January 25, 2022

Jesse Watters of Fox News Is Promoted to an Evening Slot

Twenty years ago, a recent college graduate named Jesse Watters joined Fox News as a production assistant. He finagled his way into an on-camera gig as a sidekick to Bill O’Reilly, before expanding his ambush-style man-on-the-street interviews into a weekend program and a role as co-host of the talk show “The Five.”

Now Mr. Watters, 43, is poised to enter the upper ranks of Fox News stardom, and all the influence that confers: Starting Jan. 24, he will have his own 7 p.m. program, “Jesse Watters Primetime,” which will serve as the lead-in to Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, the highest-rated evening block on cable news.

The ascent of Mr. Watters — a conservative culture warrior who delights in bashing all things liberal — comes despite numerous controversies over his on-air antics. In a 2016 segment, he trafficked in crude and offensive Asian American stereotypes, prompting a protest at the Fox News offices and rebukes from elected officials. (“I regret if anyone found offense,” Mr. Watters replied in a tweet.)

Last month, he used notably violent language in urging a gathering of conservatives to “ambush” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci with tough questions that he deemed “the kill shot.” Dr. Fauci, who has faced threats of harm from right-wing activists, called for Mr. Watters to be fired; Fox News defended its host, saying his comments were metaphorical and “twisted completely out of context.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/10/business/media/jesse-watters-fox-news.html

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