Tag: jesse watters
Jesse Watters

Advertisers Beware: Fox Slots Toxic Racist Watters Into Primetime Hour

Under immense pressure following a record defamation lawsuit, and with ratings down following the departure of Tucker Carlson, Fox News announced a new schedule with host Jesse Watters' show now airing at 8 p.m. ET. Advertisers should beware, given that the network appears to be lifting up the same extremism that led to its current crisis.

Starting in The O’Reilly Factor days with his “Watters’ World” segments, Jesse Watters honed his frat boy style with smug interviews mocking his subjects alongside blatant racism and sexism. In June 2015, Watters produced a cruel, dehumanizing segment shaming unhoused people in New York City’s Penn Station and stressing that they are breaking the law, juxtaposed against interviews with those who found homeless people to be a nuisance. He made a follow-up segment a month later, agreeing with host Bill O'Reilly at the end that people experiencing homelessness “shouldn't be allowed to destroy neighborhoods.” (Hosting his own Fox show in September 2022, Watters called homeless people “an invasive species.”)

In May 2016, it was made public that Watters had stalked and harassed journalist Amanda Terkel while she was on vacation seven years earlier, accusing her of “causing ‘pain and suffering’ to rape victims and their families” after she wrote a story that called out O’Reilly’s pattern of victim-blaming rape survivors. (O’Reilly was fired from Fox News in 2017 following years of sexual harassment reports against him, including at least $13 million in settlements.)

In October 2016, Watters produced a widely condemned, racist and stereotype-driven segment in New York City’s Chinatown, asking bystanders questions such as, “Am I supposed to bow to say hello?” “Tell me what’s not made in China?” and, “Do you know karate?” The song Kung Fu Fighting played in the background, and the segment included clips of Watters attempting to do karate.

Here is more of Watters’ despicable commentary on Fox News over the years:


  • On May 15, Watters said that Black Americans should be more concerned with “absent fathers” and” education issues” than with white supremacist mass shooters. “You know what the biggest domestic threat is to young Black men in this country? Other young Black men with guns.”
  • Discussing reparations for slavery during Black History Month, he argued that the people “who financed it” deserve credit for American infrastructure built by slaves, saying, “Labor's just a part of it.”
  • He said in January that Black history after the 1950s shouldn’t be taught because “it’s all activism. It’s all ideology. It’s no history.”
  • In October 2022, Watters said that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) “went full taco” as she responded to hecklers at a town hall.
  • Watters said in January 2022 that a Black Supreme Court nominee would be “the result of a back room racial deal that was cut so a white Democrat could win the nomination, that's the truth.”
  • In October 2021, Watters blamed the plight of Native Americans in the United States on “alcoholism” and “government dependency.”
  • When Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) tweeted that the United States is “stolen land,” Watters said, “We won this land on the battlefield and we bought it.”
  • In June 2020, Watters said that police were justified in killing Rayshard Brooks by shooting him in the back as he ran away.
  • Watters blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for protesters being shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020: “Sadly, you’re going to have vigilante justice. … And things happen and it's horrible and that's not the way to handle it, but unfortunately this is what happens when a governor abdicates his responsibility to keep the safe streets.”
  • While guest hosting The O’Reilly Factor in June 2015, Watters asked if white supremacy causes “African American men to not get married to women that they have babies with?”

Sexism and misogyny

  • Following Republicans’ weak performance with single women in the 2022 midterm elections, Watters said “we need these ladies to get married.”
  • After the Dobbs Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked in May 2022, Watters attacked “women who are past their prime, who can't even get pregnant” and advocate for reproductive rights.
  • In July 2022, after discrediting a report on a 10-year-old Ohio girl needing an abortion, Watters then attacked the girl's Indiana doctor who provided it.
  • The following month, he voiced support for allowing teachers to spank students: “Can you paddle female students?”
  • Attacking Ocasio-Cortez in August 2022, Watters said she was “not ripe enough to run for president. First, she has to get married,” adding, “And then you have to get pregnant.”
  • In 2017, Jesse Watters made a lewd and sexually suggestive comment about the way Ivanka Trump was speaking into a microphone.
  • Watters suggested on Fox’s Outnumbered in June 2014 that statutory rape of an adolescent boy isn't as bad if the female perpetrator is attractive: “You usually get high-fives.”
  • Watters said in 2014 that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “is trying to overcompensate” on foreign policy because she is a woman.
  • In February 2011, Watters ambushed a Planned Parenthood official and pushed the falsehood that the organization was “excusing and covering up underage sex trafficking.”

Xenophobia and Islamophobia

  • On May 10, he pushed the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory in response to the end of Trump-era Title 42 immigration restrictions: “Imagine a generation from now. That's what they want to do here. They want to make Texas a Democrat state. And you'll never see another Republican in the White House after that.”
  • On May 2, Watters said “I can tell” when a person is undocumented just by looking at them. “I'm a city guy,” he claimed. “You don't want me to get into it, but I can tell.”
  • In April 2022, Watters used victims of rape and murder among asylum-seekers to justify former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.
  • In October 2021, Watters called the unification of migrants with their families or sponsors “taxpayer-funded human trafficking.”
  • Watters called a Muslim woman “a total fraud and a total nutcase” after she criticized conservative stereotypes about Islam in 2014, adding that “she might have been a plant, who knows who she’s communicating with?”
  • Watters defended Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric in 2015, saying he wouldn't let “illegal aliens come to the country and murder our women.”
  • On The O’Reilly Factor in February 2017, Watters defended Trump’s Muslim ban and told an imam, “You have to admit there is a Muslim problem in the world.”

Anti-LGBTQ Hate

  • In March, Watters suggested that young transgender people are transitioning for internet fame.
  • In October 2022, Watters said “grooming teachers” are taking children’s gender away.
  • Watters and O’Reilly laughed while speculating on an interviewee's gender identity in October 2015.
  • In July 2013, he created a transphobic segment mocking attendees of New York’s Mermaid Parade, many of whom were dressed in drag. Watters asked one parade-goer, a teacher, if he thought he was “setting a good example” for children.
  • A year later, in 2014, he ridiculed attendees of San Francisco’s pride parade and played on hateful tropes about LGBTQ people. Watters assured O’Reilly at the end of the segment that “no one assaulted me.”

Election Denial

  • In March, he said that “Democrats can’t win elections fairly, they know they can't persuade voters their policies are better, so the only thing keeping them in power is collusion and censorship.”
  • In September 2022, he claimed that President Joe Biden and the FBI had “rigged the last election.”
  • Days before the Capitol riot, Watters falsely claimed that the 2020 presidential election was filled with voter fraud, said, “We used to storm the castle over abuses of power like this,” and told his audience, “In 2021, let's relight that great American spirit. Let's stand up to this den of thieves because they'll just keep robbing us blind until we actually do something about it.”

Climate Denial

  • In April 2022, Watters said “the logical conclusion” to climate activism is “human sacrifice.”
  • He said in July 2021, “You don't fight climate change. If it's getting warmer, you adapt to it.”
  • Watters criticized the Portland School Board in 2016 for banning classroom material that denied climate change.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Fox Host Suggests Biden Sent Assassin To Kill Kavanaugh (VIDEO)

Fox Host Suggests Biden Sent Assassin To Kill Kavanaugh (VIDEO)

Fox News propagandist Jesse Watterson Wednesday alleged President Joe Biden and other top Democrats may be behind the man who was arrested earlier that day who reportedly admitted he wanted to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“This could be a little criminal conspiracy,” Watters alleges, asking, “did the orders come all the way from the top?”

For more than seven minutes Watters cobbled together various benign incidents from over the past two years in a clearly fictious narrative that draws the President, the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, the White House Press Secretary, and a top Democratic Senator into what he baselessly suggests could be a conspiracy to kill a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Watters – who was highly criticized for using “violent rhetoric” by calling for a “kill shot” in interviews about Dr. Anthony Fauci – told Fox News viewers the man who he suggests is some high-powered hit man hired by the President, “got cold feet when he saw U.S. Marshals with arms guarding Kavanaugh’s house and called the cops on himself, telling them everything.”

“He says he was furious over Roe v. Wade possibly being overturned — remember the leak? — and was looking for purpose in his life,” Watters continues, as Media Matters reported. “So he found that purpose by going out and trying to kill a Supreme Court justice. Do you think that idea just popped into his head? Or did the orders come all the way from the top?”

Watters then tries to make his case, which amounts to “by Democrats’ own standards” there must be an investigation into this event because the left has accused Donald Trump of inciting the insurrection, Watters claims, merely by giving a speech at the January 6 rally.

By the end of his seven-minute-plus rant, Watters concludes:

“This is just the beginning, this summer is going to be ugly. That’s why we have to get to the bottom of this. This could be a little criminal conspiracy that needs to be investigated – again by the left’s own standards. We might have to appoint a commission. We might have to hold hearings,” he says, as if he is a member of Congress or DOJ official.

“We have a criminal leak,” Watters falsely claims, referring to the leak of the Supreme Court draft, which legal experts make clear was not criminal.

“We have a group that’s protesting outside [Kavanaugh’s] house. You have an attorney general that’s not doing anything about this,” he claimed, after earlier complaining that the protestors outside Supreme Court Justices’ homes should be arrested.

“You have a senator who’s agitating,” Watters claims, earlier referring to a March 2020 statement Senator Chuck Schumer made.

“You have a White House, who’s giving this license. Maybe time to put some people in leg shackles like they did to Navarro. These people incited violence possibly, we need to hold them accountable if they did. Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Liz Warren, anybody who has their hands on this should face consequences again, by the left’s own standards. Don’t call me crazy. They set the rules. We’re just following.”


Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Fox News Slimes Green Groups With Bogus ‘Kremlin Gold’ Attack

Fox News Slimes Green Groups With Bogus ‘Kremlin Gold’ Attack

As Russia’s foreign minister praises Fox News coverage of war in Ukraine, the network has exploited the crisis to villainize the environmental movement, capitalizing on the global economic sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s invasion to recycle previously debunked claims that Russia is secretly funding “green campaigns” against oil drilling and fracking in the U.S.

Fox hosts and personalities took their cues from a March 10 letter from Republican members of the House Energy Committee asking three environmental groups – the League of Conservation Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club – to provide evidence of any financial support from Russia. Yet, as the Washington Post Fact Checker explains, the “bogus” allegations in the letter are remnants of a 2017 scandal concocted by Republicans to distract from an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Here are some examples of Fox pushing this lie:

  • Fox host Jesse Watters suggested green energy campaigns “are taking dirty Russian money” in order “to scare Americans out of fracking and energy exploration.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 3/3/22]
  • Watters, and co-host Greg Gutfeld pushed this evidence-free claim again, saying that green energy campaigns in America are funded by Russia to increase dependence on foreign oil. [Fox News, The Five, 3/4/22]
  • Fox’s Carley Shimkus stated that “a lot of Republicans are calling for an investigation into whether Russia was funding climate change groups in the U.S.” Co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy followed up, “Of course they were.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/16/22]
  • Gutfeld spent his monologue ranting that “the left are in lockstep with what Putin wants, for us to be dependent on other countries like his for energy,” saying “Russia duped Europe into depending on their energy by funding rabid environmental groups” and spread “disinformation within green groups to steer countries away from fracking and shale gas.” [Fox News, Gutfeld!, 3/16/22]
  • Later in the episode, Gutfeld suggested that opposition to fracking in the U.S. had been “driven” by Russian propaganda efforts: “The past 10 years, all this stuff – all the documentaries, all the Hollywood celebrities, all the stuff about fracking – might have all been driven by Russia, or at least paying for that.” [Fox News, Gutfeld!, 3/16/22]
  • Gutfeld repeated the claim yet again the next day, saying the Democrats should be thanking Putin for rising gas prices “because after all, it was Russia who infiltrated the green groups to get us off our domestic oil and buy their foreign oil.” [Fox News, The Five, 3/17/22]

Fox personalities have been criticized for pro-Kremlin commentary – and the Kremlin itself has noticed, as exposed by minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks about Fox and a recently reported memo from the Russian government that directed the country’s media outlets to promote as many clips of Fox News star Tucker Carlson as possible. (The Kremlin’s propaganda and Carlson’s own rhetoric have remarkable similarities.) The narratives parroted by Fox to earn this praise – from blaming Joe Biden for rising gas prices to suggestions the war in Ukraine is pushed by elitist self-interests – are baseless and incendiary. Their recent push of easily debunked anti-environmental conspiracies is no different.

