If you’re a regular listener to the podcast I do with fellow Banter-ite Bob Cesca, cleverly titled “The Bob & Chez Show,” you know that as far as I’m concerned there’s no one on the planet who more richly deserves a righteous ass-kicking than Fox News ambush reporter and painfully smug asshole Jesse Watters. On more than one occasion I’ve vocalized an ongoing fantasy I have that involves myself or someone I’ve paid a tidy sum of money to hitting Watters in the face repeatedly until the self-satisfied smirk that’s become his trademark at Fox News is wiped clean off. Granted, it’s only a fantasy, but if you know anything at all about Jesse Watters, you know that any individual with a thimbleful of empathy or intelligence wouldn’t mind seeing something like this happen. Violence is wrong, sure. But let’s face it — some people just cry out to have it visited upon them.
Well, last night, Jesse Watters was at the center of some violence. Not enough to cause me and I’m sure many others to be out right now having a celebratory drink, but at least enough to warrant a nice round of applause. It happened at, of all places, a White House Correspondents Dinner after party being held by MSNBC, normally the most staid and deadly boring function not involving the insurance industry and a Holiday Inn ballroom. It was at this party last night, though, that Huffington Post political reporter Ryan Grim got into a fight — an actual fight — with Watters. And according to witnesses, to the surprise of absolutely no one, Watters started it.
Reportedly, Grim approached Watters with his phone in hand and began shooting video of him, in an effort to give him a taste of his own medicine, being that this cheap tactic is the cornerstone of Watters’s style of “journalism.” Grim apparently had it in for Watters because of an incident back in 2009 where Watters ambushed Grim’s HuffPo colleague Amanda Turkel, leading her to write a piece about it entitled “I Was Followed, Harassed, And Ambushed By Bill O’Reilly’s Producer.” (Before rising up the ranks, Watters was known mostly for being the sniveling little Renfield to O’Reilly’s aging Count Dracula.) I guess he figured since he had Watters right there in front of him, may as well take advantage of the situation.
Again, to the surprise of no one, Watters didn’t take too kindly to being on the receiving end of the very horseshit he regularly dishes out and so he snatched the phone out of Grim’s hand and pocketed it. When Grim tried to get his phone back, well, that’s when things got ugly. Witnesses say that “punches were definitely thrown.” The two reportedly flailed around a bit and upended a table, but after a couple of seconds the two broke it up and went their separate ways, Grim to tweet about it, Watters no doubt to begin putting together the Fox News piece that will spin it so that Watters is a wrongly persecuted superhero and Grim is the living embodiment of the hyper-violent liberal menace.
Now for sure you can argue that a fist fight between two media personalities from oppositely aligned partisan outlets at a black tie cable news event is just about a perfect snapshot of the state of journalism in the U.S. these days. It’s depressing and embarrassing that it’s really come to this. But that very legitimate consideration has to be set aside when the noble cause of throwing a punch at Jesse Watters is at stake. No matter who does it or the reason it’s being done, Watters deserves an entire fusillade of punches thrown in his direction. He deserves it for being a stalker and professional troll and a hack reporter and an overgrown frat-boy douchebag with a camera crew and an unrepentant pompous asshole whose repugnancy is by now most definitely a matter of public record.
The only thing we can lament here is that rather than simply trying to get his phone back, Ryan Grim didn’t use Watters’s affront as an excuse to knock him the fuck out. Either way, somebody needs to buy Grim a nice bottle of Macallan 25 because just by taking a swing at Jesse Watters he did the Lord’s work. Last night, just for a moment, we were all Ryan Grim. Or maybe Ryan Grim was all of us.