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Hey, everybody, welcome to this episode of the Charlie Kirk Show. We are joined by what I call the most witty and wise and funniest person, the entire conservative movement. Greg Gutfeld, you've probably seen him on Fox News many times, and he's actually had the opportunity to speak at a few of our Turning Point USA events throughout the years. And he has a new book out that I encourage everyone to go get. It's called The Plus A Self-Help for People Who Hate Self-Help.
And Greg, you were once a self-help writer at a magazine. Is that right?
Yeah, actually, first of all, thanks, Charlie. And it's good to see you being hated by so many people because that means you're doing something right, because I went through all that. So, I mean, that means you're doing something when you have a lot of critics. OK, so back to your question. I kind of began my career after I was an American Spectator as a staff assistant. I went to Prevention magazine in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as a bit, and I was their first fitness editor.
Then I moved to Men's Health and became their editor in chief. I was at Men's Health. I was at Rodale, which was Prevention in Men's Health for ten years. And so that's service journalism. That's how to how to be a better person, how to get six pack abs in three days. I am responsible for all those AB cover lines of the 90s. The Dashan with ABS was my fault. But the irony of the whole thing was that these magazines are generally for kind of older people prevention, especially with the largest health magazine and mostly read by 60 year old women.
I'm a twenty five year old guy giving them advice. You know, I am drinking every day, smoking every day, going to bars, having a ball. And here I am giving health advice to like people that are twice my age. It doesn't work. I realize how cheesy and false it is, because whenever you meet self-help writers, they're generally really miserable and in need of help. They're sick themselves. I've been on I've been at conferences where there are other self-help writers from other magazines, men's magazines, women's magazines, and they look terrible.
They just look terrible. They are the least healthy looking people. So I so I never liked it. And then all of a sudden I'm on the other side of that of that hill and now fifty five, which I can't believe I said that. And I because you don't believe you're that old. And now I have wisdom and now I feel like OK, now we can actually accomplish the stuff that I wanted to accomplish and I have stuff I can tell people.
I think I learned a lot and and we we don't take wisdom seriously. So I thought I'd do that instead. Well, I'm actually really pleased that encouraged that there's a nonpolitical book out there in this entire political landscape. And it's very funny, I think that the kind of self-help industry I've met, these same sorts of people, they're just kind of disheveled. You know, they're probably 60 or 70 pounds overweight. They haven't shaved in like two and a half weeks.
And then they write this long article about self-discipline and waking up on time. And it's like there's something a little bit contradictory here.
If you meet them in, like if you're ever meet a self-help person, like in a green room, there's like a button is always like the buttons on the shirt are actually lined up. And if it's a guy, the guy is never totally up there, just and there I can talk because look at me. I mean, I just got I just got done exercising. So I'm kind of a wreck. But they're not put they're not put together.
And it's. But to your point, though, in in journalism in general, the people that are dispensing advice, whether it is self-help or political or how to be a better person in general when you meet them, the contrast is so stark. It is. And I think that's why I like you know, it's always interesting with like. People paint Republicans and conservatives as like evil, awful people, and then you in person, they're like, sorry, they're like pretty good looking, they're pretty put together, they're pretty generous, they're pretty happy.
It's like, OK, so the so the the way the world portrays bad, evil people you find out are really, really great. And the people that we're supposed to listen to for advice like a Paul Krugman look like they are on there from evil islands. You know, it's like the idea of conflating protesters with rioters. It's like, no, it's peaceful protest. It's like, no, I see with my own eyes. These are sick people.
I know. I'm I'm coming to the conclusion in that world that the only difference between the protesters and the rioters is the time of day. It goes dark, just changes. That's yeah.
You could say what you just say whatever you like.
And also, to your point about this not being a political book, it is frustrating to work in television and that I never can win the argument. I don't want my face on the book because all of the all the books with faces on them now are just you just feel like it's a right wing book. Right. And you always have somebody like this with their with their like with the flag draped over them. Yeah. Yeah. It's like I was gave who's the guy who give crap to giant Americans.
Like by the way at least he went for it like his cover is insane. No, I give him credit. It's the full Braveheart. It's good to light the fire go all out. But it's like I saw what I wanted to do was I wanted this to be more like the secret or power where there's just that a symbol. But everybody that is who's your agent or marketing people like, dude, you're on TV, you're not going to put your face on the book.
