Watters notes irony of ‘anti-work’ Reddit moderator being fired after crashing-and-burning on his show

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Doreen Ford, the moderator of the popular r/Antiwork subreddit, was fired Thursday after a disastrous interview on Fox News Channel’s “Jesse Watters Prime Time.”

The now-former moderator is a biological male who identifies as non-binary and transgender, and he appeared Tuesday in a segment titled, “The War Against Working,” to advocate for a shorter workweek of between 20-25 hours, but did so poorly that the subreddit was reportedly forced into private mode in response to a “brigading” campaign, which Bloomberg describes as “users from another subreddit conducting a coordinated campaign to disrupt another group.”

“The anti-work movement, not happy about that interview, so they fired Doreen Ford, saying, ‘We can’t afford to have our opportunities to spread our message. We need somebody who is prepared to deliver convincing talking points come eloquently to a hostile audience… Someone who is trained, passionate, and has plenty of energy,'” Fox News host Jessie Watters explained on Thursday.

“I guess maybe she now has more time on her hands,” Watters added. “It’s what she wanted.”

In setting up Tuesday’s interview, Watters said: “While many people struggle to find work during the pandemic another group of Americans emerged, those who decided they don’t want to work at all. A Reddit page called ‘Anti-work: Unemployment for all, not just the rich,’ provides a safe space for these like-minded people who want to do as little as possible and still get paid. The page has become one of the most popular on Reddit. There is now over 1.6 million subscribers.”

After introducing Ford, Watters asked his guest, “Why do you like the idea of being home not working but still getting paid by corporate America?”

“Yeah, so, there’s misconceptions about the movement. So, we’re a movement where we want to reduce the amount of work that people feel like they are forced to do and so we want to still put an effort, we want to put in labor, but we don’t want to necessarily be in a position where we feel trapped, you know,” Ford replied. “You just quoted from office space where that person feels very trapped in their job. I think we are calling for a society where there is less of that. But, yeah, absolutely people still want to do things. They just want to do things where they feel rewarded and they feel like they are in a good spot in their life and that their job respects them and stuff like that.”

After reminding Ford that no one is forcing people to work, Watters suggested that the movement “sounds like maybe people are just being lazy?”

“So I think laziness is a virtue in a society where people constantly want you to be productive 24/7,” Ford responded. “And it’s good to have rest. That doesn’t mean you should be resting all the time or not putting effort into things that you care about.”

If that wasn’t comical enough, after saying he’d like “a 20, 25 hour workweek, the interview came to a close with this exchange:

Watters: “What do you do, Doreen?”

Ford: “I’m a dog walker.”

Watters: “How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Ford: “Sure, I’m 30.”

Watters: “You are 30, okay. Is there something you want to do besides being a dog walker? Do you aspire anything more than dog-walking or is that your pinnacle?”

Ford: “I love working with dogs. If I had to do this the rest of my life, I wouldn’t be super complaining, dogs are wonderful animals but I would love to teach. I would love to work with people and stuff like that.”

Watters: “What would you teach, Doreen?”

Ford: “Philosophy, mostly. Critical thinking, reason, stuff like that.”

 

Watters concluded by noting that the work schedule of college professors was “very similar” to his guest’s idea of the perfect scenario, adding: “Listen, I think this might not be the greatest idea but who am I to judge? To each their own, they say. It’s a free country.”

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