Lest you thought Fox News was taking out the trash with Tucker Carlson’s unceremonious termination last month, rest assured, plenty of human garbage remains. In a recent segment on Fox News host Greg Gutfeld’s show, Gutfeld!, the conservative talking head lavished praise upon a recently reported exploitative sexual relationship between a 16-year-old high school student and his teacher.
Gutfeld told his co-host, Katherine Timpf, about the facts of the case: A 38-year-old math teacher in California was jailed and posted bail last week after being charged with statutory rape for the sexual abuse of her student. “This is what bothers me,” Gutfeld told Timpf. “The fact that she had sex with a student?” Timpf asked. “No, that she went to jail for it! I’m sorry! Come on! 16 years old—I would have died for that!” Gutfeld shot back.
It’s a fairly jarring exchange between hosts on a network that’s spent the last year or so doubling down on fearmongering casting LGBTQ people as groomers and child sexual predators. Gutfeld’s comments also push the gross, tired stereotype of the always-consenting teenage boy, which minimizes and mocks boys’ experiences with abuse and exploitation.
Of crouse, Gutfeld and Timpf’s exchange got even more disturbing from there: “Again, I am vehemently against banging kids,” Timpf says in a statement you kind of have to watch to believe came out of an on-air host’s mouth. “I can’t believe how many times I’ve had to say that just sitting in this chair.”
“Let’s live in the real world, Kat,” Gutfeld replies, before launching into a fairly disturbing rant in celebration of statutory rape:
A 16-year-old boy! Sixteen-year-old boy with, like, a hot teacher. I mean—what was the Van Halen song? “Hot for teacher?” That was written about this! It wasn’t about, “Hey, let’s have a responsible relationship with someone close to my age.” … Am I right to say it’s an unfair comparison to do the female-to-male teacher? Like, a male teacher, 38-year-old, creepy. Female, heroic.
Gutfeld probably thought he covered his ass by conceding “a male teacher, 38-year-old” statutorily raping a teenage girl would be “creepy.” But it really doesn’t help abuse victims of any gender to suggest teenage boys are categorically unrapeable.
Now seems like as good a time as any to emphasize that conservatives don’t really care about children or their safety at all—not the nearly 2,000 kids who were sexually abused by the Catholic Church in Illinois, not the victims of unending school shootings, and clearly not the teenage boys exploited into sexual relationships with their teachers.