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Fox News co-hosts Greg Gutfeld and Juan Williams battled Wednesday over continuous rioting that turned deadly in Kenosha earlier this week following a police-involved shooting of a black man.
“The Five” co-hosts offered differing views of the violence in a tense back-and-forth, with Gutfeld condemning Williams and Democrats in general for continually defending riots as mostly ‘peaceful protests’ that have predictably escalated since the George Floyd incident in May.
To begin the segment, co-host Dana Perino played a clip of CNN hosts Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo discussing how the continuous rioting was beginning to hurt Democrats in the polls.
“You have COVID and Kenosha, Don, and what’s happening in Wisconsin, it’s a Rorschach test for where this country is, and I think it probably represents the biggest threat to the Democratic cause,” Cuomo said Wednesday.
(Source: Fox News)
“You took the words right out of my mouth,” Lemon responded. “ I think this is a blind spot for Democrats. I think Democrats are hoping this will go away, and it’s not going to go away.
“The rioting has to stop,” Lemon continued. “Chris, as you and I both know, it’s showing up in the polling.”
That set Gutfeld off.
“Imagine if, at first, the riots, there was a consequence to them,” Gutfeld began. “If they had acted swiftly on them, people would have said, ‘Oh dear, how dare you treat these protesters that way.’
“So now we couldn’t do anything, they abdicated their responsibility, and now you have anarchy, you have violence, you have militias, you have defenders of property, now Juan comes up and he cares because two people were shot last night” Gutfeld continued in reference to the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of a third in Kenosha.
His voice rising, Gutfeld continued:
Well, that ship has sailed, Juan. I was here every day warning that this would happen. I said that if something wasn’t done to quell the violence, you’re gonna end up with people filling that void.
And there is a danger when you put polls before people, which is what Don Lemon did. The fact that the news is somehow less important than the polls that it caused…there’s a huge flaw in that because you don’t consider the violence and the death and the murder important enough to address unless it affects your party or you personally, politically.
Gutfeld noted further that approach “allowed CNN and others to sit back and ignore the mayhem and death which then leads to last night,” another reference to the Kenosha shootings.
“Once the police are not allowed to act, the rioting can proceed without consequence, people come in and fill the void, and anybody — any armchair quarterback — who said that the riots were just an anomaly or in Juan’s case, ‘sporadic,’ ‘Oh, this stuff is just sporadic,’ well last night you lost your authority to comment on it. Too bad,” Gutfeld concluded.
Williams responded, through crosstalk, “No, in fact, you know what the situation is … you’re trying to undercut the power of a peaceful, openly peaceful Black Lives Matter movement…and what you’re trying to do is feed the kind of anger and resentment and grievance that led that young man to get a military gun and go to Kenosha.
“To me, that is not responsible,” Williams added.
To Gutfeld’s point about addressing the looting early on, he chastised CNN and other mainstream media in early June amid a week of rioting in New York City — including near his home — for focusing more on President Trump’s words to describe it than the acts of violence and those committing them.
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