That's how you sell this book, you idiot. And so I'm going to do this. But I think the next iteration when this comes out and because it's not political and people, I think out of all my books is going to last way longer than my other books, because if a book is political, it does it literally does not have a shelf life because it's it's a moment in time.
It's a perishable goods, which was about joy. Hate was about cancer. And that was from 2010 or 2012 when I wrote that it was all about cancer culture. It's more relevant today, but I don't think anybody's reading it because it's guy on the cover. It's eight years old. It seems dead. So I want this to have a different cover so people can pick it up. We don't know who I am five years from now and can go like, wow, this was OK.
This was about living in a time of hysteria, mobs, disease, and it could be helpful. I'm sorry.
Blathered It's perfect. So you'd say in the book that there's a crisis of meaning. I'm paraphrasing here that people are without direction. I see this firsthand. We see it statistically and anecdotally, especially with young men in this country where and you see it reflected in we're having five hundred thousand less children this year than last year. Drug use is up, suicide is up. How do you address this? In the book, you're embarking on this very important task of trying to communicate wisdom.
A lot of young people look up to you. What are some of the themes that you hit on? Well, it's you know, it's it's kind of interesting.
You go back to like with Jordan Peterson said about him, start by making you're making your bed. And people laugh at that. But that's kind of what what I the pluses about is like I created a new or Artec, let's call it an artificial replacement for impulse control. Let's say you don't have a religious upbringing and you don't have a two parent household and you don't have a role model. And so you're faced with options that are good and bad or in the midst of good and bad.
This book creates this artificial thing that you teach yourself before every decision, plus or minus. So before I text, before I tweeted Charlie Kirk something obnoxious because he ripped my show. Is this a plus or minus? Because this is this book was made for me as somebody who who could have better impulse control on Twitter, online, on email, in meetings, even on TV. Although I think it's funny that I'm more in control on TV than I am anywhere else, I think.
But the idea of the plus was like, how can I add the muscle to my impulse control, especially when my impulses can be so negative? So it was also that's why I said it's self-help for people who hate self-help. It's it's me. I hate self-help books. I'm kind of negative if you haven't noticed. So to your point. They may not find it may be hard to find meaning these days, so you have to almost create you have to create a system for yourself that becomes ingrained.
And that was what I was doing with the book. It's like, OK, if you can't control the world, you can control your reactions to the world and you can reshape the world. In a weird way, the book is my example of the plus in action. I didn't have a contract for this book. Normally when I do books, I have a contract. I had a book that I was supposed to do in twenty twenty one so I could have stayed out all year, done and done nothing.
But I thought about this in the middle of the night about the system. And I had all these ideas about cancer culture, the cabinet stuff, the Covington's stuff, all the stuff is in my head. And I thought, well, what's the best thing to do and what should I do? I'm going to write a self-help book that tackles these things. And that was like I wasn't planning on the negative would have been not to do anything. So I hope that this is just a valley for us and that we come out of it in that there will be meeting.
Rediscovered it is I do think that when you're watching what's going on in the streets, there's a lot of miserable people who are finding meaning in self-destructive envy. It's like they're not trying to rob Charlie Kirk of his wallet. They just don't want Charlie Kirk to have that wallet. And that's envy. It's not even jealousy. Jealousy is I really would like your car. So I'm going to go to work and earn enough money to have a car like that.
This is I'm going to destroy your car, and I don't even want your car. I just don't want you to have it. That is that is envy. That is pure envy.
And we're seeing it on the streets and. I don't know if it's up to us to provide moral value or meaning to those people. I would provide them with prison and three meals a day, because I think it's a lost cause for them, I don't know.
Yeah, and they fight they actually find satisfaction in not even getting the good, but in seeing other people suffer, which is even it's actually way more morally twisted than people recognize, is that when they get the douchebag, that's actually gave them less satisfaction than when the glass shattered.
And also, I mean, I you know, my neighborhood got ravaged on that. It was Saturday, Sunday in somewhat of Monday night back in June. And my wife was in the apartment because she she told me she was staying with friends because I was up I was up north about an hour away. And I said, you know, you should get out of the apartment. She says, I'm already out of the apartment. I'm at my friend's house.
She's at a birthday party in Brooklyn. And I said and I called her because I saw the looting from Friday and Saturday. And I said, you have to stay where you are because so is going to get destroyed. She said no words, but she lied.
