Jesse Waters Reminds Us That The Misogynist Culture At Fox News Is A Lot Deeper Than Just Roger Ailes And Bill O’Reilly [UPDATED]

On the Fox News show “The Five,” in the course of a discussion of Ivanka Trump’s appearance at a conference in Berlin where  she was jeered  for defending her father’s record of supporting women, Fox News commentator Jesse Watters made the following comment in reference to the photo above:

I really liked the way she was speaking into that microphone.

Nice.

The degree to which Fox News is definitively exposed as a sexist, oppressive environment catering to over-aged sniggering frat boys where professional women both betray their gender and their self-respect by accepting paychecks to be abused, ogled and hit upon is inversely proportional to the time it takes for the network to fire this toxic asshole.

He made a fellatio reference regarding the President’s daughter, on the air, smiling broadly.  [Absurdly, news organizations are writing that “some commenters” are “interpreting Watters’ comment as a sexual innuendo.” Right: the commentators with eyes, ears, brains and integrity who aren’t paid by Fox News.] Then, after the predictable negative response (although Fox hosts apparently assume that all of their viewers are both mentally challenged and have been frozen in glaciers since 1956). Watters lied brazenly, telling BuzzFeed: “During the break we were commenting on Ivanka’s voice and how it was low and steady and resonates like a smooth jazz radio DJ. This was in no way a joke about anything else.”

Sure, Jesse. So now we know you think we’re all stupid, and you’re a disgrace to your profession.

I want to salute my former colleague (he served on the board of my late theater company, The American Century Theater), conservative columnist John Podhoretz, who unleashed an unrestrained  barrage of appropriate venom on Watters via Twitter, writing…

Congratulations, Jesse Watters, you’re a disgusting pig as well as being a racist moron…Jesse Waters complains the Left doesn’t respect Ivanka Trump and then in front of 2.5 million people intimates Ivanka was blowing her mike….Jesse Watters is everything I loathe about everything…You know the good thing about Jesse Watters? Nothing….If I go to Hell, the only thing on my TV will be a show co-starring Jesse Watters and Dana Milbank…

After Watter’s Jumbo-esque denial, John tweeted,

You are so full of shit it’s coming out your ears, you disgusting creep.

I concur.

Imagine the complete lack of both ethics alarms and common sense required for Watters to make such a comment in the same week that Bill O’Reilly’s fall focused the spotlight—again—on the sick anti-woman culture at Fox News! This is a wonderful example of how, just as fish don’t know they are in water, and Watters doesn’t know he works in an environment where women are not respected, and because he works in such an environment, no longer knows what respecting women means—if he ever knew. There will be more examples of such conduct even if Fox News fires Watters immediately, until either Fox seriously addresses its ugly sexist culture, or the network is crippled by bad publicity and lawsuits.

UPDATE: From Redstate:

“Thursday morning, Watters announced he’s going on “vacation.”

That’s right. “The Five” couldn’t get a full week of programming in without losing somebody.

Said Watters in a statement:

“I’m going to be taking a vacation with my family, so I’m not going to be here tomorrow,” Watters said during his show, according to reports. “I’ll be back on Monday, so don’t miss me too much.”

So for the remainder of the week, as well as the weekend program, he’ll be off the Fox grid.

I can’t help but recall that before the axe fell for Bill O’Reilly, he took a “vacation,” too.

I’m betting that Watters will be back, not because he’s being given a pass. The network will not want to give the impression that the culture of misogyny is so engrained with Fox that they can’t go a full week without somebody saying or doing something offensive towards women, even after a major shakeup. They want people to believe that they’ve got things under control and Watters was just a hiccup.

Watters is probably going to spend his whole “vacation” in training seminars and getting his butt chewed on by executives with 21st Century Fox.

If I’m wrong, the other alternative is Watters suddenly appears as O’Reilly’s wacky sidekick on his podcast.”

_______________________

Pointer: Mediaite

53 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, language, Social Media, U.S. Society, Workplace

53 responses to “Jesse Waters Reminds Us That The Misogynist Culture At Fox News Is A Lot Deeper Than Just Roger Ailes And Bill O’Reilly [UPDATED]

  1. That would be 2.5 Million viewers and dropping like a CNN.

  2. In my opinion, given his comments and his emphasis before he made the comment about ‘speaking into that microphone’, which were respectful and supportive, it does not make sense that he would undermine his own focus by making such a perverse comment.

