The list of names lining up for a hopeful Fox News scalp grew on Tuesday amid the collective outrage on the left over Jesse Watters using a “kill shot” metaphor while talking about Dr. Anthony Fauci during a speech at a Turning Point USA event.
Watters was suggesting that ordinary Americans could create a viral moment by confronting Fauci in public on the pandemic and his purported “gain of function” research if they record the encounter.
“Now you’re going for the kill shot. The kill shot with an ambush is deadly because he doesn’t see it coming,” Watters said. “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. You do that for 30 seconds, that’s all you need. Thirty seconds.”
Fauci called the remark “horrible,” lamenting that it was “such a reflection of the craziness that goes on in society” while protesting that “the only thing that I had ever done throughout these two years is to encourage people to practice good public health practices, to get vaccinated, to be careful in public settings, to wear a mask.” He also called for Watters to be “fired on the spot.”
Fox News stood by Watters, stressing that it was “more than clear” that he was using a metaphor in making his remarks.
“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 a statement.
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was asked about Watters’ remarks during an appearance on Joy Reid’s racially-obsessed MSNBC program, as seen in the video above — the irony being that in bringing up the controversy Reid, who is sometimes referred to as the “dumbest person on primetime television,” referred to Watters as “one of the dumbest people.”
“I did hear about the comment,” Murthy said. “And you know, Dr. Fauci is a close colleague, he’s a good friend. But most importantly he is a public servant of high integrity who has sought to serve the United States of America for more than four decades.”
“But for anybody out there to use language that would encourage violence or speak to violence – not just against Dr. Fauci, but against anybody, especially somebody who is trying to do good for the country –that’s reprehensible. It’s not modeled on the kind of values I would certainly hope to raise my kids with. I’ll tell you this, too, Joy. We as a country, in moments like this, we have to come together. We shouldn’t be splintering apart. We shouldn’t throw bombs at other people and trying to turn people against one another. The voices of disunity, voices that endorse violence, those are the voices that threaten to tear our country apart. That make it harder to get through a pandemic like this.”
In conclusion, Murthy was clear that Watters should be fired: “And lastly, I’ll say this. If somebody like that worked in my office, in any organization that I ran, they certainly wouldn’t be working there for much longer after a comment like that.”
One might think that Murthy would have his hands full with America facing a COVID-19 surge and the administration in full Omicron panic mode. Jon Nicosia, president of News Cycle Politics and former managing editor at Mediaite, reminded him on Twitter: “You’re failing at your job. Stick to that one.”
In an appearance on CNN’s “The Lead,” former congressman Joe Kennedy, from Massachusetts, joined the chorus in calling for Watters to be fired.
“He should be fired on the spot. There is no doubt about that. I don’t care if they’ll try to explain it as a joke or a metaphor or in the context of asking hard-hitting questions. Jesse Watters should know better than that. Fox News should know better than that,” Kennedy said. “We’re at a time when anybody in the public sphere, unfortunately, is dealing with threats to their well-being and the well-being of their loved ones. Or being an elected official. Death threats against members of Congress have gone up over 100 percent this past year alone. We’re coming on the anniversary of an insurrection on the Capitol where five police officers ended losing their lives because of the actions that took place.
“There is no excuse for this,” he continued. “There should be accountability for it, and the dehumanization that comes with it, the idea that somehow if somebody were to believe that Mr. Watters was in fact, telling the truth or saying that, intending what those words actually insinuated, that somehow they would be glorified for it is disgusting. There is absolutely no place for it. And there needs to be accountability.”
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