Over the years, Fox News personality Jesse Watters has mocked Asian-Americans in New York City’s Chinatown, shamed homeless people, ambushed journalists at their homes and made a number of offensive comments about immigrants, LGBTQ people and others.
Yet through it all, Fox has stood by him. And even though the network recently fired his mentor, Bill O’Reilly, over numerous allegations of sexual harassment, top executives decided to stick with Watters. In fact, they promoted him to be a host on the primetime show “The Five.”
But on Tuesday, just his second day in his new job, Watters found himself in trouble when he appeared to make an oral sex joke about Ivanka Trump.
The next day, Watters insisted that he did nothing of the sort: “On air I was referring to Ivanka’s voice and how it resonates like a smooth jazz radio DJ. This was in no way a joke about anything else.”
Apparently, no one believes him. On Thursday, Watters announced he was taking a vacation with his family but would be back on Monday.
O’Reilly also abruptly took a vacation in the middle of his sexual harassment scandal, right before he was fired from his show.
Watters’ joke about Trump was crass and inappropriate, but it’s standard fare for a man who has said and done worse toward people who are far less powerful. In those instances, he never faced any public repercussions from his network.
In 2009, Watters ambushed me while I was on vacation, claiming that I was causing rape victims pain and suffering because I wrote a post criticizing O’Reilly for implying that a woman was partially responsible for her own rape because of what she had been wearing and how much she had been drinking. O’Reilly then did several segments about me on his show the next week, calling me a villain.
I hope that Watters is able to enjoy his vacation this week in peace, without anyone following him and ambushing him and his family.
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