Fox News host Bill O’Reilly sent out his ambusher Jesse Watters last week to challenge anti-Fox News protesters outside Fox studios in New York. Watters asked one protester to “name an example where Fox has been unfair.” Without a research document on-hand, the protester simply replied, “too many,” and later mentioned Fox News’ coverage of the Iraq war. Asked to respond to Watters’ biased ambush on CNN this weekend, Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein said it “wasn’t journalism.” “You could call that nonfiction entertainment, but it wasn’t journalism,” he added.
O’Reilly, of course, tried to leap to Watters’ defense last night. He brought on Bernie Goldberg, a reliable conservative Fox pundit who is usually sympathetic to O’Reilly’s point of view, to challenge Pearlstein. However, O’Reilly was surprised by the response he received:
GOLDBERG: But I do agree with him, or at least I tend to agree with him, that it isn’t journalism, and it certainly — more precisely it isn’t anything resembling traditional journalism.
Jesse Watters didn’t go out there as an objective journalist. He went out there to defend the company that signs his paychecks. I mean, right there, there’s a bit of an issue. […]
Look, everybody in journalism has a reputation of sorts. And Jesse Watters is a nice guy. I happen to like him personally. But he is not an objective reporter. His job — you say you sent him out to find out what was going on.
Mediate has the video:
Goldberg is correct. Watters’ gig is to primarily serve as Bill O’Reilly’s hit man, ambushing anyone who has been critical of Fox News or O’Reilly. Watters isn’t going out to “get information” as O’Reilly claimed in his interview with Goldberg; he ambushes people in an effort to humiliate O’Reilly’s opponents. No, that isn’t journalism.