Conservatives rally behind Ricky Gervais

Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:42am EST

Host Ricky Gervais speaks at the 68th annual Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills, January 16, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Host Ricky Gervais speaks at the 68th annual Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills, January 16, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Drinkwater/NBC

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - British comedian Ricky Gervais is the new darling of political conservatives thanks to the fusillade of insults he directed at the aghast celebrities attending the weekend's Golden Globe Awards.

Delighted at the sight of Gervais belittling Hollywood elitists who they maintain do likewise to them regularly, the right-wing blogosphere lit up with positive reviews, even while more traditional media was critical of Sunday's telecast.

Had Gervais "been as relentless in ripping apart Sarah Palin, her young children, Jesus Christ or George W. Bush, today the comedian would be celebrated as 'edgy' and 'courageous'," noted John Nolte, editor of the Andrew Breitbart website Big Hollywood.

Instead, the Washington Post said Gervais "crashed" and the New York Times said he was "merciless" and in "bad form." Philip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the event's organizer, said some of the things Gervais said "were totally unacceptable."

Nolte, though, likened Gervais' jabs at various actors and the HFPA as a much-needed "sucker punch" leveled against elite bullies who do likewise to middle America on a routine basis.

At Pajamas Media, a conservative and libertarian news organization, CEO Roger Simon wrote that Gervais "has been roundly attacked for being rude to practically everyone, including the HFPA, whose event it was. Problem is: he was right, particularly about the HFPA."

The U.K's right-leaning Daily Mail weighed in via a lengthy, positive analysis of Gervais' performance that was headlined: "Bravo, Ricky Gervais! A risque' attack on self-loving Tinseltown."

"The flock didn't know what to do because it had never encountered such risky mockery," author Quentin Letts wrote, praising Gervais for his rebellious performance.

"Hollywood and its power brokers hate a rebel. It is a place of groupthink and almost terminal political correctness."

On Sunday night Gervais earned himself a cult following around the world, Letts opined, as "the man who went to Hollywood and told them what a bunch of self-regarding boobies they are."