Fox host Jesse Watters, who rose through the ranks by stalking, ambushing and harassing private citizens on behalf of Bill O’Reilly, now thinks that real reporters have no right to aggressively question taxpayer-paid, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents.
Predictably, the Trump lickspittles on The Five defended the inhumane practice of ripping young children from their parents when they cross the border seeking asylum. Torture-loving Greg Gutfeld even thought it an appropriate subject for his asinine brand of humor:
GUTFELD: There’s no policy about family separation. It just so happens—if you’re going to deal with the parents you’ve got to get up the kids away, and they’re trying to get them to a relative, a living relative, or a friend in the United States. That’s what they they’re trying to do.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE : They’ve been careful.
GUTFELD: They’re not putting them in cages, you nut bag. Sorry.
GUILFOYLE: Any other—
GUTFELD: No. I hope he does have shoes.
DANA PERINO: Everybody should.
GUTFELD: Everybody should have shoes.
GUILFOYLE: OK, Dana.
GUTFELD: I’m pro-shoe.
PERINO: I’m not—
GUILFOYLE: You like pink shoes.
GUTFELD: I’m a fan of Elisabeth Shue. Should we move on?
But Watters sank to new lows as he said, with a straight face, that the Trump administration is “trying to do what’s best for the kids,” exploited the situation to promote Dear Leader’s wall – and then trampled on the First Amendment of our Constitution. This was his response to White House reporters aggressively questioning Huckabee Sanders over the separation of families:
WATTERS: You don’t know if they’re being trafficked, so you want to separate them. They’re trying to do what’s best for the kids. Also deter people from bringing people across the border. You know what’s a great deterrent? You never have to separate a family at the border, a wall. How about just building a wall? There won’t be people coming across. You wouldn’t have to separate anybody. This guy [reporter Brian Karem] is an emotional wreck. He embarrassed himself. He doesn’t belong in that room. It’s like [CNN's Jim Acosta]. I don’t care if you have opinions like that. Be an analyst. Go debate it on CNN in prime time, but don’t pretend to be a nonpartisan correspondent and then melt down like that and embarrass your integrity. These people don’t belong there. They’re jokes. They need to start ripping press passes away. If you’re going to act like a wild animal—
WATTERS: -- you don’t belong there.
Watters’ sudden concern for a well-behaved press corps is more than a little hypocritical given his own harassment of private citizens in the name of journalism:
- He has never apologized for stalking, ambushing and harassing a blogger who dared to question the choice of Bill O’Reilly as a speaker at a fundraising dinner for a charity supporting rape survivors.
- Watters was so obnoxious toward the attendees of a NOW conference that denied him press credentials, he was escorted away by police and told he’d be arrested if he came back.
- Police were also called when Watters ambushed and stuck his foot inside the home of a college president’s home in order to badger him with questions about lowering the flag on campus. “I think you owe the country an explanation,” Watters said.
Apparently, lowering a flag on a college campus is far more deserving of answers than tearing children from their parents, in Watters’ mind.
Sadly, the lone liberal cohost, Marie Harf, sat silent during this outrageous display of anti-Americanism.
Watch the fascism below, from the June 14, 2018 The Five, via Media Matters.
6/16/18 correction: This post originally said Watters stuck his foot inside the home of a college professor.
And when construction companies can’t find the workers needed to build the lovely infrastructures promised.
And when the owners of hotels and restaurants can’t find the people they need to keep their businesses going.
And when the relatively better-off can’t find domestic workers to clean their bathrooms and do whatever domestic workers do in America. Over here, they do most of the elderly care at rock-bottom (disgraceful) wages.
And the list goes on and on.
We should understand right away that the entire discussion is built on a false premise, one that the Right Wing is frantically waving in the hopes that most people will go along with it. Sadly, they’ve been correct for much of the time on this. The false premise here is that somehow the Pence White House is just following a broken law that the Democrats in Congress won’t help them fix, and that the source of this problem is “our broken immigration system”. And perhaps that if the Democrats would just be reasonable, they could get a solution for the DACA group and stop unfortunate situations like this one. Of course, this premise is a complete lie – and the people inflicting it, like Sanders and Watters, are fully aware of the blatant nature of the lie.
In reality, there is no law that states that children should be ripped from their parents and put in cages if ICE is investigating an asylum claim or an undocumented entry into the country. There are unrelated codes that have to do with how we deal with criminals – such as burglars, murderers, and others who present an actual danger to other people – and those do recommend that violent criminals be separated from everyone else as a matter of safety. But that’s not the same situation as what’s going on at the border, and everyone in the Pence White House knows it. Further, we NEVER had a situation like this one before the Pence White House decided to generate it. Not under a GOP president, not under a Democratic president, not under any version of the Congress under either party.