    But, in today’s climate, the Hyper-Left is going on an hysterical rampage, and the infection shows itself in rabid imagination-gone-wild. Since Fox News is now being attacked, this I think represents a movement to remove that sort of oppositional reporting (which I don’t appreciate very much myself, yet many do, and it is a fora for some level of opposition in any case) from the public sphere.

    In my view (and I did watch some of Watter’s other silly and stupid videos, such as the one where he goes to Chinatown, and this is all I know of him), one can read into that comment what one wants, and if this is so it involves the possibility of projection. Who could finally decide what he meant or did not mean? It is not clear, therefor it seems that *ethically* it cannot be ammunition for what they make it to be.

    But the function is to attack and tear down someone who is unliked. It is a rabid attack-fest in a general social media frenzy of mad, deranged women and the woman-infested (this means infected by emotions and where reason is overpowered by projections and emotions). I know that this is not a very popular way to put it, but it is what I see.

    This is just the beginning of a larger purge (my intuition tells me). The rabid hate that is going around, and which like lightening cannot find a way to ground itself, becomes unstable and unpredictable. Maybe just by saying what I have just said I will provoke it in some people who write here: to attack, belittle, ridicule and condemn.

    That is what is going the rounds now. Where it will stop, Who can guess/

    • In my opinion, given his comments and his emphasis before he made the comment about ‘speaking into that microphone’, which were respectful and supportive, it does not make sense that he would undermine his own focus by making such a perverse comment.

      You miss the point. It would not make sense if he didn’t work in an environment where such comments are like breathing….nobody notices, nobody sees them as unusual or noteworthy.

      • I examined this issue yesterday when it came up in other reading (NYTs). I don’t want it to seem that I dismiss what is your view, because often you have an enviable clarity that supercedes mine because you are much more connected to the media world than I am (or ever will be!), and have much more experience in this and many other things.

        I am using my intuition (for what it is worth here) on this particular case. Perhaps I am wrong and will be proved wrong. I do not know how such a thing could be finally decided though.

        • Chris

          Alizia:

          It is a rabid attack-fest in a general social media frenzy of mad, deranged women and the woman-infested (this means infected by emotions and where reason is overpowered by projections and emotions).

          Also Alizia:

          I am using my intuition (for what it is worth here) on this particular case.

          Alizia, paraphrased: ‘Using emotion over logic is bad except for when I do it.’

          • La Sylphide

            Bingo.

          • Intuition is not emotion. Intuition can be another word for insight and it refers to a process that is not strictly based in specific evidence, but a general sense gleaned from observation.

            But emotion, in the sense that I mean, and social hysteria, and the enactments that are carried out on social media, those really are emotionalized media, from all that I have seen.

          • My assertion is that our society is entering a dangerous phase where emotions dominate not only individuals but the mass. And there are episodes of expression of mass-psychology which can be observed, cooly, and commented on.

            I have in various places clearly indicated why it is that I think that you, Chris — especially you — are a man who is possessed by the female element. I have clearly explained this, at length. It is required work and it is ethical work. I won’t say that the Right is not infected, but the Left seems especially susceptible to these emotional outbursts and to non-reasoning emotions. You don’t have to agree but this is what I see.

            While you do, at times, seem to reason things through, and sometimes do a fair job, in other instances you only deal in emotions, your feeling about things. The only response possible is to calmly unravel these emotional knots. It takes time though and is laborious.

            It does not surprise me that you would not know already the difference between emotion (and the emotional center) and intuition, a totally different animal. Intuition, like intellignece (intellectus), is a very specific category of reasoning. In the best case it is one of the highest forms of reasoning. For example in poetic utterance when, somehow, meaning is arrived at and communicated through a deeply intuited sense of understanding. The best things that have been said, and maybe that can ever be said, are not reasoned but intuited.

            To understand what is going on in our present seems to me perhaps one of the most difficult things to achieve. Yet is does seem clear every day that passes that — in general — many people are skidding off the rails. That is what I mean when I speak of ‘conflagration’ and such things.

