DEPLOYING 'METAPHORS OF DEATH'
Fox News Promotes Provocateur Who Called for ‘Kill Shot’ Against Dr. Anthony Fauci
The conservative cable entertainment talk show network known as Fox News has promoted a host who called for a rhetorical “kill shot” against one of the nation’s longest-serving and most-trusted federal government medical professionals. The move comes 364 days after turning its 7 PM slot from “news” to opinion and subsequently featuring a rotating spate of far right wing hosts.
“Fox News Primetime” will now have a permanent host, the network announced Monday: Jesse Watters.
Watters over the years has been accused of “racism,” being “stupid and juvenile” and “dangerous,” having “no credibility as a journalist,” having a “melt down,” and more.
A 2016 petition demanded his firing for his racist portrayal of Asians in New York City’s Chinatown.
But perhaps his most dangerous attack came recently, when, some say, he appeared to – at least rhetorically – suggest the murder of Dr. Anthony Fauci, during his speech at a Turning Point USA conference. Fauci has served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984.
“Watters, a conservative provocateur, told the group to ‘ambush’ Fauci in the streets and to record a rhetorical ‘kill shot,'” reads an op-ed on NBC News by a journalism expert last month. It calls Watters’ remarks “not harmless.”
“It is at the very least callous for Jesse Watters to deploy metaphors of death against the person leading the charge to help keep Americans alive during the pandemic,” wrote John L. Jackson Jr., dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Now you’re going for the kill shot. The kill shot with an ambush [is] deadly, because he doesn’t see it coming,” NBC News reports Watters told the far right Turning Point USA crowd. “This is when you say: ‘Dr. Fauci, you funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab. The same lab that sprung this pandemic on the world. You know why people don’t trust you, don’t you?’ Boom, he is dead! He is dead! He’s done!”
Fox News promoted Jesse Watters to a 7pm primetime slot.
Here’s the résumé they are rewarding: pic.twitter.com/OvwRp5T00r
— The Recount (@therecount) January 10, 2022
fox rewards jesse watters with full-time show on weeknights. more climate denial, demonstrable bigotry and callousness, and also another member of fox’s evening lineup who has talked up statutory rape pic.twitter.com/YEHm5ogxcR
— John Whitehouse+ (@existentialfish) January 10, 2022
Here’s a Jesse Watters scene from https://t.co/oGOKIamS5l. Watters saw that Trump was the path to fame and fortune at Fox pic.twitter.com/hnKisJPdKE
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 10, 2022
The installment of Watters into the 7pm time slot cements a strategy Fox initiated soon after Trump lost re-election: Even more right-wing commentary, even less news. https://t.co/f7CVrsVsCK
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 10, 2022
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