The current situation is the direct result of choices made by the Pence White House to treat immigrants as violent criminals and to brutalize them when they arrive, including by ripping their children away and putting them in detention facilities. Nobody forced Mike Pence to push this policy, and nobody forced Jeff Sessions to implement it, and nobody is forcing ICE agents to grab infants out of the arms of their mothers. This is entirely the choice of the Pence White House and they should own it. The fact that they’re ducking about it in public indicates to me that they’re aware that this approach is backfiring on them at the moment.
There are three reasons why the Pence White House has taken this approach, and they’re all fairly obvious – even to the point that various people in this miserable administration have openly copped to them. First, the intention is to make the immigration/asylum process so horrible, so risible and so vicious that the wave of people fleeing to the US from the south will turn toward other countries. It’s the same racist idea that goes with having the Border Patrol shoot undocumented immigrants. The point is to make an example of the people in the system, so that others coming this way will hear about it and maybe they’ll say “I don’t want that to happen to me or my kids”. And the Pence White House has admitted that they do intend this to be the reaction from potential immigrants. (At least the immigrants who aren’t Caucasians from Europe and Scandinavia)
The second reason is that the Pence White House is hoping to bully the Democratic party into begging for mercy for the kids and signing onto the racist proposed legislation that the Right Wing tried to inflict several months ago. Under that scenario, the Democrats would presumably be crying and wilting under the sight of what’s happening to the children, and would go along with the GOP’s notions of gutting the current immigration system and again turning it to favor Caucasians from Europe and Scandinavia. Sure, they’d allow some kind of limbo status for the DACA group that’s here, but they’d tell them they’re on their own and can’t have any of their family here, and they’d make things as difficult as possible for them – in the hopes that many of them would self-deport anyway. Currently, the Dems aren’t falling for this nonsense, and are instead making principled statements about the moral bankruptcy of the Pence White House and the GOP. This could change quickly after November if the GOP retains control of the Congress. In the event that the Dems fail to take either house, we will most likely see the Dems cave on some terrible Right Wing bill that’s even harsher than what I just described, since there will be no other options until 2021 and they won’t want to have the kids continue to suffer for another two years.
The third reason is that the Pence White House intends to use these images as positive campaign promotion. While the Dems will campaign on these images as examples of typical Right Wing savagery, the GOP will use the images to rally their base of angry White men. The test in November will be to see who actually shows up to vote. If the Dems stay home and say “We’re doomed. There’s nothing I can do. Why try?” as so many people are currently doing on Facebook and social media, the GOP will prevail. I agree with Erich that it is CRUCIAL for people to show up and vote this November.
And we should remember that it isn’t just the immigration issue that will be at stake after November. There’s also the Supreme Court and the judiciary, which the Right Wingers in the Senate are working to poison. And there’s the imminent major cuts coming to Social Security and Medicare – if the GOP keeps control over the Congress in November, you can time your watch to the big moves they’ll be making in 2019 – with over 20 months to make a giant mess before they’re really held accountable in another election. Remember that the Tax Transfer was only the first step in a larger plan. If they keep the Congress, we’ll see the next two or three steps before we get to the 2020 election, which will include the reduction of Medicare to vouchers and the slashing and means testing of Social Security benefits for anyone under 57. Do not underestimate what they will do. They already massively raised taxes on middle class union workers in Blue States – mine went up by thousands of dollars per year.
I would argue that Erich is actually understating the urgency of this fall. It’s not that 2020 may be too late. 2020 WILL be too late. People need to get off their rear ends and vote this fall, or they will have only themselves to blame for the fallout in 2019. Elections have consequences.
First there’s the context of the press conference where Press Secretary Sanders was – per her usual habit – lying and dodging her rear end off frustrating journalists. Worse, she insulted their intelligence by claiming they couldn’t understand short sentences. Notice “The Five” panel overlooks that context.
Second there’s the point of Trump’s zero tolerance policy which is to pressure Congress into caving to his demands to build a border wall and other draconian immigration measures to stem the tide of brown people coming into America illegally. Whites overstaying their visa? Not so much of a worry for our bigot president [or his chorus of sycophants].
Third there’s the stupidity of the Trump administration who once again failed to think through a decision. This is a trademark thoughtless Trump gut reaction. And when some dumb-ass decision The Donald makes has unexpected consequences his dishonest natural instinct is to blame someone else. It’s what mega-narcissists do.
Finally there’s the embarrassing spectacle of Republicans once again abandoning their long standing moral principles to flak for The Donald. Family values? Oh, just flush them down the toilet!
I’ve said it many times before. Studies show the difference between Republicans and Democrats is the degree to which a person shows empathy for their fellow man. Notice this panel has zero empathy for desperately poor people often escaping life threatening violence in their homeland.