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Jesse Watters
Watters in 2021
Jesse Bailey Watters

(1978-07-09) July 9, 1978 (age 45)
EducationTrinity College (BA)
OccupationPolitical commentator
Years active2004–present
Political partyConservative
Noelle Inguagiato
(m. 2009; div. 2018)
Emma DiGiovine
(m. 2019)

Jesse Bailey Watters (born July 9, 1978) is an American conservative[1] political commentator on Fox News. He frequently appeared on the political talk show The O'Reilly Factor and was known for his man-on-the-street interviews, featured in his segment "Watters' World", which became its own show in 2015. In January 2017, Watters' World became weekly, and in April 2017, he became a co-host of the roundtable series The Five. In 2021, he published his first book, How I Saved the World. In January 2022, Watters became host of Jesse Watters Primetime.

Early life and education

Watters was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[2] son of Stephen Hapgood Watters, a teacher, and child psychologist Anne Purvis, daughter of Morton Bailey, Jr., publisher of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.[3] His maternal great-grandfather was Morton Bailey, publisher of The Saturday Evening Post; his maternal great-great-grandfather was the politician Morton S. Bailey. Watters' paternal grandfather, Franklin Benjamin Watters, was a cardiologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Newington, Connecticut, and a professor at the University of Connecticut Medical Dental School. He has some Irish ancestry on his father's side. Watters is named after his mother's great-grandfather Jesse Andrew Burnett, an associate chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.[4][5][6][7]

Watters grew up in the Germantown and then East Falls neighborhoods.[8] He attended the William Penn Charter School through junior year, before moving with his family to Long Island, New York.[8] In 2001, he graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, with a B.A. in history.[9]


After his graduation, Watters began work as a production assistant at Fox News.[10] In 2003, he moved to the production staff of The O'Reilly Factor,[11] and in 2004 he began to appear on air in segments of O'Reilly's show.[12]

On June 11, 2014, Watters debuted on the Fox News show Outnumbered, later occasionally appearing as a guest co-host. On November 20, 2015, Watters debuted his own monthly Fox News program, Watters' World.[13] While Watters is characterized as an "ambush journalist",[14][15][16] Watters has said, "I try to make it enjoyable for the person I'm interviewing. We always come away from the interview all smiles, for the most part. And it's always fun to come back and look at the footage and say, 'Oh my gosh, what just happened?'"[8] In January 2017, Watters' World became a weekly show, airing Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET.[17][18]

In April 2017, Watters became a co-host of the roundtable series The Five.

In April 2021, HarperCollins announced the publication of Watters' new book How I Saved the World, which was published on July 6.[19] The book debuted at number one on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list for the week ending July 10, 2021.[20]

After being one of several rotating fill-in hosts in the network's 7 PM time slot, it was announced on January 10, 2022 that Watters would become the permanent host of a new primetime show, titled Jesse Watters Primetime, which debuted on January 24, 2022.[21]

Watters' World ended on January 15, 2022, while Watters continues to be a co-host of The Five.[22]

In June 2023, Fox News announced Watters as the permanent host of the network's 8 p.m. EST hour following the firing of Tucker Carlson.[23]


Amanda Terkel "ambush"

In 2009, on assignment for The O'Reilly Factor, Watters and his cameraman followed journalist Amanda Terkel in her car for two hours while she drove to Winchester, VA for vacation, and then accosted her to ask her questions about an article she wrote that was critical of Bill O'Reilly.

Seven years later, at the White House Correspondents Dinner journalists' reception, The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim approached Watters with his phone camera running and asked him to walk over to Terkel and apologize. Watters at first said he would apologize and then said he wouldn't, adding, "I ambushed her because O'Reilly told me to get her because she said some bad shit."[24][25] Video of the incident shows Watters then grabbing Grim's phone and throwing it on the floor, and later grabbing it again and putting it in his pocket. Eventually, the two got into a shoving match, as Grim attempted to recover his phone. Watters later commented on the incident on The O'Reilly Factor, stating, "I was at this party trying to enjoy myself. This guy came up to me. He starts putting it in my face."[26]

Terkel wrote that Watters' response was "surprising", considering that "Watters' way of confronting his subjects is to thrust cameras in their faces unexpectedly and pepper them with aggressive questions."[24][26]

Chinatown segment

In October 2016, Watters was criticized for a segment of Watters' World that was widely considered racist toward Asian Americans.[27][28] In New York City's Chinatown, Watters asked Chinese Americans if they knew karate (a Japanese word), if he should bow before he greets them, or if their watches were stolen.[27][29] Throughout the segment, the 1974 song "Kung Fu Fighting" plays in the background, and the interviews are interspersed with references to martial arts and clips of Watters getting a foot massage and playing with nunchucks.[28][29] New York City mayor Bill de Blasio denounced Watters' segment as "vile, racist behavior" that "has no place in our city".[30] Numerous other lawmakers and journalists, including Asian Americans Mazie Hirono and Judy Chu, also condemned Watters.[31] The segment was also criticized by the Asian American Journalists Association, which issued a statement saying, "We should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race."[32]

