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Wimpy Watters Wusses Out on Gawker Stalkers

Reported by Alex - June 22, 2009 -

They finally got him! Yes, Gawker’sOperation Running Watters” came to a successful, if somewhat unsatisfying, conclusion on Saturday morning, June 20th, when John cook and Richard Blakely (accompanied by a WNYC producer) ambushed Bill O’Reilly’s stalker-for-hire Jesse Watters outside his new home in a leafy Long Island suburb. Watters wasn’t having any, though, and jumped into his car and fled the scene as if the hounds of hell were after him. We knew it all along: Watters is a wuss. Details and video after the jump.

Jesse Watters is, of course, the Fox News “producer” whom Bill O’Reilly sends out to stalk and ambush Enemies of O’Reilly tm such as John Mancini, Jessica Alba, the board of G.E., Vermont judge David Howard, award winning journalist Hendrik Hertzberg , homeless vets, and notoriously, Think Progress reporter Amanda Terkel. Earlier this year, O’Reilly’s mini-me Watters staked out Terkel’s house and then followed her on a two-hour drive to her holiday destination in order to ambush her for daring to repeat the story, broken by our Priscilla, of Bildo’s scheduled speech at a fundraiser for rape victims after having blamed rape and sexual abuse on the victims.

Unlike the bold Bildo, who claims to only sic his minions on those who refuse requests to come on the Factor to answer for their crimes “serious questions”, but in fact sends them on surprise attacks (as with Terkel and Hertzberg), the New York Times really did ask Watters for an interview – and Weenie Watters refused. Who do you think did get an interview? Why, Lord and Mass Debater Bildo, of course. “Ahhh”, breathes the blotchy one, “Jesse my boy, come into my presence and recount to the people how you fear to kneel before me if you should fail to do my bidding.” You think I’m kidding?:

O'REILLY: You're never afraid out there, are you? WATTERS: No, I'm just afraid to come back empty-handed for you. O'REILLY: Yes. That's who you should really be... WATTERS: That's what I'm afraid of. O'REILLY: Talk about an ambush, boy. You don't come back with it.

Oh my, how the young Jesse must fear the tongue-lashing he will receive from his Lord and Master now! The Gawker team, having lurked for a couple of hours in a rented car with blacked-out windows, approached their mark in a friendly manner and started asking Watters questions... well, they did manage one. And what did the brave Watters do? Did he parry the Gawkers’ question with a clever rejoinder, and stand his ground in righteous indignation at being challenged about his “journalistic mission” of trying to “get answers from people”? Did he valiantly defend his aggressive “interview” tactics and the honor of the Lord and Master in whose name he acts? No, he did not. Instead, he backed out of his driveway as fast as his little wheels would turn (I was waiting for the classic knock-over-the-garbage-cans move) and floored it. there may not have been skid marks on the road, but...

Methinks the Gawker guys were way too nice. As they say themselves,

When Watters ambushes people, he rushes at them in a deliberate attempt to rattle them, and asks hostile questions. Not being complete dicks, we decided to approach it differently. We introduced ourselves, said hello, and calmly approached him. He got in his car and drove away. We could have engaged some of the tactics that Fox has used in these situations—by say, running to meet him at his car and positioning ourselves so that he couldn't close the door—but we didn't want to, because we weren't trying to engineer a confrontation. We were trying to engineer an interview.

What does it say about Watters that he refused an opportunity to stand over his modus operandi and that of his taskmaster Bildo? The Gawker guys say this:

His hurried departure leaves no doubt in our minds that his ambush tactics have nothing to do with the answers he claims to be seeking from O'Reilly's enemies and everything to do with the theater of humiliation that Fox News thrives on and the us-against-them "culture war" that his boss believes he is waging. If Watters honestly believed that people like ThinkProgress blogger Amanda Terkel and the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg—two targets that he ambushed without even inviting them on O'Reilly's show first—have an obligation to answer for the things they do and say in the name of journalism, he would have recognized that obligation in himself. If he honestly believed that people ought to defend themselves to his cameras, he would have been happy to defend himself.

As Cook and Blakely waited for Watters to appear I wondered: How does Watters come home to his wife (and kids?) and justify what he does? Is he proud of being a hit-man for O’Reilly? Can he honestly look at himself in the mirror at the end of a day and say, “I am a producer for Fox News and I have a great future?” Or does he know, somewhere deep down in the recesses of his wussy little brain, that he’s really only as good as his next ambush, and that the day he comes back empty-handed - or starts to upstage Bildo – he’ll be out pounding the pavements with his CV? As one Newshounds reader recently commented ,

I'm sure those camera-lugging street-pawns Fox sends out, like Jenkins and Watters, believe that their tenacious work will one day lead to their own show on Fox.

It won't. It really won't. I'm sure they want you to think that. But you are more expendable than the daytime blonde women. The prime time talent will use you and will never be upstaged by you. The moment they feel you are getting too much name recognition, you are outta there.


Jesse is scheduled to be at Netroots Nation this autumn. Stay tuned.


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