There's no single person on the planet more in need of a really satisfying beating than Jesse Watters. If there's a master template for creating douchebags out there somewhere, he was burned directly from it. As Raw Story's TBogg recently wrote, Watters has a face that always makes it look like he's a frat bro who's celebrating getting out of a rape conviction on a technicality. He's a smug little prick who, befitting his personality, graduated from probably being the enthusiastic lapdog of a schoolyard bully to his dream job being the enthusiastic lapdog of adult bully Bill O'Reilly. He's the sniveling Renfield to O'Reilly's Dracula, subserviently honoring any and all requests to do his master's dirty work -- and that dirty work generally involves taking a camera crew out and being an asshole to people. Everything about Jesse Watters cries out -- no, screams out -- for somebody to pound him into paste.
Knowing these facts, it probably won't surprise you that Jesse Watters managed to get himself kicked off the campus of Cornell University recently -- all in the name of doing a segment for O'Reilly's show. O'Reilly supposedly wanted to get the scoop from students on a newspaper article claiming that 96% of the political campaign donations from Cornell's faculty had gone to Democrats and, of course, whether that meant those students were being "indoctrinated" into the cult of liberalism.
The segment was exactly what you'd expect, with Watters ambushing kids and trying to pelt them with condescending questions, the overarching point of which was to discern whether conservative viewpoints were "allowed" on campus. Unfortunately for Watters, he was in fact on a college campus and therefore a decent number of the kids there were already smarter than him, which meant that questions like "do the professors pass around doobies in class" was largely met with polite chuckles. "I'm already indoctrinated, so I know nothing," a female student dryly quipped at one point, the comment no doubt going over Watters's head, which contains only some dust bunnies and the memory of a few old Huey Lewis lyrics. He went on to try to resolve the situation with the testy student by asking if he could buy her a soon-to-be-a-collector's-item "Make America Great Again" hat. She responded, "You can't buy me anything." His retort? "Dinner?" At that she announced that it was getting weird and walked away.
It should go without saying that Cornell doesn't want its students hit on by the world's biggest douchebag, so eventually in the segment -- which aired last night and was cleverly edited to look like a cheesy local news entertainment piece -- the school's deputy director of media relations, Melissa Osgood, stepped in and shut the whole thing down. "Sorry for interrupting," she said, "we just ask that you don't interview students on campus." Watters turned up the defensive smarm, asking why he couldn't talk to someone if he had that person's permission, but nope -- off you go. Cornell sent a letter to Watters explaining its decision and school policy, which requires that all camera crews get approval before shooting on campus -- same as just about any other school -- but O'Reilly and Watters joked that Cornell just didn't want Watters on their campus. Which is perfectly understandable, since Jesse Watters is, again, the world's biggest douchebag.
If you haven't followed Watters's lengthy career with Fox News, he's the same guy who just a few weeks ago confronted homeless people at Port Authority, leveling his subtle smirking mockery at men and women who have nothing in an effort to show how New York City has supposedly become overrun with the homeless. He didn't go after the public officials and lawmakers who create policy that encourages or ignores homelessness; he went after the homeless themselves. Because that's what Jesse Watters does a lot of the time: he punches down. He's perfectly okay with ambushing civilians who haven't had the media training he has and aren't articulate enough to adequately defend themselves, then he edits the segments to make his quarry appear even dumber and more ignorant than they might have already appeared. This is what makes him such an asshole and such a flawless embodiment of the general attitude and behavior of conservative infotainment media these days. They happily bully anyone they consider an enemy -- whether that person is an actual "combatant" like a politician or thought leader or just some homeless vets who happen to want Bill O'Reilly to understand that they exist and their plight should be acknowledged.
Jesse Watters' entire routine involves harassing and trolling people Fox News has declared suppressive to its conservative message. That's the whole reason he exists at the network. And make no mistake: If you happen to be a target who turns the tables on him, undeniably schooling the hell out of him when he's got that microphone in your face, chances are it'll never make it to TV because that wouldn't fit in with Fox News's relentless right-wing evangelism.
And this -- this is why just once I'd love to see Watters ambush the wrong guy and wind up laid out flat with his teeth spread out all around him.
(No, this is not meant as an endorsement of violence against Jesse Watters. Not quite anyway.)