In its never-ending quest to extol liberty, Fox News once again set out to stifle it by whipping up hatred and animosity toward those who have differing opinions. In this case, stalker producer Jesse Watters literally invaded the home of a man who dared to have a different opinion about the flying of a flag on campus.
Erik Wemple explains:
In a segment that aired Wednesday night, Watters ambushed Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash and, from the looks of the footage, stuck his foot inside the man’s residence as a way to force him to account for his actions. Those actions are quite controversial these days: On the day after the presidential election, students lowered the campus American flag, a “reaction to the toxic tone of the months-long election and the escalating number of news reports from across the country over recent months and years of hate speech, harassment, and violence against people of color, immigrants, international citizens, and Muslims,” notes the school in a timeline. On Nov. 10 — two days after the election — it was burned. Then, on Nov. 18, Lash announced that the college would stop flying the flag on the campus pole to prompt discussion and “focus our efforts on addressing racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors.” Protests have ensued.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that burning the flag is free speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. But those freedom lovers at Fox News can’t tolerate the people at Hampshire College exercising their American rights. As I noted a few days ago, Fox has aired a number of segments designed to demonize and humiliate (or worse) Hampshire. Its freedom-loving crusade to stifle Lash and the college probably prompted Donald Trump to tweet that anyone burning the flag should go to jail and/or lose citizenship.
Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2016
Back in the No Spin Zone, Bill O’Reilly was “looking out for you” so long as you, too, want to celebrate freedom by trying to limit it. So O’Reilly sent Watters to do his freedom-fighting for him. Speaking with some patriots before invading Lash's privacy, one of them told us exactly why Lash is so un-American: He removed the flag because of “the same reasons that you hear all the time: fairness, justice, blah, blah, blah.”
Well, how dare he?
So what’s a freedom fighter to do except to corner Lash in some dark area where he parked his car? As Lash got out of it and Watters introduced himself by saying, “Good to see you,” Lash responded, “Not good to see you.”
Watters ignored Lash’s comment and began to badger him about removing the flag. “Don’t you realize the whole country’s laughing at you right now?” was one fair and balanced and freedom-loving question Watters asked.
“Come on, get your foot out of my door,” Lash said as opened the door of what was, I assume, his home.
But Watters persisted in badgering Lash, despite his repeated requests for Watters to remove his foot.
But hey, what’s a guy’s personal freedom compared to the flag's right to fly?
WATTERS: President Lash, why’d you remove the flag? … Don’t you think you owe it to the veterans to explain yourself? … You’ve made a lot of people very upset. I think you owe the country an explanation.
Just looking out for the folks, Watters was. Just like when the police escorted him out of a NOW conference for asking the attendees such thoughtful questions as, “Have you ever burned your bra?” Or when he was kicked off the Cornell campus for trolling students. One of Watters’ penetrating questions there was, “Do the professors pass around doobies in class?” Or the time he “sampled” Chinese-Americans’ opinions of Hillary Clinton by mocking them with ethnic stereotypes.
Can’t you smell the freedom in the air now? Bill O’Reilly can. “I thought you handled that well,” he told Watters after the ambush. Then O’Reilly engaged in a little more hate mongering. “These guys are cowards. He’s a coward. If he had the courage of his convictions, he’d stand there with you and say, ‘This is why I did it.’ Allow you to ask him questions as a journalist would, in a polite way. You were polite to him. So, um, he’s a villain and a coward.” With a big smile on his face, O’Reilly announced that the college is now “done” and that anyone who goes there will be a “laughing stock.”
But who’s the real villain here? For one thing, Lash has already publicly explained why he removed the flag. More importantly, Watters never asked for an interview before, presumably, staking out Lash’s house and invading his private area.
