Almost every Asian stereotype you can think of, in one Fox News segment

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    Almost every Asian stereotype you can think of, in one Fox News segment

    On the eve of the first general-election debate moderated by an Asian American journalist, the “O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News aired a segment so full of Asian stereotypes and jokes that fitting them all into five minutes was a true act of TV magic. But there was nothing magical about Jesse Watters’s man-on-the-street report from New York’s Chinatown neighborhood, in the eyes of many journalists who watched it.

    Show host Bill O’Reilly said, “I know we’re going to get letters” but called the segment “gentle fun.” Watters claimed “it was all in good fun.”

    “There was nothing gentle or fun about it,” the Asian American Journalists Association said in a statement. “It was rude, offensive, mocking, derogatory and damaging. Fox missed a real opportunity to investigate the Asian American vote, a topic not often covered in mainstream news.”

    Watters specializes in field reports starring random people — often liberals — who are unable to answer his on-the-spot questions. His segments appear designed to comfort conservative viewers with feelings of superiority.

    A piece focused on Bernie Sanders supporters exemplifies Watters’s shtick pretty perfectly:

    A Fox News spokeswoman pointed to a 2015 Independent Journal Review interview in which Watters said, “I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. I go into it thinking how can I listen to them and have them share with me their thoughts and opinions in a way that doesn’t come across as mean.”

    This time, however, Watters has definitely hurt some people’s feelings.

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