Politics

The Internet is Fuming Over This Fox News Segment

October 5th 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

Fox News is getting hammered on Twitter over a segment on Chinese-American voters that aired earlier this week. The clip — which appeared as a segment on "The O'Reilly Factor" — features host Jesse Watters touring New York's Chinatown in an effort to understand how the community views the 2016 election — but critics say Watters basically played into racial stereotypes and asked offensive questions that offered little to no insights.

The interview was apparently supposed to be funny, but instead it relied on tired stereotypes and jokes at the expense of some subjects.

The segment started with Watters asking a rudimentary question about Chinese customs.

He followed up by asking an older woman about her opinion of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Watters also asked another subject whether Chinese Americans can "take care of North Korea for us."

The segment also featured its fair share of racial stereotyping, including clips of Watters attempting martial arts, using nunchuks, and getting a Chinese foot massage.

The response to the segment was swift and critical on Twitter.

It might be tempting to cast Watters' segment off as tongue-in-cheek satire à la "The Daily Show," yet he retains the title "correspondent" for the news company. It's difficult to extract a substantive lesson about Chinese-American voters or U.S.-Chinese relations, as the segment purported to teach, but recent polling offers some perspective into the subject. Asian Americans overwhelming support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton; she's leading Trump by 41 points, according to the Fall 2016 National Asian American Survey.

"The big takeaway is a continuation of what we saw in the Spring 2016 survey — an Asian-American population that was become more Democratic over time," survey director Karthick Ramakrishnan told NBC News. "We see that Trump is likely a significant reason for that shift. Trump's unfavorables are like nothing we've seen before."

Watters responded to criticism on Twitter on Wednesday. He apologized if the segment offended viewers and described himself as a "political humorist." 

You can watch the full segment here.

Update 10/5 3:03 PM PST: This story was updated to include a response from Watters.