Jesse Watters

Tags ››› Jesse Watters
  • A Week After Jesse Watters’ Racist O’Reilly Factor Segment, He Returns And Completely Ignores The Controversy

    Blog ››› ››› CHRISTOPHER LEWIS

    Despite controversy surrounding a racist segment mocking Asian Americans, Fox News’ Jesse Watters returned to The O’Reilly Factor and ignored the controversy, instead taking part in another man-on-the-street interview segment.

    Watters came under intense fire for his October 3 edition of "Watters' World," titled “Chinatown Edition,” from journalists and lawmakers, with Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) calling the segment “xenophobic” and the Asian American Journalists Association president saying it was “rife with racist stereotypes.” Fox News on the other hand refused to comment about the controversy, while Bill O’Reilly defended Watters, saying “we’re proud” of him. 

    On the October 10 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Watters asked random New Yorkers about Christopher Columbus and quizzed people on who discovered America, even asking one woman of Native American descent if she harbored any "animosity" toward Columbus. At no point before or after the segment did O’Reilly or Watters apologize for, or even address the controversy surrounding the "Chinatown" segment, other than a veiled joke about Watters being close to getting fired.

  • Lawmakers Condemn “Vile” And “Xenophobic” O’Reilly Factor Chinatown Segment

    Blog ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    Numerous lawmakers, including the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate and the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, condemned Fox host and correspondent Jesse Watters for an episode of his O’Reilly Factor special “Watters’ World” in which he used blatantly racist tropes about Asian-Americans during interviews in New York City’s Chinatown.

    During the October 3 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly aired a “Chinatown” edition of “Watters’ World” in which Watters interviewed several Asian-American people in Chinatown. Watters asked a series of stereotype-laden 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.

    Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), the first Asian-American woman elected to the Senate, tweeted an eye-rolling emoji at Watters, calling the segment “xenophobic.” Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, tweeted that she was “disgusted by this racism.” Chu added that Watters’ mocking of non-native speakers and treatment of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders “as ‘others’ marginalizes minority groups.” In another tweet, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) questioned how Watters “is allowed to stay on the air” and whether “anyone finds this garbage funny.”

    Watters also drew criticism from New York City lawmakers, including Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and state Sen. Daniel Squadron, a Democrat who represents the Chinatown district. De Blasio called Watters' behavior “vile” and “racist” and demanded Fox News “keep this guy off TV.”

    Squadron’s statement condemned Watters for bringing “the kind of disrespect to my constituents that has been all too common this election cycle: stereotyping, mockery and a thinly veiled disdain for immigrants.” Squadron concluded, “And to Jesse Watters: welcome to my district -- hope you don’t come back”:

    Under the guise of asking residents of Manhattan’s Chinatown their thoughts on Donald Trump, O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters brought the kind of disrespect to my constituents that has been all too common this election cycle: stereotyping, mockery and a thinly veiled disdain for immigrants.

    Unfortunately, one of the real costs of Trump’s divisiveness is the climate of racism and disrespect it’s made commonplace in our national discourse. That’s unacceptable in Chinatown, unacceptable in New York, and must be unacceptable on Fox News.

    And to Jesse Watters: welcome to my district — hope you don’t come back.

    Various journalists, including the Asian American Journalists Association and MSNBC host Chris Hayes, also widely criticized the segment. “Watters’ World” has a long history of airing racist and sexist remarks, shaming the poor, and mocking ordinary people.

  • VIDEO: Jesse Watters: The Worst Of The Worst


    Fox News is under fire after The O'Reilly Factor on October 3 aired a blatantly racist edition of Jesse Watters' segment "Watters' World." Watters interviewed people in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood, asking questions such as “Am I supposed to bow to say hello?" “Tell me what’s not made in China?” and “Do you know karate?” This segment is just the latest addition to Watters' long history of making racist and sexist remarks, shaming the poor, and mocking ordinary people during his "Watters' World" feature on O'Reilly's program. Here are some of the worst examples:

    Several groups representing Asian-Americans have issued statements condemning the racist segment, and numerous journalists have rebuked the piece.

  • Asian American Journalists Association President Criticizes Fox News For Segment “Rife With Racist Stereotypes”

    More Groups Condemn Fox’s "Racist" And "Offensive" Segment

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    The president of the Asian American Journalists Association is heavily criticizing Fox News for airing a segment that “was rife with racist stereotypes.”   

    Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor aired an October 3 segment featuring correspondent Jesse Watters visiting New York’s Chinatown neighborhood to purportedly get residents' “political opinion.” The segment instead became, as Vox explained, an excuse to make “fun of the people he encountered with the broadest, dumbest Asian stereotypes imaginable.”

    Paul Cheung, the president of the Asian American Journalists Association and director of Interactive and Digital News Production at The Associated Press, strongly criticized Fox News for the segment.

    “The segment was rife with racist stereotypes, drew on thoughtless tropes and openly ridiculed Asian Americans,” Cheung told Media Matters. “Fox missed a real opportunity to investigate the Asian American vote, a topic not often covered in the mainstream news media.”

    Numerous other journalists, including Asian-Americans reporters, took to Twitter to criticize the segment for its “disgusting” and “anti-Asian” ridicule.

    UPDATE: The Asian American Journalists Association issued a formal statement about the segment, saying that “We should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race. Sadly, Fox News proves it has a long way to go in reporting on communities of color in a respectful and fair manner.” The association said its MediaWatch committee is demanding “an apology from Fox News to our community and a meeting with the show’s producers to understand how this segment was conceived and greenlit to air. More importantly, we want an explanation for how this type of coverage will be prevented in the future.”

    Gregory A. Cendana, the executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Institute for Asian Pacific American Leadership & Advancement, told Media Matters:

    Though it’s not surprising that The O’Reilly Factor did such a segment, we’re still extremely disappointed in the racist and stereotypical coverage of Chinese Americans on a major outlet. The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, for one, is not a monolith nor a model minority nor a perpetual foreigner. It was inappropriate for Watters to ask about Chinese herbs for performance. It was inappropriate for Watters to make fun of Chinese elder who did not answer his question. So much of that coverage played into the exoticization and the status of perpetual foreign of the AAPI community, which continue to be an issue in the media today. And it’s a shame that this segment had to exacerbate that.

    Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice and a former Minnesota state senator, issued the following statement to Media Matters:

    Advancing Justice | AAJC is outraged by the blatant, racist and offensive stereotypes of Chinese Americans portrayed in a recent Fox News segment during The O’Reilly Factor.  The fact that O’Reilly termed this as “gentle fun” and Watters believed it was “all in good fun” only demonstrates a complete lack of a moral compass.  It is unconscionable that a news organization would sanction a segment that laughs at a community of people, including Watters ridiculing elderly Asian Americans who were limited English proficient. 

    Although The O’Reilly Factor may believe this was 'all in good fun,' the segment does nothing more than play up every offensive stereotype of Asian Americans that the community has fought against for decades. What they should have done is to talk about the important role that Asian Americans can play in this upcoming election.  There are more than 9.3 million newly eligible voters this year, and 37% of Asian American respondents in our 2016 Voter Survey identify themselves as independents.  Our community stands to play an important role in this election and the future of politics as the fastest growing racial group in the United States.  We as a community refuse to be mocked and trivialized.

    Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund wrote of the segment on its Twitter account:

    Christopher Kang, national director for the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans told, Media Matters: 

    This segment is so clearly racist and offensive, it is impossible to understand how it was aired at all, much less as a supposed news piece. If Bill O'Reilly wants to report on the views of Asian Americans, he could cover today's survey that shows Asian Americans favor Secretary Clinton to Mr. Trump by a margin of 55%-14%. Instead, this segment insults Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and demeans people of limited English proficiency in a shockingly callous manner. The next time Bill O'Reilly realizes his segment is "going to get letters," he should demonstrate a little judgment and not air it.

  • Fox News Correspondent Goes To Chinatown, Produces Incredibly Racist Segment

    Journalists Condemn Jesse Watters For O'Reilly Factor Segment: “The Most Offensive Television Segment I’ve Ever Seen”

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox News’ Jesse Watters is drawing widespread condemnation for a segment on The O’Reilly Factor in which he visited New York’s Chinatown neighborhood to, according to Fox host Bill O’Reilly, “sample political opinion.” Since the episode aired, media figures have admonished Watters and O’Reilly for the “disgusting” and “anti-Asian” segment.

    During the October 3 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly aired the “Chinatown edition” of “Watters’ World,” in which Watters interviewed several bystanders in New York’s Chinatown, asking questions such as, “Am I supposed to bow to say hello?" “Tell me what’s not made in China?” and “Do you know karate?” Watters also played the song “Kung Fu Fighting” in the background and included clips of him doing karate. But, as Vox puts it, “What Watters was really doing was making fun of the people he encountered with the broadest, dumbest Asian stereotypes imaginable — making it clear they were there as props for him and his viewers for what he clearly considered a hilarious joke, rather than to actually give their opinions.”

    The segment was rebuked by numerous journalists on Twitter:

    Watters’ racist segment is not the first time The O’Reilly Factor has stereotyped Asian-American or Asian people. O’Reilly himself once stated, “Asian-Americans have succeeded in the U.S.A. better than any other minority group. ... I’m saying there’s no white privilege; there must be Asian privilege because the Asians are at the top of the chart.” O’Reilly also asserted that "Asian people are not liberal, you know, by nature. They're usually more industrious and hard-working," which prompted a demand for an apology from then-Rep. Collen Hanabusa (D-HI), who said O’Reilly’s comments “thoughtlessly insult 1.3 million people with one sweeping misstatement."

  • Fox Mischaracterizes Clinton's Hacked Remarks To Claim She's Smearing Millennials

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Fox News is mischaracterizing remarks Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton made at a private fundraiser in February, falsely claiming that she was mocking Bernie Sanders’ supporters as “broke and delusional.” In the audio of the remarks, which security officials believe was originally hacked by Russian government operatives and then later posted by the Washington Free Beacon, Clinton is highlighting the “sense of disappointment among young people in politics” and why they were driven to support Sanders.

  • Fox News Celebrated Back-To-School Season This Year By Laughing At Students And Attacking Teachers

    Blog ››› ››› PAM VOGEL

    Fox News marked the start of the school year with a predictable mix of attacks on public education, racial justice activism, and progressive policies, often launched by extreme-right commentators and campaign surrogates for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

    Fox Villainized “Stalinist” Teachers Unions On Air And Online

    Fox News hosts engaged in education discussions using the network’s typical approach: bashing teachers unions and attempting to drive a nonexistent wedge between educators’ priorities and the best interests of students.

    On Your World With Neil Cavuto, guest host Stuart Varney dismissed guest Tamara Holder’s attempts to substantively discuss a recent story about a state teachers union. The union decided to boycott a back-to-school promotion to draw attention to public school funding disparities. Before Holder, a Fox contributor, could speak about the boycott, Varney combatively accused Holder of wanting to “squash school choice.” Varney repeatedly interrupted Holder during the three-minute segment -- even after she implored, “Why are you so mad at [teachers unions] when they’re not doing anything other than fighting for more resources?” He concluded the segment by saying, “I’m really shocked that you won’t support school choice, that you support the Stalinist bureaucracy of the teachers union.”

    Meanwhile, ran an opinion piece titled “If your child’s school is failing, thank a union” authored by Richard Berman -- a corporate lobbyist and the executive director of the Center for Union Facts, a dark-money-fueled organization that routinely smears labor unions. Berman rehashed the same tired, inaccurate attacks on both organized labor writ large and teachers unions specifically that have long clogged the airwaves at Fox. The piece equated the political spending of the two major national teachers unions -- the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, which together represent almost 5 million individuals -- with the spending of dark-money PACs funded by a small number of wealthy private donors. Berman’s organization does not publicly disclose its funders, though tax disclosures show the group has received substantial funding from anti-union “dark-money ATM” groups DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, as well as the right-wing Bradley Foundation.

    A second opinion piece on, written by Fox News “Medical A-Team” member Keith Ablow -- a longtime anti-LGBT “pop psychologist” who has recently attacked transgender teens -- was titled “Are your kids back in school? Time to apologize to them.” Ablow’s op-ed argued -- with zero evidence -- that “antiquated systems of tenure” and resistance to voucher programs have led to subpar schools. Ablow encouraged readers to “follow my lead and apologize to their kids for what passes as primary and secondary education in America.” Meanwhile, the majority of Americans believe their local public schools are performing well.