            It is absolutely relevant to speak of this, and to mention it directly in this specific context, and there are a few reasons for it. One is that — this is similar to what Wynograny wrote, below — but that the entire culture, apparently, has been saturated with pornographic images, which represents a kind of social contagion, an impusliveness, or concupiscence to use the Thomist term.

            Maybe Watters really was making that reference, and of course maybe he wasn’t, but what is more horrible is that it is understood by everyone, and once it is mentioned, it is locked into the mind. On all sides, on the Right and on the Left, pornographic image and also temptation has entered the culture. Because I think that culture is going off the rails, and it goes off the rails because it has lost a real connection with ‘higher dimensions’, and this because it prefers the lower dimensions, I can make a connection between the gross forms of emotionalism and sensual addiction and see them as two elements of a kind. An entire culture has been created that panders to these lower aspects of appetite. If you cannot see this, and if you do not oppose it, I have no idea what to say to you. And it is in this and into this that our culture is sinking. It is a disease and also a conflagration.

            In my world, and the world of the ideas I am exposed to, and the philosophers I am attracted to, and the people I live with, this is what we are speaking about. And attempting to define ‘the cure’. Some of us have children, and most of us will soon have children. Therefor all these questions are of vital importance. And all the issues are connected, one with the other.

            Anyway, if you got this far, thanks for reading! 😉

            Here is a definition of intuition with its etymology (no added cost mind you!)

            1. knowledge or belief obtained neither by reason nor by perception
            2. instinctive knowledge or belief
            3. a hunch or unjustified belief
            4. (Philosophy) philosophy immediate knowledge of a proposition or object such as Kant’s account of our knowledge of sensible objects
            5. the supposed faculty or process by which we obtain any of these.
            __________

            [Middle English intuicioun, insight, from Late Latin intuitiō, intuitiōn-, a looking at, from Latin intuitus, a look, from past participle of intuērī, to look at, contemplate : in-, on; see in-2 + tuērī, to look at.]

            • “Intuition, like intellignece (intellectus), is a very specific category of reasoning.” While there isn’t a firm understanding of what exactly intuition is, I don’t think it’s correct to say it is a category of reasoning. You even contradict yourself when you provide some definitions for intuition, the first being ‘knowledge or belief obtained neither by reason nor by perception.” There is certainly a number of psychologist that argue that our intuitions deeply influence our reasoning; especially our moral reasoning. But instead of calling it a type of reasoning, it seems more appropriate to simply refer to it as a type of cognition.

    • Bad Bob

      That was a classless comment (at a minimum) regardless – the posted clip is the first I’d seen of it, and the comment stands as such regardless of the environment at Fox.

      • Sure, if you want it to be that. You have to apply your will though.

        • Bad Bob

          Taking the entirety of the commentary in, the last statement is a non-sequitur. Does Mr. Watters routinely offer his admiration of microphone etiquette in other instances? If not, then the judgment is not unreasonable, and more likely correct. Add in the Fox environment, and there’s really no dispute.

          • Sure, if you will it to be so. What I notice is that people react to such a thing (the words that he said in that moment) and they project a great deal of content into it. If they will it to be that he really meant to say thus-and-such, that is all that is needed. Once it gets set in motion there is no stopping it. And once it gets expressed as you are expressing it, as an absolute, as entirely concluded, to have the contrary opinion (and to have it quite reasonably) is then labeled as being ‘deliberately obtuse’ et cetera.

            And underneath the attack on this person, there is a larger social battle. Apparently related to larger culture-wars.

  3. If those smooth jazz comments were made off air, then why bring them up on-air, when you are talking to an audience that wasn’t privy to original comment?

    Of all the things I dont understand in this world, why some men embrace living down to the lowest, most detestable stereotypes about us, as if it’s no big deal, is near the top of the list.

  4. charlesgreen

    I quite agree, not surprisingly. But I want to highlight a particular point you make here (with which I also agree strongly):

    “This is a wonderful example of how, just as fish don’t know they are in water, and Watters doesn’t know he works in an environment where women are not respected, and because he works in such an environment, no longer knows what respecting women means—if he ever knew.”