On October 5, 2016, Watters tweeted what Variety's Will Thorne called a "non-apology" about the segment. In the two tweets, Watters stated that "My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense. ... As a political humorist, the Chinatown segment was intended to be a light piece, as all Watters' World segments are."[33][34][35]

John Podesta comments

In January 2017, Watters faulted John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, for the theft of Podesta's emails by Russian hackers, saying, "What happened was John Podesta gave his password to a hacker. And guess what his password was. 'Password.' It's a true story. His password was 'password.'"[36] The fact-checking website PolitiFact rated Watters' claim "False."[36]

Ivanka Trump comments

In April 2017, two days after joining The Five as co-host, Watters made an on-air comment about Ivanka Trump that was criticized as lewd. After viewing footage of Trump speaking on a panel about female entrepreneurship, Watters commented, "So I don't really get what's going on here, but I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone," as he parodied holding the microphone as a phallic symbol. Watters denied his comment was sexual, saying in a statement: "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."[37] In response to the criticism, Watters was not on the show for two days that week.[38][39]

QAnon comments

In July 2020, Jesse Watters praised the conspiracy theory QAnon during his show, saying: "they've also uncovered a lot of great stuff when it comes to Epstein and it comes to the deep state. I never saw Q as dangerous as antifa." After public backlash, Watters released a statement saying: "I mentioned the conspiracy group QAnon, which I don't support or believe in. My comments should not be mistaken for giving credence to this fringe platform."[40][41]

Anthony Fauci comments

Watters attended the Turning Point USA's AmericaFest conference in December 2021, where he advocated for attendees to aggressively confront and question National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci about his alleged funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, saying, "Now you go in for the kill shot. The kill shot? With an ambush? Deadly. Because he doesn't see it coming."[42][43] Fauci responded by calling Watters' remarks "awful" and said that Watters "should be fired on the spot".[44][45] Fox News indicated their support for Watters, saying he "was using a metaphor", and that his comments "had been twisted completely out of context".[42]

Personal life

Watters is registered to vote as a member of the Conservative Party of New York State.[46] He married Noelle Inguagiato in 2009 and they had twin daughters.[47] Noelle filed for divorce in 2018 after Watters admitted to an affair with a producer on his show, Emma DiGiovine.[47] In March 2019, Inguagiato and Watters' divorce was finalized. Watters announced his engagement to DiGiovine in August 2019, and they married that December. They had a son together in 2021,[48][49] followed by a daughter in April 2023.[50]

Watters is the nephew of New Hampshire state senator David H. Watters.[51]


  • Watters, Jesse (2021). How I Saved the World. New York: Broadside Books. ISBN 978-0-06-304908-6. OCLC 1245249467.

