- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fox News personality Jesse Watters is being called a racist for a man-on-the-street segment on “The O’Reilly Factor,” in which he asked several Asian people in New York City’s Chinatown about their political views.

The five-minute segment that aired Monday night invoked several Asian stereotypes that many people found offensive.

“Am I supposed to bow to say hello?” Mr. Watters asked two women on the street.

“Do you know karate?” he asked one man.

“Is it the year of the dragon?” he asked another.

“This is one of the most blatantly racist things I have ever seen,” tweeted New York Times reporter Farhad Manjoo. “How can anyone at Fox News defend this? It’s nuts.”

Salon magazine said the segment quickly spiraled into “a burning dumpster fire of racist stereotypes and lazy attempts at humor at the expense of Chinese-Americans.”

“This O’Reilly factor segment making fun of Asian-Americans is unreal. It’s 2016,” tweeted Blake Hounshell, the editorial director at Politico, CNN Money reported.

Lee Fang, an investigative journalist at The Intercept, called it “unabashedly racist.”

Paul Cheung, the president of the Asian American Journalists Association, responded to the segment in a statement to Media Matters: “The segment was rife with racist stereotypes, drew on thoughtless tropes and openly ridiculed Asian Americans. Fox missed a real opportunity to investigate the Asian American vote, a topic not often covered in the mainstream news media.”

Back in the studio, Mr. Watters told host Bill O’Reilly that the segment “was all in good fun.”

“Some people say [Chinatown is] very insulated and they don’t interact with American politics, but it looked like everybody knew what was going on,” Mr. O’Reilly observed. “It’s gentle fun, so I know we’re going to get letters.”

Mr. Watters later tweeted his regrets that some viewers found his segment offensive.

“As a political humorist, the Chinatown segment was intended to be a light piece, as all Watters World segments are,” he tweeted to his 155,000 followers Wednesday evening.

“My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense,” he wrote.

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