    I am (and I think you are too, Jack) a strong believer in individual responsibility, particularly when it comes to things ethical. I stress the same perspective in my work on trust.

    Yet I’ve also come to recognize the huge power of the environment. We people are very social animals, and study after study (not to mention headline after headline) reveals variations on the classic Stanley Milgram experiment: people hugely do what they think other people expect of them.

    The fish/water metaphor is exactly right. Another example is the slow motion train wreck that’s been playing out over years at Wells Fargo. The initial reaction is not denial, because denial would require a perspective shared with the outside. No, the initial reaction is arrogance – “Yeah, I said it, you know everyone’s thinking it, it’s just that I am a person free enough of PC culture to confidently say what I believe and what’s true.”

    Except that what they believe, and believe to be true, is just an accurate reflection of their twisted, inward-looking corporate culture. And if that culture is sexist, or racist, or misogynist, or customer-rapacious, or self-aggrandizing, then what looks to outside world as incredibly arrogant or naive, is viewed internally as virtuous. The echo chamber fetishizes what the outer world views as aberrant.

    Here’s another thing I’ve learned. Mao put it thusly: “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.” More prosaically, organizations don’t change unless they’re compelled to. As you put it, it won’t change “until either Fox seriously addresses its ugly sexist culture, or the network is crippled by bad publicity and lawsuits.”

    The possible agents of such forceful compulsion can be seriously new leadership (the Murdoch boys probably qualify), mass firings (one or two don’t count), or serious economic hits – like advertiser boycotts. (Let’s be honest – Papa Bear O’Reilly wasn’t forced out because management had a change of ethical heart). Short of that – not much.

    • “Yet I’ve also come to recognize the huge power of the environment. We people are very social animals, and study after study (not to mention headline after headline) reveals variations on the classic Stanley Milgram experiment: people hugely do what they think other people expect of them.”

      But if I take what you say and apply it to this case, in this case the ‘social environment’ is an entire media-viewing nation. How many persons could that be? Maybe 50 millions of people, maybe 100 millions? This even fits into a social context filled with conflict, conflagration, deep psychological plays, extreme paranoid fear and then also genuine fear and concern, and there is also the backdrop of the threat of war looming, and even more anxios-producing the Atmospheric Gods are getting more angry with every day passing (climate change hysteria).

      And then you have hysteria as a social phenomenon and the fact that hysteria takes place deep within the emotional person.

      So, how does this background fit into your view of the ‘huge power of the environment’?

      If ‘people do what they think other people expect of them’, how shall I view what is being enacted here, in this blog-post, within a social environment that should be seen as having all the subtle coercive elements you refer to?

      • charlesgreen

        Alizia, try to stick to one point at a time.

        We all operate in multiple social environments. One’s workplace, if one is fully employed – as is the case in the current blogpost – is particularly powerful. I’m simply claiming, as is Jack, that the power of the Fox Broadcasting culture is very powerful.

        Do you disagree with that point? If so, please try to state clearly why you disagree. Citing this blogpost is another culture is simply irrelevant to the point at hand.

        Whether or not this blogpost and its (relatively weak) cultural norms constitute a different example of norms and power is another issue entirely.

        • I could take your comment as a sexist and condescending one, Charles! That is, if I wanted to. Don’t tell me what to stick to or to stick to, or I’ll tell you where to stick it, buster. (This is theatrics of course! I am just making a point).

          However, I will and I always do write what I want to write and what I think, whether or not that works for you or not. As I am sure you know.

          You do not need to *guide* my answers to you either. The comment I made was a full and thorough one. You need only stop evading — that is if this is your free choice — and deal with what I said, not with what you think I should have said!

          • Chris

            I could take your comment as a sexist and condescending one, Charles! That is, if I wanted to.

            Bullshit. There is nothing sexist about expecting you to adhere to accepted norms of logical argument and discussion.

            Now, that expectation may be irrational, since you have never adhered to such norms. But it isn’t sexist.

            You have been told my numerous men and women here that your rhetorical style is confusing, unfocused, and hard to engage with. If everyone here is telling you the same thing, the problem is you.

            • Define what has been ‘illogical’ in anything I have said. What have I written here and now that confuses you? Talk about that Chris. Make your opposition clear.

              The rest I ignore because it looks to be you assuming your spokesman for this group. I personally think people have not understood, or do not understand, because they are unfamiliar with the ideas that I work with.

              I do not, and I never will take, what you or anyone else says to me as ‘sexist’. I was making a joke and also a point. It could be taken in that way.

              • charlesgreen

                Alizia,

                You need to listen to Chris. When he says you’ve been told by many people that your argumentation is vague and hard to engage with, he’s certainly speaking for me, and I don’t think we’re alone. And yuor resorting to attacking him (and then claiming that’s not what you’re doing) is the worst kind of non-responsiveness.

                You ask someone to “define what has been ‘illogical’ in anything you have said.” OK, here goes.

                In one place, you say regarding intuition that “it refers to a process that is not strictly based in specific evidence, but a general sense gleaned from observation.”

                No. That would be empirical observation. And it is probably used not in a ‘general sense,’ to ‘glean’ truths. Empirical observation is the root of inductive reasoning – not at all the same thing – not to mention the scientific method.

                By contrast, what the philosophers call intuition (e.g. Descartes) has to do with a priori statements. You seem to recognize this, because elsewhere you describe intuition as one of the “highest forms of reason.” In general, you seem to come more from the latter point of view than the former – yet nonetheless, there’s your example of illogicality – describing two pretty contradictory views by the same name.

                I’ll confess my bias (as a former philosophy major): I’ve always thought that Hegel was evil, that very little good (outside of Existentialism) has ever come from the dialectical thinkers and from the Cartesians. I think “intuition” is pretty much bunkum.

                My bias lies with David Hume and William James, thinkers for whom observation has strict rules (up to and including not being able to infer, much less ‘intuit,’ causality); and who accept commonsense observation without having to dress it up as “intuition.”

                Most of the people on this blog are more comfortable with my kind of thinking than with yours. We believe that X and not-X are opposites; you delight in claiming X and not-X are simply dimensions of a “higher level” of synthesis. So did Marx, Lenin, and a host of other sloppy thinkers.

                That kind of thinking leads to moving from a particular, grounded discussion of corporate culture in business to vague nonsense like “But if I take what you say and apply it to this case, in this case the ‘social environment’ is an entire media-viewing nation.” Really? Try diagramming that sentence.

                Ditto, try diagramming “Because I think that culture is going off the rails, and it goes off the rails because it has lost a real connection with ‘higher dimensions’, and this because it prefers the lower dimensions, I can make a connection between the gross forms of emotionalism and sensual addiction and see them as two elements of a kind.”

                What’s the subject of that sentence: is it “culture?” Does “culture” carry an active verb like ‘prefers’? It does in Alizia-speak, but not in the dialogue the rest of us are carrying on.

                I’m not accusing you of actually BEING illogical – but we don’t know you, except through your words. And your words ARE illogical; though more frequently just sloppy. Havign written philosophy English and business English for many years, I’ve come to believe that sloppy writing is almost always an indicator of sloppy thinking.

                There is a valid room for poetry in this world; but it tends not to be in the middle of essentially anthropological discussions.

                • I see your post as evasive, overall. You are appealing to authority … your own! I don’t place a great deal of stock in someone being a philosopphy major. There has to have been about 10 million of them spun out of the universities, no? What am I supposed to do with your statements about yourself?

                  Don’t mediate Chris for Chris. And I am not at all interested in either your philosophy background, or your philosophy or English and grammar lessons.

                  By taking the angle that you are spokesman for some group, you put me in a position of having to respond to that group. Many of the individuals who have had issues with what I write have issues with what I mean. They have issues with the content of my writing, not really with the way it is written. That’s what I have concluded.

                  Generally, I am happy with what I write and what I mean.

                  • Chris

                    Many of the individuals who have had issues with what I write have issues with what I mean. They have issues with the content of my writing, not really with the way it is written.

                    Speaking only for myself: both the content and style of your writing is shit.

                • “You’re A Brave Man, Charlie Green!”

      • charlesgreen

        To be a bit more clear, I would argue that the power of an employee’s corporate culture carries more weight on an individual’s behavior than the general culture at large, than their political affiliation, and certainly than their social media inclinations. Employee workplaces rank very high on the list of social influences.

        If you have different data, state it.

