Jesse Watters acts as both a correspondent for The O’Reilly Factor, as well as a producer for his own segment, “Watters’ World” where he conducts “man-on-the-street” interviews with people about current events. He joined FOX News Channel in 2002 as a production assistant in the newsroom and has been working with top-rated cable program, The O’Reilly Factor since 2004. Watters also serves as a correspondent, producer and managing editor for FOX Nation. He graduated from Trinity College with a Bachelor of Arts in history.
Q. Given the comedic nature of “Watters’ World,” do you consider yourself a news reporter or an entertainer?
A. I cover some news topics on The Factor, but news does not have to be dull. I chase down judges and do serious reporting…but the “man on the street” segments show viewers a raw slice of America that you just have to laugh at. We find the characters — from red carpets to mushroom festivals and even bike rallies. Watters’ World just tries to keep it real
Q. Do you have an all-time favorite “Watters’ World” clip you can share with our readers? Why is this clip your favorite?
A. My favorite Watters’ Worlds are the 2014 Memorial Day Quiz Edition at Jones Beach – and the N.O.W. Convention in Albuquerque.
On woman thought America declared independence from China! When I asked a women who won the Civil War she said, “the South.” Another person said, “France?” It made me laugh and made me cry. It was a real wake up call.
At the 2014 N.O.W. Conference I was physically escorted out by police and threatened with arrest if I returned. I was just trying to sign up to fight in the “war on women.” The women didn’t realize I was on their side!
My proudest Watters’ World is when we profiled wounded warriors who received Track Chairs from The Independence Fund and Bill O’Reilly. I love being able to showcase brave Americans and help out however I can.
Q. Much of what is seen on “Watters’ World” illustrates just how uninformed Americans are when it comes to current events. Do you edit the segments to appear that way, or are Americans really that oblivious?
A. We focus our attention on younger Americans. From my experience about half of young Americans are oblivious. Clueless people live among us. They’re everywhere. They’re in the mall, on the street, at restaurants…try asking a random person in public a simple civics question. You’d be surprised what people don’t know. I’m still surprised how unplugged people are and I’ve been doing this a while. It’s getting worse.
This summer I asked a guy: “Who’s the Vice President?” He came back with, “Dick Cheney?” That was THIS summer.
People in Watters’ World are not “dumb,” they have just tuned out the world…but they’re all good people. We usually laugh afterwards. We don’t need to misrepresent people. These people actually exist.
Q. Your “man on the street’ interviews on “The O’Reilly Factor” cable TV’s highest-rated news show – are very popular and widely watched. Has any of the many clueless Americans interviewed on those segments ever tried to sue you or Fox News after the segment aired?
A. I have never had a problem with a subject after a piece aired because everything we do is transparent. We produce Watters’ World with integrity. We don’t sandbag people.
Q. Considering the huge success of your “Watters’ World” segments are there any plans for a “Watters’ World” spin-off show?
A. I’m extremely proud to be part of The O’Reilly Factor. Bill O’Reilly and Fox News have given me a tremendous opportunity and I’m very grateful. I’ll do whatever the channel believes will be successful. Ultimately, the viewers will determine what that means.
Cross-posted at BizPac Review