong than that.
Plus, as one who has made a career out of holding on to bulletin board material for years or dug up some obscure point I read somewhere just to throw it back in someone’s face when the time was right, I have to admire whoever held on to this post for this long. (I doubt it was Guttfeld. I would think once The Five took off the way it did he would have unloaded on me sooner than this if he had read it at the time I wrote it. I have a feeling someone recently dug it up and pointed it out to him and he ran with it. Nothing wrong with that though.) But whoever was the one, my hat’s off to you. You rock.
But then I read my post all the way through in context and compared it to what Guttfeld wrote and my view changed somewhat. Consider this Guttfeld quote.
“2 years ago @InsideCableNews said this on #thefive: “Nobody involved in this project should feel too secure about its future”"
Now here’s the full sentence I wrote…
“Nobody involved in this project should feel too secure about its future when the press release announcing it spells out that it has a short shelf life“
Context matters here. That announcement said that The Five would run through at least the summer. That’s anything but a full scale endorsement. FNC wasn’t sure exactly what it would have on its hands and it hedged. So based on that my point still stands up. I wouldn’t feel too secure knowing that my show has an announced possible end date. Would you?
Here’s another cherry picked sentence…
“[thefive] so oddball it sticks out like a sore thumb. I don’t think it will last.” —
Here’s the full sentence…
“It’s an oddball fit for that time period…so oddball it sticks out like a sore thumb. I don’t think it will last.”
Your World comes before it and Special Report comes after it. So, yeah compared to what bookends The Five, it’s still an oddball fit for that time period, albeit a very successful oddball fit. As to the second part regarding how long it would last…I already acknowledged I got that totally wrong. I seriously underestimated the shift that was taking place in cable news away from news and more towards POV opinion which is now far more entrenched than it was two years ago.
And then there’s this quote Guttfeld cited…
“FNC is apparently out of new ideas and unsure of a future course of action regarding 5pm.”
That too is still accurate. There was nothing original about The Five. The View had already been there. The Talk had been there. FNC itself had already been there with its online Strategy Room. Combine that with the short lease on life and you get the picture of a network that cobbled something together that wasn’t original but wouldn’t commit long term to it at the outset. And, again, context matters. While this sentence was at least quoted in full, unlike the above quotes, it is taken out of context with what comes after…
FNC is apparently out of new ideas and unsure of a future course of action regarding 5pm. Why else take the equivalent of The Strategy Room and put it on TV with a wider subject spectrum but only guarantee that it will run through the summer? FNC had months to prepare for the day it would be without Beck and this is the best it could come up with? The TV programming equivalent of a band-aid? Talk about a half hearted endorsement.
Beck’s show, whether you like it or not, was unique in cable news and all broadcast news. Nothing had appeared like it before or since. You can’t say the same thing about The Five.
So while I’ll readily admit I whiffed on The Five lasting (and succeeding) the way it has, the rest of the shots Guttfeld took at me, I can’t take too seriously since Guttfeld wasn’t serious about quoting me in context.
Update: Wow…apparently I made FNC’s TV too. That’s interesting. Kind of odd that an “obscure media blog” would merit this much attention from FNC. That segment had to have been signed off on by someone. If I’m that obscure and that irrelevant, why bother? That would qualify as punching down and in this business you don’t do that because it invariably elevates the punchee to some degree if for no other reason than it makes them more well known. But whatever…if people want to play their games who am I to stand in their way? It’s actually kind of an honor that this “gnat” merited swatting on TV…