The New York Times has a good article on how Bill O’Reilly and his staff have made stalking and ambushing on camera those with whom O’Reilly disagrees a staple of the show and that the person behind most of these missions is Fox News Producer Jesse Watters:
Mr. Watters, a 30-year-old who worked for a Republican candidate for New York attorney general, Dora Irizarry, before joining Fox in 2003, has approached high school principals, lawmakers, journalists and celebrities whom Mr. O’Reilly has accused of being dishonest. He conducts background checks, uses Google Earth’s mapping software to scout the locations and tries to identify a public place where he can surprise the person. Some interviews require days of waiting in trucks and hotels.
When the subjects don’t answer — at least not to the satisfaction of Mr. Watters — the questions become more provocative and emotional. Last summer Mr. Watters asked Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont about that state’s criminal statutes and asked, “About how many dead girls are we going to tolerate here?”
Sometimes the questions are statements. While trying to provoke a Florida judge last month Mr. Watters seemed to speak on behalf of the victims of a sexual molester, saying, “You owe that family an apology.”
The most hilariously ironic thing about this is the fact that, according to the article, Watters “refused repeated interview requests” for the piece.
Of course, had someone refused such requests from O’Reilly, they would have inevitably found themselves confronted by Watters, demanding to know why they wouldn’t answer his questions because, as Watters says, it is his mission to get answers and “if they don’t come to us, we’ll go to them.”
Frankly, if I were the author of this NYT article, I’d fully be expecting Mr. Watters to show up on my doorstep any day now, camera in tow and barking questions about why I’m trying to make Bill O’Reilly look bad.