One of Fox News’ rising stars is already attracting preemptive strikes in the latest “scoops” from liberal media outlets.
Left-wing website The Daily Beast reported Monday that Jesse Watters, host of “Jesse Watters Primetime” and a co-host on the ratings-giant talk show “The Five,” had suggested in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election that two fellow Fox hosts be let go to make room for “fresh blood.”
And even worse for the partisans at The Daily Beast, Watters wanted them replaced by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Quoting from texts obtained in the now-settled defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox, The Daily Beast reported Watters’ frustration with Fox host Neil Cavuto and now-departed Fox anchor Chris Wallace.
The equally left-wing Media Matters for America piggy-backed on The Daily Beast report Tuesday, noting that Cavuto had cut off live coverage of a Nov. 9, 2020 news briefing by then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany because of statements she was making about vote-counting from the presidential election the week before.
(Tellingly enough, Media Matters didn’t feel the need to go into detail about why Watters would have wanted Wallace out. As things turned out, Wallace was going to be leaving Fox a little more than a year later for his less-than-successful new home at CNN.)
“Wallace Cavuto and other have got to go. Need some fresh blood. Should hire some trump people,” Watters texted to now-former Fox heavyweight Tucker Carlson, according to The Daily Beast.
This probably seems damning to a Daily Beast writer. To the typical Trump-supporting Fox News viewer, the words wouldn’t have been particularly remarkable. If anything, it would make Watters look even better (like the leaked videos showing Carlson in down times on the Fox set just made conservatives like him more).
For millions of Republicans, the outcome of the 2020 presidential election is still a sore point — considering the circumstances surrounding the outcome in swing states like Georgia (and the infamous Fulton County vote counting). Its outcome is well beyond changing at this point, but the shadow of doubt will never go away.
A week after the election, when tensions were running high, Cavuto’s high-handed dismissal of a presidential spokeswoman might as well have come from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
Still, he remains a fixture at Fox.
Wallace, of course, had run afoul of Trump-supporting viewers well before the election. But he is probably best remembered as the Fox News figure who moderated the first presidential debate in a way that was so biased in favor of Joe Biden, it might as well have been George Stephanopoulos sitting at the table. (Wallace blamed Trump for the fiasco, which didn’t do him any favors with Trump voters.)
For many conservatives and Trump supporters, Wallace’s on-screen coverage post-election was even worse.
But the libs at Media Matters and The Daily Beast are playing the comments like they’re ammunition in the war against Fox. Having scored a tactical victory with the departure of Tucker Carlson, they’re already lobbing salvos at a man who’s been rumored to be his potential replacement.
The last paragraph of the Media Matters piece gives the game away:
“Carlson’s recent firing leaves Fox’s brand in disrepair, and rumors are circling over which personality will fill the gaping hole of extremism he left. Watters has been floated as his replacement, and these texts make clear that he would bring a comparable perspective to the 8 p.m. slot.”
For the viewers who made Carlson’s show the premier program of cable news primetime, having a replacement with a “comparable perspective” would be about the best outcome to hope for. (A replacement with comparable talent would be too much to ask, no matter how clever Watters might be on occasion.)
Now, obviously The Daily Beast and Media Matters are writing for their audiences — the kind of benighted liberals who probably think Joe Biden is a successful president and swoon at the memory of Barack Obama.
But the fact that they’re trawling texts as oppo research against even potential rivals at Fox is the real message here.
They, and their readers, were afraid of Carlson. They’re afraid of Jesse Watters, and they’re afraid of Fox News — still.
But what they’re really afraid is American conservatives — and that’s who they’re out to destroy.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.