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Jesse Watters Making Steady Progress Toward 'Way Worse Than Tucker' Goal
How does Fox News cover international politics? Let’s look at Chinese President Xi Jingping’s trip to San Francisco this week for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, and his meeting on the sidelines with President Joe Biden, and find out! There’s been some straight news coverage, but mostly it’s been the usual sewage, like this clip from Wednesday night, where host Jesse Watters framed Xi’s visit as a “second date” between Xi and California Gov. Gavin Newsom before turning the hate on President Biden, repeating favorite rightwing tropes.
For your basic racism, Watters said Newsom had transformed “San Francisco into Chinatown” for Xi, showing a lot of Asian American people waving US and Chinese Flags, before adding “Killing millions of Americans with COVID and Fentanyl was water under the bridge.” Then it was on to framing Biden as a romantic rival to Newsom for Xi’s attention, ha-ha:
When Xi saw Joe, they couldn't keep their hands off each other. As Joe likes to brag, he spent more time with Xi than anyone else. Not to mention the fact that Xi's guys bribed the Biden family. The chemistry was unmistakable.
Watters, that wag, also said that Xi and Biden’s discussions on climate cooperation was simply the part of the “date” where they “talked about the weather,” but they didn’t even discuss COVID or the “lab leak,” shame on them.
But Fox’s real focus this week was on the news that in preparation for Xi’s visit, San Francisco, with help from the state, cleared out some homeless encampments along with sprucing up roads Xi’s motorcade would travel along and putting up metal barriers in some areas for security — haw haw, who says walls don’t work, Gavin?
In addition to the TV coverage, Fox’s website carried multiple stories on that, saying San Francisco was temporarily “shifting the significant homeless population that has flooded into the city,” because of course unhoused people aren’t people, they’re some kind of sewage. Another piece collected social media posts from rightwing figures attacking Newsom for waiting until an international summit before “cleaning up the streets” and making unhoused people just go away out of sight. Just for good measure, “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday included an interview with a small business owner who was disgusted that Newsom “cared” more about making San Francisco look nice for Xi than about protecting Californians from those nasty people on the street. We thought facts didn’t care about her feelings.
All the homeless-bashing is business as usual for Fox, which regularly mocks and dehumanizes people who can’t afford housing, because after all they’re all drug-crazed maniacs who are on the streets ‘by choice,” and who barely count as human. The network’s demonization of homelessness is central to its efforts to portray big cities — especially the ones in blue states — as cesspits of sin and violence that no good upstanding Fox viewer would ever visit, at least not without an M1A2 Abrams main battle tank or armored SUV equivalent.
Homelessness is also a particular hobbyhorse of the apocalypse for Jesse Watters, who’s spent a decade telling rightwing viewers how much he hates people who don’t have homes — not because they can’t afford housing but because they are bad people and barely worth notice as human beings. According to Watters, unhoused people are “just bags of flesh mutating on the sidewalk,” as well as “urine-soaked junkies” and “vagabonds and zombies.”
Here’s a particularly vile Watters rant from a June 13 segment of “The Five” that Yr Wonkette somehow missed until it was posted to Xwitter this week. In it, Watters insists that homelessness is 100 percent by choice, and that therefore it makes no sense to try to help those people, who are also weird looking and have loose sexual morals. The solution is to get tough with them, not try to provide them housing or services to help them regain some stability in their lives. It’s pretty ugly even by Fox “standards.”
“Homelessness isn't about lack of affordable housing. It's about drug addicts that want to wander around and live in tents on the sidewalk,” Watters claims, because obviously drug addicts love sidewalks.
"You can't coddle antisocial behavior. You can't subsidize antisocial behavior. You have to stigmatize it. You can't celebrate people with purple hair, with nose rings, four kids with four different men who are dressed like trash, and make them out to be some sort of cutting-edge heroes. You have to call them what they are. These are people that have failed in life, and they're on their deathbed."
The implication was clear: There really wouldn’t be anything all that wrong with helping them die, just saying. All the best terrorism is stochastic.
There is at least an upside here: After endless attacks on unhoused people, Jesse Watters’ personal Twilight Zone Hell will be easy to design.
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