Former CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter said Friday on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that Fox News host Jesse Watters was the network’s new “primetime extremist.”
Anchor Joy Reid asked, “Is it a bottom-up thing? Is this the audience craves this and so Fox serves it, or are they engineering this kind of necrophilic attitude toward American culture and divisiveness?”
Stelter said, “In the Roger Ailes era, it was top-down. But now, as you said, it is bottom-up. It is now driven by the audience. The audience is in charge, which is a scary prospect sometimes, even though I love our viewers right now, Joy.”
He continued, “Jesse Watters has taken over as the Fox primetime extremist. They think they are, quote, ‘respecting the audience’ and that’s the quote that comes up time and time again in the treasure trove of emails from 2020. They think they’re respecting the audience by giving the audience what they want, but that’s actually disrespectful, and you know what? It’s hurt the GOP.”
Stelter added, “Look at what happened to the off-year elections on Tuesday. I would argue that Fox is actually sometimes hurting the Republican Party that it thinks it’s helping, and that’s an interesting dynamic going into 2024.”
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