        • But what I am talking about is much larger and much more serious. If you examine, from some distance back, what is being *enacted* here on a national level, you might, as I do, begin to see the social hysteria as it functions.

          It is less the specificity of what he meant or did not mean — some see it one way, some see it the other — and the madness that is being enacted at a mass-level. This is infection. It is obviously a psychological phenomenon, and people are obviously wrapped up in it so much so that they can’t see themselves as wrapped up.

          This latest conflagration fits in to a whole series of such conflagrations.

          That is what I am seeing, and that is what I am talking about.

          • charlesgreen

            You’re extrapolating from a comment perceived by most (not you) as reflective of a corporately cultural misogyny, to “a social hysteria…that is being enacted here on a national level.” That strikes me as quite a jump, and I don’t see the connecting tissue.

            You say, “It is obviously a psychological phenomenon, and people are obviously wrapped up in it so much so that they can’t see themselves as wrapped up.” What? Wrapped up in WHAT? WHAT is the psychological phenomenon you’re talking about? Define please what it is to which you are referring.

            You say “That is what I am seeing, and that is what I am talking about,” but I think it may be a monologue.

            • ‘By most’ is not accurate. Many do not see the sexual reference and they say as much. There is a CNN video that follows the one I put up where they state that they do not see the sexual innuendo.

              What ‘most’ see is, in my view, what they desire to see, since there is no way to decide this issue one way or the other. It is at that point, in a social media frenzy, where the psychological element, and the hysterical element, enters in.

              That you don’t see the connecting tissue, as you put it, is a fair statement, and I can only suggest to you that it is possible that what we are seeing here, as enactment, is as I say it is. I can think of no way to prove the point.

              I see hysteria operating in media all over the place. From the NYTs to social media. Perhaps it needs to be better defined, but I personally think it is a real thing. But how could it be proved? It can’t. But it can be mentioned and talked about.

              What they are wrapped up in is a frenzy of attack on a media outlet that they don’t like, in this case Fox. It is part of a general frenzy that is being enacted in many different places in the media. It is based in fear, suspicion, paranoia, emotionalism and general political madness. It involves race, gender, identity and many other factors. All this seems obvious to me Charles.

              What is the psychological phenomena? How would one talk about such a thing?

              Such as the terrifying fear of a man elected president who, many feel, should not have been elected president. Which is causing people all manner of anxiety, even tears and tantrums, and violent outbursts. And you ask what is the psychological phenomena?

              And who see in that event and in our present a crack appearing in their world. Connected to that is all this deeply psychological material having to do with gender and sexuality, in the context of general cultural wars that have to do with values.

              This really needs to be defined?

              • Mrs. Q

                On this particular argument, I’m with Aliza.

                I’m sure I’ll get crap for this & then later I’ll check my phone & casually wonder who raked me over the coals & how. Then I’ll respond then they’ll respond & then it will get confusing because we’re typing rather than talking so we misunderstand each other more & more, and then I’ll get annoyed & take break to go onto the next indignation story or have an actual life. Then tomorrow it will be swallow, spit, rinse, and repeat.

                I believe Aliza is talking about psych-ops & propaganda/brainwashing, etc. She’s right that things seem amped up & folks are constantly upset to the point of break downs. Those of us not breaking down are bombarded w/ emotion from others that seems at times excessive.

                The time we spend here saying stuff to each other is nice in a way. It gives a sense of community & meaning for some. But what is the price? Less time outside in the fresh air, less time w/ loved ones, less interaction w/ life itself. Only something very important should take us away from these things, and at the end of the day I may have chosen indignation as entertainment vs. hanging out w/ my dog & reading that novel that’s been in my shelf for a month. Other days I read the book.

                Bread & circuses just keeps going around. However I will say I think Jack’s rules helps things from getting too crazy here & the sparring or “comment fight club” is pretty fun to watch.

                • charlesgreen

                  “On this particular argument, I’m with Aliza.”

                  What argument IS that? What is Alizia’s side of it? And what is the other side?

                  My problem is I don’t see a coherent argument here at all; I see only non sequiturs.

                  That said, I’m with you Mrs Q on the general proposition that we all probably spend too much indoors doing abstract battle when we would all be better off spending time outdoors with our dog.