She actually she actually was oh, that was not the best thing to do. She was looking out our window and watching every single store, hundreds just going to go out. And to your point about stuff that they were stealing was like a woman running out of a store with like a hundred broads, you know, of a job that was out of the laundry store. And it was just it was just insane and but completely understandable when you don't have impulse control and there are no incentives or disincentives, i.e. punishment or consequences, there's like punishment is an incentive not to do something.
You subtract that it's free money. It's and that's why it was a it was an organized looting in Chicago. It was they had time to plan and organize because they knew there wasn't going to be any repercussions.
There was no with no guidelines. I mean, there's the old expression that the laws of the wise restraints that keep men free when there is no law, men actually are not free. And I'm convinced that some of these looters and terrorists that if there was a pile of dirt, they would take it. It's almost they find some sort of satisfaction in the capacity to be able to hotwire the laws and not be held accountable for that gives them meaning. It's almost the game of hide the criminal process.
It is this. It is a mentality that has been ingrained. If you went to any major university in the last 20 years, that capitalism, free markets, Cheevers, do not deserve what they have. So you have protesters walking through the suburbs. I think it might have been Seattle telling the white owners of homes to leave their homes and let black individuals have their homes, because I guess historically it was a black neighborhood. But it's like you have to give up your homes.
And that happened, I guess that happened last week. I'm trying to make sure I maybe was maybe just five people. But, you know, there's a guy running for office in Minnesota who was standing outside somebody's house house shouting expletives, saying f the police and all this happened. He's he's got it. The governor's endorsement. So the leaders are doing it. Yeah.
And it's perfectly philosophically consistent if you understand the left and understand what drives them.
And I know I don't mean to make this to political, but I mean, you kind of went there. So I will I mean, there just are more miserable. And it's because and I'd love your opinion of the senator if you talk on this and the book or not, which is it's a lack of gratitude. If you don't have gratitude, it's very easy to become bitter. Do you talk to you? Kind of can you walk walk us through this kind of this new systematic thinking that you have in the book, which I'm really I'm really interested, intrigued by, because it's very it's pragmatic.
Basically, you're saying it is basically looking at everything as an opportunity or a plus or a minus type behavior to roads and figuring out which way to go. It's real simple. It's almost like Bongino said this to me. He goes so idiotic. No one's ever done it before that that's how I hear about Gino when he's talking to me, which is I've never read this before, but it's so obvious. And it is obvious to me I actually used this principle when talking about dealing with people like miserable leftists.
And if there is a glimmer of hope that you can kind of open them up to other ideas, I have strategies in there to do that, whether it is like trying to meet them a little bit, trying to get them to talk about other things as analogies to politics.
So it's like, OK, so if you think this is wrong, how do you want to use an alarm clock or why do you want not? That's a dumb analogy. But why do you why do you invoke discipline in these areas, but not in these areas. So stuff like that. But then there's often no hope. There's an interesting study of the social the the social justice warrior type activists, and they're generally anti-social. If you're in a pub, they're the person that rather than having a drink and a chat, is yelling at you.
And and it's not like I was trying to figure out what came first as a social justice activist and make a person miserable, or does the miserable, miserable person gravitate towards that? And I think it gravitates toward it. And then it inflames because if you notice, if you've noticed, even among the groups of the social justice warriors, they're not even very nice to each other.
It's not like they all go out afterwards and have a beer. You know, they're they're actually pretty bitter and angry towards themselves. And a lot of it is the lack of gratitude in the sense that they feel that they deserve more without actually trying to earn it. You know, it's like I deserve this. I deserve your respect. I have self-identified as X, Y and Z. And if you don't genuflect before my identity, you're a racist bigot.
And I always say whenever anybody starts giving me their identity speech, I pull the Tommy Lee Jones line from the fugitive. You know, when Harrison Ford says I'm innocent and Tommy Lee Jones just goes, I don't care. And it's like what I with somebody starts telling me as a blank, blank, blank, blank, blank. I go, you I don't care.
I just write your words. And right now, I don't care what you claim you are today because it's going to change tomorrow.