The allegations stem from whether the aforementioned environmental groups received donations from the Sea Change Foundation, an environmental philanthropy group run by billionaire Nat Simons. In 2015, a baseless report from the GOP lobbyist-led front group Environmental Policy Alliance accused the law firm that set up a Bermuda-based company financing Sea Change of having extremely vague ties to an adviser to Putin. The firm refuted these allegations as “completely false and irresponsible,” saying, “We can state categorically that at no point did this philanthropic organization receive or expend funds from Russian sources or Russian-connected sources.” In fact, the sole source of the foundation’s funding is the Simons family. Despite the appearance of Kremlin-linked donations being obliterated, that did not stop 2017 House GOP members from requesting an investigation, and now recycling the debunked claims.

The network’s hosts and guests – primarily recently promoted prime-time stars Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld – are also conflating a separate online article from Fox that quotes “experts” like the Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano noting that “Russians actually fund some of the most rabid environmental groups in Europe.” (Carafano has been a vocal critic of climate science and recently co-authored a piece describing the Biden administration’s climate policies as a “titanic disaster in waiting.”) The article’s so-called “experts” also included right-wing media’s favorite climate contrarian, Michael Shellenberger, a notorious natural gas advocate who’s pushed lies about the cost and efficiency of renewable energy.

The Republicans point to a 2017 national intelligence report that highlighted a Russian state news channel, RT America, that ran “anti-fracking programming,” and was trying to expand its U.S. audience. Not only did the report not provide any evidence that the channel had been successful, but as of March 4, RT America announced it was “ceasing production.” It is simply preposterous to believe that over a decade of fracking commentary was driven by the network prior to its dissolution.

Some efforts against European drilling and fracking have been linked to Kremlin propaganda designed to increase dependency on Russian oil exports, but with each reshaping of the conspiracy theory, there has been no evidence of any similarly funded successful campaign in the United States.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Fox News Gets Owned Over Its Dumb Anti-Biden Christmas Hysteria

Fox News Gets Owned Over Its Dumb Anti-Biden Christmas Hysteria

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

For months now, Fox News has circulated fear-mongering reports about the possibility of President Joe Biden ruining Christmas. But now the conservative network's talking heads appear to still be grasping at straws as the predictions of doom failed to materialize — and they refuse to give the president credit.

The Recount shared a supercut of Fox News clips predicting Christmas delivery nightmares and blaming Biden:

But reports have shown that deliveries are actually moving swiftly to their destinations this year, leading the administration to take a victory lap.

The Fox News panel discussion that aired on Thursday, December 23 struggled to cope with these facts and the network's past coverage. Jesse Watters suggested that the president doesn't deserve credit but acknowledged how the recent reports signal improvement.

"If people are getting gifts under the tree in time, that’s a good thing," Watters said. "If Biden deserves credit, I’ll give him credit. I don’t know if he deserves credit… but according to reports, things are a lot better than they were in November."

Despite saying he'd give Biden credit if he deserved it, Watters then speculated that other actors, such as consumers and ports, were responsible for fixing the problem.

Another panelist said, "It’s always interesting when a politician wants credit for doing their job."

One might plausibly argue that Biden himself and the White House didn't have much of a role in fixing the supply chain problems that people feared would thwart Christmas plans. But if that's correct, then it was arguably wrong to pre-emptively blame for potential issues that the president may indeed have little control over.

As the Fox News clip circulated on Twitter, users began weighing in and mocking the network for the apparent hypocrisies in their discussion.

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet