Greg Gutfeld, one of the panelists on Fox News’s The Five, discussed asexuality on this morning’s Red Eye. The panelists made a number of statements that showed their ignorance about asexuality. They called asexuals lepers, asked why there was a need to recognize asexuality, and suggested all women were asexual for most of the month. They also confused androgyny with asexuality. The early-morning segment contained an appalling lack of research on the topic. Gutfeld set the tone of the interview by asking the first panelist if she bought asexuality as an orientation. David Soder, another one of the panelists, asked why asexuality needed to be recognized.
Greg Gutfeld suggested that people use humor to mask their lack of knowledge on The Five this afternoon. Rowman and Littlefield may have sent a copy of Bogaert’s new book Understanding Asexuality to Fox News, but not one Red Eye panelist read it. A quick Internet search would have directed them to AVEN and the Asexual Awareness Week website. The show’s producers may have even found that there are asexual journalists who would have taken an interest in the segment.
If the Red Eye panelists had read Bogaert’s book, they would have found that they were exhibiting the “as if!” reaction he discussed in the book’s last chapter. They would have also found out that his work was not the result of a single survey. People who experience sexual attraction often believe that it is a universal experience.
Even more shocking is that any Fox News personality would agree with Dan Savage on anything. If they knew what Savage’s political opinions are, they may have eagerly retracted their statements. Savage has since modified his position..
Only one comment in the entire segment came close to being true. Certain gay men have treated asexual peoples as lepers, but it is not a common trend among the LGBT community. The LGBT community increasingly accepts asexuals into their ranks.
Sara Beth Brooks, founder of Asexual Awareness Week, posted a link to the segment on the organization’s Facebook page. A Change.org petition asks Fox News’s Red Eye to actually talk to an asexual before producing such segments.
Fox News is the first U.S. television network to address asexuality in six years. The segment is a part of a series of articles about asexuality that were published this week.