Wemple obtained a statement from Hampshire College spokesman John Courtmanche:
We regularly engage with the media and participate in interviews and have done so often in recent weeks. Members of the media are familiar with widely accepted protocols to contact the office of communications to coordinate interview requests. In this instance, a Fox reporter and camera person did not request an interview but rather entered private property and then tried to prevent the president of the college from entering his private home. As a result, campus security and the local police department were alerted.
Watch the segment below, from the November 30, 2016 The O’Reilly Factor, and get a glimpse of at least one reason O’Reilly is such a good buddy of Trump’s. Then get ready to chant, USA! USA! USA!
Advice to all potential targets – memorise the following statement and repeat it slowly and calmly until the sad excuse for a human being gives up and goes home for a little weep.
“Falafel loofah Andrea Mackriss, falafel loofah Andrea Mackriss, falafel loofah Andrea Mackriss.”
Trump isn’t even the one who’s going to be running this Administration. It’s really going to be the presidency of Mike Pence, who will push everything all the way over to the Far Right. Even a cursory glance at the cabinet positions they’ve announced so far is testament to a truly dangerous White House. While Pence is busy tearing up much of what we have understood to be our country, Trump will be out on the rally trail, as they previewed some 6 months ago. Pence will do the actual work and Trump will be out there “making America Great again”.
I have no uncertainty or even dread over what these people are going to do – they’ve already made that clear. I do have a great sadness for the people of this country and for the people of the world, for what we are about to see occur.
I agree that it will be necessary for those principled people who choose to stay in the US to be prepared to physically defend themselves. Be aware that having an attack dog may not actually protect you from harm – if anything, these guys could try to twist the situation to accuse you of assault rather than the other way around. But people need to be ready to deal with continual verbal and physical harassment. My point about that is that the far Right has been emboldened by the election. We see repeated examples of this now occurring virally. The worst was the kids in the schoolrooms taunting the other kids. But we also have had the various Trumpers verbally attacking servers in restaurants, coffee shops and stores. And we had the real winner on the Delta flight who screamed at the other passengers for several minutes before being banned for life from Delta. That’s just the beginning. I don’t think it will help anyone to just hope these guys go away. They won’t. Bullies never do, until they are humiliated themselves. Right now, they feel loud and proud – and that makes them extremely dangerous. My thought is that if one of them tries an assault, make sure you have some kind of witness or video record of it. If you can call the police, it’s best to handle it that way.
My point about people wanting to step outside the country until this madness is over is simply that there are a large number of principled people who don’t want the label of what will be happening here. In the same way that we had the Not In My Name group when the Bush/Cheney people chose to viciously attack various countries around the world 14 years ago. This will be more extreme and more violent, going in both directions. I can completely understand anyone not wanting to be in the middle of the situation, and wanting to be able to get some distance from it. In fact, I encourage getting as much distance away from these people as possible.
This all comes down to whether or not Trump is gonna be a good guy or a bad guy. Just like in my favorite John Wayne movie, “The Searchers”. You didn’t know until the last five minutes of the movie.
As far as being physically assaulted by these clowns, Barbara S probably has the best idea. Buy a Doberman. I’d pay money to see the look on Jesse Watters face when President Lash said," Sic ’em!!!".
What’s black and tan and looks good on a Faux news man??? A Doberman!!!
Listen to how O’Reilly described the situation. He said “These guys are cowards! He’s a coward!…He’s a villain and a coward!” That’s not the behavior of someone trying to engage anyone in discussion or trying to even pretend to be an adult. That is sheer, unadulterated bullying. That’s the behavior of a kid in fifth grade who pushes a smaller kid on the floor and laughs while he tries to pick up his books and homework. O’Reilly doesn’t care that Watters was risking jail time. He figures that Lash is too much of a wuss to actually stand his ground, and he’s probably right. And we should keep this behavior in mind the next time O’Reilly comes to a public event to expound on anything as an “elder statesman”. He is nothing of the sort – his triumphal and partisan behavior since the election shows his true colors. If he appears in a city where I live or work, I intend to make this clear to him, and I think it best for anyone choosing to try to endure the viciousness of the Trump/Pence years in the USA to do the same.
