Jesse Watters Hits One Out of the Park

Fox News’s prime time program The Five produced one of its best shows ever on Monday evening. In particular, rookie co-host Jesse Watters stood out in what was a memorable broadcast, and showed that he has the potential for gravitas.

The Five, the ensemble political talk show that moved to 9 p.m. EDT on May 1 after a successful six-year run at 5 p.m., has been ratings-challenged in its new time period and is usually beaten by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. On Monday, August 14, after two days of wall-to-wall cable news coverage of the deadly, racially tinged weekend violence in Charlottesville, Va., four of The Five’s co-hosts (not including Juan Williams) added some much needed clarity and perspective. A near-universal anti-Trump political spin had dominated the MSM’s Charlottesville reporting during the previous 54 hours.  That mainstream reporting, especially on CNN, has been noxious to a sickening degree and, almost three days later now, it shows no signs of abating.

About ten minutes into the “A block” of The Five on Monday, Watters had his first shot:

I just want to make it clear that Trump is not the villain. The racist killer is the villain. . . Let’s look at the facts about the whole “many sides” debate. You had both sides coming into the town armed to the teeth – with clubs, shields, mace – the Antifa people, the Black Lives Matter people, the white supremacists, the Neo-Nazis – they wanted to rumble.

It’s true – the whites were the ones who started this racist rally and it was a white racist that committed this murder, allegedly. The New York Times said, and she was on the ground, their reporter [Sheryl Gay Stolberg]: “The hard left seemed as hate-filled as the alt-right. I saw Antifa beating a white nationalist.” The ACLU of Virginia: “Not sure who provoked first. Both sides were hitting on each other.” And then one of the four people who were arrested was a left-wing radical who punched a reporter in the face, a female reporter.

Jesse Watters

Using every moment of his time to maximum effect, Watters continued his monologue, glancing down occasionally at notes:

We can armchair President Trump’s responses all we want, but there’s a lot of hypocrisy going on here. Hillary Clinton waited two weeks after Benghazi to call that terrorism. If Trump had blamed Charlottesville on a video, maybe he would have gotten a free pass. President Obama waited four days during Ferguson while that city burned. And he was in Martha’s Vineyard having dinner, and when he came out then he blamed both sides, the looters and the police. When Black Lives Matter activists executed NYPD people and shot cops cold dead in the streets in Dallas, what did the president do? He didn’t condemn Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter got invited to the White House. And when he did speak about it, he goes, “It’s hard to untangle the motivations of the shooter, and we don’t want to assign blame from one kook to a larger national movement.”

Obama called terrorism “workplace violence.” So it’s hard to be lectured about word games from the left. And the Scalise shooter – this guy, a Bernie Sanders volunteer, targeted Republican congressmen with a weapon. No one blamed Bernie Sanders for that! But they want to lay this death at the doorstep of Donald Trump? It’s disgraceful. These same people who are mad at President Trump for saying “radical Islam” now all of a sudden want him to say “white supremacy?” It’s totally ridiculous.

At which point, liberal co-host Juan Williams interrupted and said, among other predictable things, “I can’t abide that.” The show went on from there – with, in this writer’s opinion, some outstanding comments by Greg Gutfeld, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and, to a lesser extent, Dana Perino. Full disclosure: I am not a fan of The Five especially since it has relocated to prime time. But in the aftermath of the Charlottesville tragedy, this episode may have been the program’s finest hour.

A video of the The Five’s August 14 episode is online here. A transcript will be available on Tuesday August 15 linked from this program transcripts page.

Bravo, Jesse Watters, and your colleagues, for shedding some much needed clarity and light on this difficult issue.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care. He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  His latest website is

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