Thursday marked the White House’s demand that Fox News host Jesse Watters retract his statement “we’ve had it” with “Arab Americans” and “the Muslim world.”
Watters delivered the contentious statements on Wednesday’s episode of The Five, the highest-rated cable news program overall.
“I want to say something about Arab Americans and about the Muslim world,” Watters said.
“We – and when I say we, I mean, the West and Western technology – have created the Middle East. We made them rich. We got that oil out of the ground. Our military protects all of these oil shipments flying around the world, making them rich. We fund their military. We respect their kings. We kill their terrorists, ok? But we’ve had it. We’ve had it with them.” he continued.
“Obama, Trump, now Biden, have tried to get the heck out of that stupid desert. Just as we’re about to get out, because we have this great balance of power we’re arranging, these crazy Muslim fanatics come in and massacre over a thousand of our allies and hold Jewish people hostage, hold Americans hostage. And so, if you are an Arab American in this country and you ripped down posters of Jewish hostages, American hostages, no! No, no, no. Someone is gonna get punched in the face. When you rip down posters of the hostages like that — this is — absolutely not.” he concluded.
Andrew Bates, deputy press secretary for the White House, replied to Watters in a statement.
“These hateful lies about ‘Arab Americans and…the Muslim world’ highlight the urgency of President Biden’s work to ensure hate has no safe harbor in America, and why he committed to the first national anti-Islamophobia strategy in our history.” Bates said.
“These unacceptable remarks come just weeks after the heartbreaking killing of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American child, and during a spike in threats against Muslim and Arab Americans. Fox News owes an apology to every single viewer for this sickening attack on the rights and dignity of their fellow Americans. President Biden will always stand up against Islamophobia, antisemitism, and all forms of hate. Fox News should learn from his example,” he continued.
Amid escalating tensions stemming from the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which commenced with the killing of approximately 1,500 Israelis by Hamas on October 7, the White House declared on Wednesday that it was developing a national strategy to combat Islamophobia.