So there's a lot of people listen to this podcast and we've done a podcast on how to try to get people's lives reorganized. It's a it's a serious problem in our country to try to get people straightened out and try to get them understanding of how they can find purpose and responsibility. Just technically, Greg, what is your message in the book of the applicability of this kind of systematic thinking of looking everything through a plus and minus? It's somewhat utilitarian, but it's also deeper than that, right?
It's not just kind of funny because I am not religious, but the people that have interviewed me. Got Dennis Prager. Oh, jeez, I hate it when I buy names, but they all say that it's that there's a religious tradition in this and the advice that I give about leading a productive life has a lot to do with forgiveness, doing the right thing because religion instills impulse control. And my book is about impulse control because I'm not religious. So what I am trying to do is almost offer a secular religious tract.
But I didn't mean to. Probably the most important part of the book is to share the risk. I say that a couple of times. I first heard that phrase from Claire Leamon from Coolac when I interviewed her. And it was and it was you know, I had been writing about the cancer culture. And I do think cancer culture is probably one of our biggest threats. If a group doesn't like you, they will try to destroy you. So there's the Breitbart model as the response mutually assured destruction.
So if if John Smith wants to destroy Charlie Kirk by going to Charlie Kirk's employer and saying, if you don't fire Charlie Kirk, we're I'm going to do a boycott, then you have the right to know where John Smith works. So then you can direct people to go to his place of work and say, this guy is bullying, blah, blah, blah. That would be like a bright gardian kind of mutually assured destruction mode, which I don't disagree with, but I don't want to do.
So I'm asking myself why I don't want to do it because there's a certain religious element to the idea of turning the other cheek, combined with sharing the risk, the idea that rather than go after them, you share the risk with Charlie Kirk or you share the risk with the Covington kids, meaning anybody who gets targeted, even people on the left, which I think I mentioned in the book, there's an occasion where there was a guy targeted on the left for doing something, saying something totally stupid.
And I really do believe that I had a large part in keeping his job, because when I tweeted a defense of his, it kind of got it kind of snowballed into and it stopped the that mob from going. So I shared the risk with this guy. And of course, like two months later, the guy is back to crap it all over me and taking my stuff out of context from the Bible and saying I'm a jerk. And it's like, you know what it's like you can't, but you got to do it.
I'm hoping that the message of sharing the risk is going to be the way forward in destroying like I should share the risk of Bill Maher comes under under fire.
We'll Bill Maher do the same for me. I don't know. But he should. Jimmy Kimmel. I would I would share the risk with him if he would share the risk with me. It's that kind of thing. Sometimes I'm guilty of not doing that. But I. I don't think I've ever called for anybody to be fired. And I've accepted. And the one thing that's in the book that I say a lot, I accept every apology, no matter how bad the crime is.
Well, not murder, but I mean, like if somebody screws up and within twenty four to 48 hours that I screwed up. I'm sorry, what else can you ask of them. Do you want them to crawl through broken glass if you really hate. I mean did Roseanne's mistake about Valerie Jarrett offend you that much that you need to see her career ruined? And it's like, no, you really don't care.
You're just looking for the endorphin dopamine rush of that moment of cancellation, which lasts like it's almost like losing it. Last twenty minutes. Hey, I really I really destroyed somebody more famous than me, but if this person apologizes, why not accept it? So that's my point. And it is it's all it just makes me think of we have the bar to destruction is so low we have to make it higher somehow sharing the risk and maybe a little mutually assured destruction makes it more of a challenge for that person to come and ruin you if they think that they're not anonymous.
Right. They're not anonymous. If they have skin in the game, it's it's we share the risk. We makes them have skin in the game. So, hey, if John Smith comes after you, he could show up the next day at work and his manager goes like, what's this stuff you're doing on social media? Calling people Hitler and blah, blah? You know what I mean? It's got to there needs to be a little bit of that.
Well, you said something really interesting, Greg, where I can remember exactly the phrase. You said when you're on TV, you feel like there's more weight on you when you say things, something like that earlier in this interview. And I think there's a lot of wisdom to that because you're the least anonymous when you're on television, right? I mean, it's like the opposite of anonymous, right? Ubiquitous. Yes. Right. And and so because of that, there's almost this weight of every word you're saying is this could be the end of my career.
And I experience the same thing when I go on TV, right? Yeah.
