On Tuesday, nearly a year after killing George Floyd while cameras rolled, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts with which he was charged. It was, for many, a huge relief; the American legal system has a long history of acquitting violent behavior by police officers, and there was fear this would be no different. Even a certain Fox News host was grateful, though not for the same reason.
Greg Gutfeld: "I'm glad [Chauvin] was found guilty on all charges, even if he might not be guilty of all charges. I am glad that he is guilty of all charges because I want a verdict that keeps this country from going up in flames." (Note the groans from his Fox News colleagues.) pic.twitter.com/DulsFEMwcO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 20, 2021
That host was Greg Gutfeld, the network’s longtime middle-of-the-night cutup, who was recently given his own regular late-night show, which is allegedly supposed to be a comedy program — their attempt at their very own The Daily Show. He appeared on a panel shortly after the verdict was read, and he decided to offer his own hot take on the news.
“Now I’m just going to get really selfish,” Gutfeld began. “I’m glad that he was found guilty on all charges,” he said — but there was a catch: “even if might not be guilty of all charges. I am glad that he is guilty of all charges because I want a verdict that keeps this country from going up in flames.”
Gutfeld’s words quickly rankled his colleagues, among them Judge Jeanine Pirro, who could be heard loudly groaning and muttering as he spoke. Gutfeld pressed her on what she found so offensive, saying, “I’m at least being honest. My neighborhood was looted. I don’t ever want to go through that again.”
But Pirro tried to be the voice of reason — well, not really. “We do not sacrifice individuals for the sake of how people feel,” she explained.
Granted, there’s no real hero in this situation — no voice that will appeal to those currently celebrating a rare case in which a violent cop was actually put behind bars. But it may be a harbinger of what’s to come for the Republican party: a chaotic next few days in which they try to process their messy feelings, turning on each other instead of everyone else.