Following Dr. Fauci‘s call for Fox News to fire Jesse Watters after the conservative commentary encouraged people to take a “kill shot” at the infectious disease specialist, the network has, predictably, come to Watters’ defense. During a speech at the Turning Point USA summit over the weekend, Watters used violent rhetoric while discussing Fauci, who has very publicly spoken about the threats to him and his family since the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Fox News, Watters was speaking “metaphorically” and was simply talking about reporters asking Fauci tough questions that he can’t answer. As if that’s ever happened.
“Based on watching the full clip and reading the entire transcript, it’s more than clear that Jesse Watters was using a metaphor for asking hard-hitting questions to Dr. Fauci about gain-of-function research and his words have been twisted completely out of context,” Fox News said, in its statement.
Watters also used the term “ambush” — you starting to see the problem here? — which he also didn’t mean literally. It was a reference to guerilla-style reporting like James O’Keefe and his Project Veritas. The same Project Veritas that’s currently under federal investigation for allegedly using Ashley Biden’s stolen diary to blackmail Joe Biden into an on-camera interview. So, again, really great stuff all around.
In Fauci’s defense, Watters was talking to the same crowd that supports the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building and is very big on gun ownership, so it’s hard not to see the problem with Watters’ purposeful rhetoric. Especially considering, again, that Fauci has had a security team since the start of the pandemic thanks to right-wing figures smearing him with conspiracy theories when they’re not comparing him to Nazi doctors.