Lash was understandably taken by surprise by the intruder with the cameraman in his garage. I personally wish he would have simply reminded Watters that he was trespassing and that if he did not leave, the police would be called to arrest Watters. I frankly hope that Lash shows this tape to the local police and has them press charges against Watters on principle – but it’s more likely that he will simply try to ignore the event and pretend it didn’t happen. Which again lets the bullies win, as they will continually for the next 4-8 years.
Regarding Eyes’ comment below, I agree that it may be best for many principled people in the US to seriously examine ways to live and work outside of the country for the next 4-8 years. There are problems with doing this, in that actually trying to attain citizenship in another country means going through an entire process that gets into what funds and/or skills the person can bring to their new nation. On the other hand, if one can find employment in another country, not for permanence but for the duration of the disasters beginning to unfold, it is possible to live as a resident alien in another country for a few years, and to make a decent living doing so.
It’s not just a matter of being alienated from America, although that reaction is understandable. It’s truly saddening to think that over 60 million people here voted for bigotry and hatred, whether they choose to understand their behavior or not. It’s truly saddening to think that 2017 will see this country leap backwards by over 60 years, on purpose. The issue with staying here is that you will need to be prepared for constant viciousness and bullying. Watters’ little stunt with Lash is just a taste of what these guys have in mind. There will be plenty more ambushes and intimidation attempts against anyone who has the temerity to raise their head to object to what President Pence is doing to our Constitution and our country. If you discuss this stuff in public, you’ll risk being both verbally and physically assaulted by these people. Please talk to someone who actually lived through the 1950s in this country – it was not the happy, optimistic time of “Grease” that people want to pretend it was – it was a time of conformity where you learned your place and you stayed in it or you were attacked. That’s the America these people want to return us to. The America we’re about to see is several steps farther down the road of hatred than we have already endured throughout the two terms of President Obama.
There’s a safety issue, both in terms of how people within this country behave toward each other, and in terms of how the enemies they engender around the world behave toward all of us. I personally would rather not be in a place where I face the prospect of danger from both ends of that problem. Spending the time up in Canada is frankly more appealing, and If I can find a way to do that, I would take that approach and I’d recommend it to others.
Someone asked before whether these people should be considered as bullies or just as the loudmouth you encounter at the local bar who can be ignored. I stress that this is far more serious than the harmless idiot you have to ignore in your local pub who always thinks he knows everything. That guy can’t hurt you – in fact, he usually can’t do much of anything including hold a normal job. That’s not the problem we’re seeing now. The situations we’re seeing – including O’Reilly encouraging trespassing and vicious intimidation, including various featured guests on Fox News encouraging dismissiveness, gloating and assault against anyone who disagrees with them, and including Hannity using language like “colluding” to describe media that doesn’t kowtow to his liking – that’s not just harmless talk. These people are intending to do damage – they know they only have a short time to do this damage so they’re going to go big. And the people who loyally follow Fox News and AM radio are feeling emboldened to do the same.
If President Lash had told Watters, “Get out of my house!!”. In front of the rolling camera and then proceeded to shoot Jesse’s intruding foot within the doorframe, I don’t think Lash would face criminal charges. He might have been sued by Watters though.
Something tells me Watters would have his cameraman cut the feed immediately. After all, he wouldn’t want the world to see him s#!t and p!$$ himself as he’s staring at the business end of a 357 magnum or a double-barrel shotgun.
I’d love to see O’Reilly’s sputtering as he tries to figure out whether Jesse’s First Amendment rights are being “unfairly” hampered by his victim’s Second Amendment rights.
NOTE TO INTERN JESSE
The Fox “News” suits should think twice about allowing you to mentor college students studying journalism/news broadcasting. You sit in your little desk acting all smug. The day you leave this House of Demons will be the best news.