Jesse Watters won the battle of the Fox News shakeup that followed Tucker Carlson’s unceremonious ouster. Watters will anchor the coveted 8 p.m. time slot, unfortunately for us, democracy, my sanity, etc. Here’s a small collection of some of the most batshit stuff Watters has been allowed to say on air.
Back in 2016, when Bill O’Reilly was still allowed on television, Watters was but a lowly correspondent on O’Reilly Factor. He really skyrocketed to racist infamy after a segment of “Watters’ World” went to Chinatown, NYC.
It’s....so racist and xenophobic.
Among the things Watters asks random Asian diasporic people on the streets of New York:
- “Am I supposed to bow to say hello?”
- “Is it the Year of the Dragon?”
- “Do they call Chinese food in China just ‘food’?”
- “Do you know karate?”
Watters tried to walk it back, but the damage was done!
In 2015, O’Reilly sent Watters to Penn Station to harass people about the unhoused. As Jezebel covered at the time, Watters approached white people in the train station, “Does it affect you psychologically when you see homeless people in and out of this area?”
Later in the segment, he interviewed a literal child. “When you’re here and you see homeless people in Penn Station, how do you react?” Watters asked.
“It’s funny, the left says they really respect women, and then when given an opportunity to respect a woman like that, they boo and hiss. And I always thought the Europeans were supposed to be so sophisticated and well-mannered, and now they’re treating it like it’s a soccer match. I don’t understand what’s going on, I think Ivanka’s supposed to be the moderating voice for her father, so I think people in Europe should support that.
I don’t know why, also saying, you know, my father respects families is controversial, I mean he’s probably hired a ton of fathers and mothers and children. So I don’t really get what’s going on here, but I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone.”
Watters told Mediaite that he was actually talking about her ~voice~. “During the break we were commenting on Ivanka’s voice and how it was low and steady and resonates like a smooth jazz radio DJ. This was in no way a joke about anything else,” Watters said. Sure, Jan.
In 2006, Watters ambushed abortion provider Dr. George Tiller’s attorney Pedro Irigonegaray. “Do you believe that late-term babies should be terminated in the womb for ‘depression?’” Watters asked. This was a part of O’Reilly’s dogged and gross campaign against Tiller, who was eventually murdered by an anti-abortion zealot in 2009 in his own fucking church.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, many stories were published about the horrific conditions people were forced to give birth, wait until their pregnancy was about to kill them, or worse. Under the “or worse” category was a 10-year-old girl who traveled from Ohio to Indiana to have an abortion, provided by abortion provider Dr. Caitlin Bernard.
Bernard went public about the 10-year-old’s story, and conservatives promptly lost their minds. Watters had Indiana’s Republican attorney general Todd Rokita on his show to announce he was investigating the doctor who provided care to a 10-year-old rape victim; then Watters showed Bernard’s picture on air.
I can only imagine similar anti-abortion segments, racist tirades and misogyny will follow Watters into his permanent 8 p.m. time slot. We are a lucky country.