And of course. And not just and now I mean anything everything is forever. And it is kind of funny that. People that can destroy you. Art ubiquitous, they're anonymous, they don't have a game, so there's like you can get 50 people, 20 people, Media Matters, nobody cares, nobody cares who works at Media Matters, those people, their lives are bent on just sitting there watching Fox and going, oh, what you say? And it's took I don't I don't get upset at that.
I feel bad that there is somebody who is forced to watch me every day who doesn't like me. I mean, they have to hate watch me find what I said. Oh my God. And then and then they have to send it out and hope that media. Right. And God knows who else picks it up and sometimes say, well, you're like, oh, and it's it's it's it's so basically when you're on TV, you are absolutely.
You are out there saying, come get me and you have to in the back of your head. You have to, you have to, you have to choose your words so carefully, but you also have to tell the truth and you have to entertain. And those tours are almost almost require that you jump off a verbal cliff to take a risk if you're in the other side. I was like always like this. And you always see this with people now who are on TV and they are like it's like they're so tight lipped because they're afraid that what they might say might ruin their careers.
And that's why you also see a lot of celebrities not doing many interviews anymore because it always comes back to haunt them. Well, yeah. And so when you're anonymous, you're actually able to be much more destructive.
When you don't have an identity, you're able to be on TV. Well, yeah.
I mean, but there is something to be said. There is something to be said that the indecency and the cancellation has only been inflamed by how people can hide, hide behind, you know, Twitter accounts or do they have such small followings they're able to do things that they otherwise wouldn't do or they have duplicative accounts. And so then all of a sudden you have an entire group of people that are held to an unholy standard. And it actually creates really unhappy dynamics between the communicator and the audience.
And I think that's also why we have the death of comedy, is because people are like, oh, I'm so afraid of offending anyone. Which comedy is I mean, comedy by definition is offensive. Right.
And the worst people are the comedians that are kneeling before cancer culture, the ones that say, you know, they have a point. I think it was Sarah Silverman who said, like, it's true, some comedy from ten years ago. I'm paraphrasing completely, but it was like I'm pretty sure it's a bit like, you know, attitudes change, you know, it's like so she and she wore blackface, which back then I think she was I think she was absolutely petrified that she was going to be cancelled over blackface.
So she you know, she got on her knees before the crocodile, you know, the crocodile hoping that it will always eat you last.
You know, and I find I really admire the comedians that are just basically giving the finger to cancel culture and and we need to support them when they get in trouble. I love Andrew Schultz and Dave Smith and a whole bunch of people that are that kind of like they're just they're doing it without a net, you know? And also that's the the other answer to whether it's Joe Rogan, Adam Corolla, Dave Ruben, you've got to create your own business for two reasons.
One, that you can't be cancelled unless they do monetize you on YouTube. And number two, you can get rich. I mean, you can get I mean, Adam Carolla is rich. Dave Ruben's getting rich. I assume Joe Rogich would like hundred million dollars now. So there's an incentive for me to get the hell out of here. It's like I'm thinking like, what am I doing? But it's that's the bright spot is that if you go Doddington will find you and cancel culture will be left with the same homogenized strip of inanities that they want.
And absent absent people doing that, if you stay in the institutions, the institutions will die alongside of the individuals that don't have the creative capacity.
And I think you're seeing it in movies. Movies with messages are dreadful. I think any TV show I mean, and then and then you'll see Netflix will keep certain shows alive that aren't being watched simply because of the demographic of the of the of the of the talent or just the message they need to keep the PC elements going and that'll kill your business.
It always looking Vice magazine was offensive and disgusting, but at least it was interesting.
Now it's it's a WOAK Bible. It is. It is so sad.
It's gone down and it's gone totally down ever since they've done that. So with a couple of minutes remaining, Greg, the book is called The Plus. And in your own words, you believe this will be one of the more timeless pieces of literature that you have written. Anything else? We didn't cover, Greg, how people can find it or just kind of. Seems you want to communicate? No, I think I think you nailed it, and I do think that it's it's for me anyway, it wasn't something I planned on.
And when that happens, I always it's always ends up doing better. Like the stuff that I didn't plan on, like with the five became a success. The stuff that I plan on, they do fine.
But I have a feeling because this was an organic thing. I think it's a really a different book.
So it's terrific.
Well, it's called the Plus. Greg, keep up the great work. We love watching you every day. And thank you for all that you do.
You've got it, buddy. Take care.
Thanks for the awesome what a great episode that was with Greg Gutfeld.
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