    Fox Figures Repurposed Racial Justice Arguments To Attack Progressives On Education

    On Hannity, frequent Fox guest and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke -- a right-wing extremist who has previously called members of the Black Lives Matter movement “garbage” and Hillary Clinton a “cop hater” -- argued that progressive policies such as opposition to increasingly unpopular school voucher programs “have herded black people… onto that plantation called the American ghetto.”

    On The Five, co-hosts Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams, and Dana Perino, and guest co-host Jesse Watters, concluded that viable solutions to “social pathologies” in Milwaukee’s communities of color include African-Americans “step[ping] up to the plate” rather than playing “victims of Democratic policies,” and pushing efforts to “hold teachers accountable.” Perino mentioned that the NAACP opposed privately managed charter schools, prompting Williams to declare the position “unbelievable,” and Guilfoyle to conclude, “I don’t get that.”

    Days later, the co-hosts pivoted a discussion about Trump’s tweet about the Chicago shooting death of basketball star Dwyane Wade’s cousin to push right-wing myths. They used it to claim that even "school choice" cannot address challenges facing the black community, including the right-wing canard of “black-on-black crime.” They also dismissed the NAACP’s recent resolution calling for a halt in the expansion of privately managed charter schools.

    On The Record With Greta Van Susteren interviewed Trump surrogate and frequent Fox guest Rudy Giuliani about Trump’s attempted outreach to the African-American community, allowing Giuliani to spend nearly five minutes attacking the education stances of teachers unions and progressives and touting his own record on pushing privatization measures in New York City schools as mayor.

    Fox Hosts And Guests Laughed At Students’ Activism On Offensive Terminology: Should An Injured Horse “Get A Lawyer, Because The Horse Is Offended” By Being Called “Lame”?

    Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle guest-hosted On The Record and interviewed a student leader at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee about students’ efforts to highlight offensive terms. After student Mike Fortello explained why using terms like “lame” or “gay” as negative descriptors can be hurtful to others, Guilfoyle bizarrely questioned whether Fortello’s logic would somehow mean a hypothetical horse with broken legs “should get a lawyer, because the horse is offended” by being called “lame.” Guilfoyle and her other guest, Ben Shapiro, ended the segment by talking over the student repeatedly, laughing, and insulting the university. In another On The Record guest host stint the following day, Guilfoyle gleefully reported on the University of Chicago’s rejection of trigger warning and safe space use, beginning a segment on the story by jokingly asking a network correspondent if he was “in a safe space to report this.”

    Later that week, campus sexual assault denier George Will joined Bret Baier in a panel discussion on Special Report to celebrate the University of Chicago’s decision not to “appease” students “we now call snowflakes, these fragile little creatures who melt at the first sign of the heat of controversy.” Panel members laughed at Will’s example of “committing cultural appropriation by wearing a sombrero or something of the sort.” Will was disinvited from a college campus speaking engagement and protested at several other campuses in 2014 following his comments that those who experience sexual assault enjoy “a coveted status” in society. He identified himself in the segment as “someone who’s been disinvited from a college campus, I’m delighted to say.”

    None of these segments acknowledged the serious reasons students -- particularly increasing numbers of students of color, women students, and first-generation college students -- may be seeking out safe spaces or conversations within campus learning environments.

  • Fox Resurrects Obamacare “Death Spiral” After News Of Aetna’s Withdrawal From Insurance Exchanges

    Right-Wing Media Warnings Of Previous “Death Spirals” All Fell Flat

    ››› ››› CAT DUFFY

    Fox News exaggerated the implications of insurance giant Aetna’s decision to reduce its participation in health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obamacare,” by claiming that the announcement was proof of an impending “death spiral” in insurance markets. Conservative media outlets have opportunistically used various so-called “death spiral” predictions over the last several years to falsely forecast the imminent demise of the President Obama’s signature legislation.

  • Conservatives Lose Their Excuse To Question The Results Of The Clinton Email Investigation


    Conservatives have just lost their excuse to question the results of the investigation relating to Hillary Clinton’s email server, which legal experts say lacks a “legitimate basis” to charge Clinton with crimes. Right-wing media figures have ignored those experts to suggest that if the investigation does not result in a Clinton indictment, it must be politically tainted. But Attorney General Loretta Lynch affirmed that she will “be accepting the recommendations” made by “career agents and investigators” and FBI Director James Comey in the case, and conservative media have spent months lauding Comey’s “impeccable integrity” and ability to impartially conduct the investigation.