                  (Doggie Prayer: Please let me be the man my dog thinks I am).

                  • Mrs. Q

                    I don’t want to speak for her. My take on her comments is -that the public is getting programmed to be hysterical by stories that are meant to stir passion & indignation, rather than address things that are possibly more important to our lives personally. This is a form of psych-ops or engineered distractions that serve to cause dissension, division, and divert attention from both other (more) important issues & the actual act of programming the public.

                    I think she’s trying to say that this firestorm about the Fox commentator is meant to provoke distrust of conservatism as a whole & is potentially a kind of means to another more sinister end.

                    Yesterday Michael Berry said of this Fox thing “In today’s world you’re allowed to yell fire in a theater.” Meaning the market will decide so stop panicking over this. I agree.

                    That’s my take anyway. And I like your doggie prayer. I have 5 dogs sitting next to me right now.

                    • Chris

                      What about the substance of Jack’s post, Mrs. Q? You may think the outrage is over the top and being used for nefarious ends, but you haven’t explained whether you believe Watters’ (absurd) excuse for his comments.

                    • Mrs. Q

                      Watters excuse was just that, an excuse. Excuses rarely “solve” problems anyway. I don’t care what Watters thinks about Ivanka’s voice or women in general as I’m not into thought police no matter how much I don’t like the thoughts. The issue here is one of professionalism which Fox will either deal with or not. If not, Fox will go the way of ESPN and lose their audience. Or they’ll go the way of United Airlines and change. The market place will decide, not some commenters who have nothing better to do (I’m including myself here) than be concerned over a wrong that most of us are guilty of…a joke in poor taste in front of the wrong audience.

                    • Good lord. 1) Fox News has now had two major sexual harassment scandals involving its major figures. 2) Nonetheless, an on-air personality made a gratuitous and gross misogynist joke about the President’s daughter, then lied about it. 3) That’s wrong. People are calling it wrong, because it is wrong: rude, cruel, sexist, gross and unprofessional. That’s all. No conspiracy. Consequences of bad conduct.

                    • I always avoid political posturing or working in teams on forums like this, and I always reserve complete freedom to write what I think and to maintain my independence from anyone else, but I did wish to say that you have described what my concerns are about this episode, Mrs Q.

                      (I do have to say that, for different reasons, my views are not generally appreciated here and I get cursed at and called many different names, so it is appreciated that someone, in this case you, recognised at least what I was getting at.)

                      This especially has relevance for me:

                      “…getting programmed to be hysterical by stories that are meant to stir passion & indignation, rather than address things that are possibly more important to our lives personally”.

                      And:

                      “I think she’s trying to say that this firestorm about the Fox commentator is meant to provoke distrust of conservatism as a whole & is potentially a kind of means to another more sinister end.”

                      I referred to my ‘intuition’, a sense of things that I cannot precisely define and which is both empirical and ‘a sense’, that a fury is being created here and that its purpose is to eliminate a ‘voice’ (insofar as Fox qualifies as a voice, though it is not one that speaks to me personally) which is no longer desired.

                    • charlesgreen

                      Sounds like your dogs got their own prayer answered; good on you.

        • To be a bit more clear, I would argue that the power of an employee’s corporate culture carries more weight on an individual’s behavior than the general culture at large,

          Exactly.

          • wyogranny

            In this case and I suspect in most cases the corporate culture and the general culture are both corrupt, vulgar, clueless, and classless. There is very little difference between “progressive” and “conservative” behavior when it comes to vulgarity and indecency.

            I used to believe that conservatives held themselves to a higher standard because they believed that decent behavior would eventually be its own reward. I don’t believe that anymore. That notion has been bludgeoned to death by the Breitbart/Trump faction of the right.

            The right has always had it’s full share of jerks, but it used to also have a contingent that made it a point to eradicate that element whenever it came up. Now, thanks in part to Alinsky and those on the right who have adopted his work as a textbook here we are living in ethics hell.

  5. Wayne

    Well the worm turns. Watters goes from mocking dumb millennials on “Watter’s World” to making a total fool of himself and probably pissing off the entire Trump family. If I was you Jesse, I would take an extended vacation in someplace like Cuba.

    • Why just the Trump family? Why not anyone, male or female, that thinks that human beings deserve a modicum of manners and respect no matter who they are related to?

      • Wayne

        I never said “just the Trump family” Jack. Of course anybody with any sense of decency realizes that Waters went way too far in his lewd implication about Ivanka. I have a feeling though that a lot of leftist men (and some women!) are chortling secretly about his stupid comment.

        • I hate to pounce, but you said, “probably pissing off the entire Trump family.” It doesn’t matter what the family thinks, and the slur is no more offensive to them than it is to any woman, any man, and anyone who believes there should be some kind of decency on TV, on the news, and in society. Narrowing it like that is like the news articles that begin, “Republicans are expressing outrage at Hillary Clinton’s changing stories regarding her e-mail.” Why is this a partisan issue? Why isn’t everybody bothered? It may not have been your intent, but focusing on the family trivializes what Watters did, and how wrong it is.

          • Wayne

            No intent to trivialize this. My point about leftist chortling was just to show now ‘the party of women’s rights’ can be such hypocrites I.e. Hillary and her past slurs about the women that had been used by Bill Clinton.

  6. luckyesteeyoreman

    I am only being honest: I am not bothered by what Watters said, about how he likes how Ivana holds the microphone – even if it was a direct, intentional reference to, or suggestion about, oral erotica, I don’t care.

    I would not have said it, had I been in his place; I am sure of that. I don’t know that I ever would have thought anything like that, let alone said it aloud – but, I know myself: I am not beyond thinking like that, too good to think like that, too self-restrained to never talk like that, etc.

    I understand and appreciate how what Watters said was offensive and outrageous to many. I won’t dispute or argue against anyone who finds Watters utterly repulsive, and considers what he said just another dot to connect to a presumed (or “obvious”) corporate culture that is repulsive.

    Decades ago, I didn’t care, and was not bothered – didn’t laugh, either, or even think “Oh, that’s funny!” – when in a skit on Saturday Night Live, Jane Curtin said (in a skit, granted, but of course, a skit that blurred the line between scripted and extemporaneous), after two good-looking men did some kind of battling: “I love a cockfight.” But of course the studio crowd went wild with hee-hawing glee.

    So, while I am not an elderly frat-boy or fan of stereotyped frat-boy misbehavior, I am long desensitized and – at least outwardly – indifferent to both the outrageous and the outraged, in matters of sexual innuendo. I can only look back on the successes (and have they ever been successes!) of people like Hugh Hefner, with his “Playboy Philosophy,” to certain female “liberation” proponents, and to various comic performers who have won wide appeal not despite, but because of, their vulgarity – and just blink right past a remark like Jesse Watters made.

    I don’t care.

    I’m not going to change. I don’t want to change. That includes: I will not demand outwardly that the culture change to being less vulgar, less approving of men acting like oversexed, unparented children, less approving of…oh, say, maybe for example, women marching to make political points while dressed to make themselves look like heads protruding from vaginas?

    I will continue to watch Fox News Channel, and Jesse Watters for as long as he is on the air – for as long as Fox News puts leggy, blonde, wet-dream-worthy girlies in front of the cameras who have some smarts and moxie in their antipathy toward the Left and toward totalitarianism in general.

    Otherwise, I don’t care.

    A society that has gone as far as this one has toward glorification of vulgarity will not change, and cannot be changed, toward a society that embraces ethical values of decency, humility, modesty, empathy, civility, and responsibility. Only a traumatic, Holocaustic hardship on the entire society could ever so much as potentially re-set the society’s values – but even then, only after loosing the full monstrous power of the currently predominant opportunistic anarchism, and in such a way that in some ultimately lucky Darwinistic twist, only the most ethical and fit-to-lead survive. Doom, meet the USA.

    I am only being honest.

  7. Aleksei

    How very interesting that you know John Podhoretz. I listen to his Commentary Magazine weekly (or twice weekly) podcast. A pretty interesting guy with what I would say a rational take on things. I have been mostly following the more conservative podcasts lately, because all my liberal ones, as you now on Ethics Alarms, “bias makes you stupid” and the New York Times rule high occurrence makes it difficult to continue listening. Does anybody have this problem as well with political podcasts lately?

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