At the end of his April 11 show, Bill O’Reilly told his audience he was taking a pre-planned vacation. Advertisers were fleeing him amid a sexual harassment scandal, and O’Reilly would ultimately be fired before he returned.
O’Reilly’s termination opened the door for his controversial protégée to get a promotion. This week was Jesse Watters’ first as co-host of The Five, which was bumped to primetime to help fill the void created by the end of the Factor.
It took two days for Watters to illustrate that Fox News is still struggling with a culture of misogyny. On Tuesday, Watters offered this comment about Ivanka Trump while smirking and gesturing with his hand: “I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone.”
The comment appeared to be an oral sex joke. As controversy swirled on Wednesday, Watters denied it, claiming he was actually referring to “Ivanka’s voice and how it was low and steady and resonates like a smooth jazz radio DJ.”
But on Wednesday, Watters abruptly announced he’s taking a vacation.
“I’m going to be taking a vacation with my family, so I’m not gonna be here tomorrow and Friday but I’ll be back on Monday so try not to miss me too much,” he said at the Wednesday’s show.
While uncomfortable giggles swirled, co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle reminded Watters he’ll be missing his Saturday show as well.
Either Watters is fibbing about why he’s taking an extended weekend, or he decided to take a vacation during his first week as a primetime Fox News host.
During their Factor days, O’Reilly and Watters once did a segment about sexual harassment that involved Watters walking around Georgetown and asking women if they would be offended by comments like, “You have a really smashing tank top on.”
“But can’t I tell a girl she has a nice pantsuit?” Watters asks one woman.
WATCH: This Bill O'Reilly/Jesse Watters segment about sexual harassment/political correctness is something else. Jesus. pic.twitter.com/JxNIxeisaX
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) April 8, 2017
Back in the studio, Watters acknowledged that he “offended pretty much everybody.”
“I learned from the master,” Watters told O’Reilly. “I’ve been watching you for over 10 years, and I just said, whatever Bill would say, and then I tried that out on people and it worked.”