See also


  1. ^ "Fox News to tape 'Faux Nation First Look,' unveiling its new digital service, in San Diego". The Baltimore Sun. October 24, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  2. ^ Cook, John (April 24, 2009). "Ambushing Bill O'Reilly's Ambusher". Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Unstoppable Rise of Jesse Watters, "Golden Boy" of Trump's Favorite Network". October 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "A Fox host railed about 'some guy's uncle' immigrating to the US. So we poked around his family tree - the Boston Globe". The Boston Globe.
  5. ^ "Anne P. Bailey is Future Bride of S. H. Watters". The New York Times. July 14, 1970.
  6. ^ "Miss Anne Purvis Bailey Wed to Stephen Hapgood Walters". The New York Times. August 30, 1970.
  7. ^ "Fox News host and Philly native Jesse Watters' liberal mom is his most-frequent critic". December 21, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c Gray, Ellen (December 19, 2015). "Fox News guy is our true-blue homey". Philadelphia Daily News. Archived from the original on June 6, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  9. ^ "Jesse Watters '01 Shares Stories and Advice from a Career in Television". Trinity College. May 4, 2015. Archived from the original on June 7, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "Biography, Jesse Watters". Fox News. New York City, New York. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  11. ^ Nick, Vadala (January 6, 2017). "Fox News expands Philly native Jesse Watters' "Watters" World' to weekly show". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  12. ^ DeSoto, Randy (April 19, 2016). "Now He's The Star Of "Watters" World' But First He Had To Earn O'Reilly's Trust". Western Journalism. Phoenix, Arizona. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  13. ^ Joyella, Mark (November 11, 2015). "Fox News to Debut Series of "Watters World" Specials". Adweek. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  14. ^ Bond, Paul (October 25, 2010). "Ambush-Journalist Confronts NPR CEO About Firing of Juan Williams". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 14, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  15. ^ "Jesse Watters Ambushes Mayor Who's Suing Residents Over Their Christmas Lights". Fox News. December 19, 2015. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  16. ^ Stelter, Brian (April 16, 2009). "Gotcha TV: Crews Stalk Bill O'Reilly's Targets". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 17, 2017. Retrieved January 21, 2016.
  17. ^ Kludt, Tom (January 5, 2017). "Jesse Watters: Bill O'Reilly sidekick gets own show at Fox News". CNN. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  18. ^ Tani, Maxwell (January 5, 2017). "Jesse Watters Scores Weekly "Watters" World' Show on Fox News". Business Insider. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  19. ^ "How I Saved the World". HarperCollins. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  20. ^ "Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction - Best Sellers". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  21. ^ Johnson, Ted (January 10, 2022). "Jesse Watters Named Permanent Host Of Fox News' 7 PM Hour". Deadline. Retrieved January 10, 2022.
  22. ^ "Final episode of "Watters" World' airs on Fox News Channel". UPI. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  23. ^ Weprin, Alex (June 26, 2023). "Fox News Overhauls Primetime Lineup in Post-Tucker Carlson Era". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 26, 2023.
  24. ^ a b Terkel, Amanda (May 2, 2016). "Jesse Watters On Ambushing Me: Bill O'Reilly 'Told Me To Get Her'". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  25. ^ "Uncut Interaction Between Jesse Watters and Ryan Grim at WHCD". YouTube.
  26. ^ a b Hell, Emily (May 1, 2016). "Nerdy fight breaks out at WHCD afterparty between Fox News and Huffington Post reporters". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  27. ^ a b Stack, Liam (October 6, 2016). "Fox Reporter Accused of Racism for Chinatown Interviews Expresses 'Regret'". The New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  28. ^ a b Kirell, Andrew (October 6, 2016). "Why Fox's Racist, Sexist Frat Boy Jesse Watters Will Always Win". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  29. ^ a b Levitz, Eric (October 5, 2016). "The O'Reilly Factor Takes a Trip to Chinatown. Racism Ensues". New York. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  30. ^ Flood, Brian (October 6, 2016). "NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Wants "Vile," 'Racist' Jesse Watters Off TV After Disastrous Chinatown Segment". The Wrap. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  31. ^ Suen, Brennan (October 6, 2016). "Lawmakers Condemn "Vile" And "Xenophobic" O'Reilly Factor Chinatown Segment". Media Matters for America. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  32. ^ Cheung, Paul (October 25, 2016). "AAJA demands Fox News apologize for offensive Chinatown segment; network agrees to meeting" (Press release). Asian American Journalists Association.
  33. ^ Thorne, Will (October 5, 2016). "Fox News Host Expresses Regret Over Controversial Chinatown Segment". Variety. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  34. ^ Watters, Jesse [@jessebwatters] (October 5, 2016). "As a political humorist..." (Tweet). Archived from the original on October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 7, 2016 – via Twitter.
  35. ^ Watters, Jesse [@jessebwatters] (October 5, 2016). "My man-on-the-street interviews..." (Tweet). Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ a b Carroll, Lauren (January 6, 2017). "Claim that John Podesta's email password was "password" lacks evidence". PolitiFact. St. Petersburg, Florida.
  37. ^ Victor, Daniel (April 26, 2017). "Jesse Watters of Fox Denies His Ivanka Trump Comment Was Lewd". The New York Times. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  38. ^ Victor, Daniel (April 27, 2017). "Jesse Watters of Fox Announces Vacation After Ivanka Trump Comment". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  39. ^ Nazaryan, Alexander (April 26, 2017). "Jesse Watters takes Fox News to a new low with his Ivanka Trump microphone joke". Newsweek. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  40. ^ "Jesse Watters Claims He Doesn't "Support" QAnon After Praising It on Air". The Daily Beast. July 27, 2020.
  41. ^ Cranley, Ellen (July 25, 2020). "Fox News host says far-right conspiracy movement QAnon uncovers 'great stuff'".
  42. ^ a b Dasgupta, Sravasti (December 22, 2021). "Fox News backs host as Fauci demands he be fired". The Independent.
  43. ^ Johnson, Ted (December 21, 2021). "Anthony Fauci Says Fox News' Jesse Watters Should be "Fired on the Spot" for "Kill Shot" Rhetoric". Deadline Hollywood.
  44. ^ Forgey, Quint (December 21, 2021). "'The guy should be fired on the spot': Fauci rebukes Fox News host over violent rhetoric". Politico. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  45. ^ Bargagona, Juan (December 21, 2021). "Fauci Wants Fox Host "Fired on the Spot" for Urging Fans to "Ambush" Him With 'Kill Shot'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  46. ^ Resnick, Gideon (April 15, 2016). "Trump's Closest Confidants Can't Vote for Him". The Daily Beast.
  47. ^ a b Boggioni, Tom (March 11, 2018). "Wife of Fox News host Jesse Watters files for divorce after learning of his affair with producer". The Raw Story.
  48. ^ Watters, Jesse [@JesseBWatters] (August 25, 2019). "Emma and I would like to announce our engagement!" (Tweet). Retrieved August 26, 2019 – via Twitter.
  49. ^ Creitz, Charles (April 1, 2021). "'Watters' World' adds one: Jesse Watters and wife Emma welcome baby boy". Fox News. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  50. ^ "Jesse and Emma Watters welcome new baby girl | Fox News Video". Fox News. April 17, 2023.
  51. ^

External links

This page was last edited on 30 November 2023, at 01:51
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