Fox News host Jesse Watters has been blistered by critics over the last 24 hours for insinuating that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation could amount to a coup d’etat against a sitting president.
Daniel Politi at Slate.com said that on his Saturday night broadcast, Watters welcomed senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway to discuss the Mueller probe while displaying a chyron that read, “A COUP IN AMERICA?”
“Uh…that’s not what a coup means,” wrote De Elizabeth at Teen Vogue.
“Cable news banners don’t just appear out of thin air. Producers brainstorm, fact-check, proof-read them. Hosts are sometimes involved too. Yes, mistakes slip through occasionally. But this doesn’t look like a mistake,” wrote Brian Stelter of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Twitter.
Cable news banners don’t just appear out of thin air. Producers brainstorm, fact-check, proof-read them. Hosts are sometimes involved too. Yes, mistakes slip through occasionally. But this doesn’t look like a mistake… pic.twitter.com/nZkbRyKxUE
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 17, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
“Coup?! I cover wars. Militaries. Actual coups. Where citizens violently rise up and kill each other for power over each other,” wrote Kevin Baron, editor of DefenseOne.com. “This is alarmingly irresponsible language, even for Fox. Inflammatory. Baseless. Dangerous.”
Coup?! I cover wars. Militaries. Actual coups. Where citizens violently rise up and kill each other for power over each other.
This is alarmingly irresponsible language, even for Fox. Inflammatory. Baseless. Dangerous. https://t.co/1tGrKZGfTRADVERTISEMENT
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) December 17, 2017
This is a lie. Robert Mueller is a lifetime Republican. The attacks on the Mueller investigation are unfounded. However, this is a common tactic amongst people who are guilty to claim that the prosecution is out to get them. What does Trump have to hide? #ProtectMueller
— #ResistanceIsPatriotic (@therealezway) December 18, 2017ADVERTISEMENT
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@Deanofcomedy) December 17, 2017
Even FOX's Howard Kurtz calls out ridiculous propaganda from FOX News Trump flack Jesse Watters suggesting an Anti-Trump "Coup on Our Hands in America". pic.twitter.com/tKFmzF5g4K
— Richard W. (@IceManNYR) December 17, 2017
Even Howard Kurtz. For real.
Stay alert. They're announcing something here. pic.twitter.com/YtPtdxw2ze
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) December 17, 2017
The best preparation for an actual coup (against the judiciary) is to claim that there has already been a coup (against the people).ADVERTISEMENT
The scary is ratcheting up. https://t.co/RWFvx8PnJ1
— Yascha Mounk (@Yascha_Mounk) December 17, 2017
The more the White House interferes politically with this investigation, the more they prove why a Special Counsel was necessary in the first place. https://t.co/HUMOZkdt4mADVERTISEMENT
— Brandt (@UrbanAchievr) December 17, 2017
In April, Watters was abruptly sent “on vacation” by Fox News after making what appeared to be a crude oral sex joke about President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka.