The story of host Jesse Watters courting his current wife Emma DiGiovine in 2018 while she was an intern for his show Watters World at Fox News reminds me a lot of my town’s Kim Davis of refusing to grant licenses to gay couples, having a child by her third husband five months after her divorce from her first husband, and then making her second husband into her fourth husband fame.
The basics of Watters’ story were that he was married to his first wife Noelle (Inguagiato) Watters and was the father of twins, he started courting Emma DiGiovine (now Emma DiGiovine Watters) by letting the air out of all her tires and then offering her a ride. As soon as their affair started, the lovely couple reported their romance to the Fox News brass and they reassigned DiGiovine (now Watters) to ghoul Laura Ingraham and her show “The Ingraham Angle.”
Apparently Noelle Watters was neither amused nor inspired by the love story of her husband and his husband’s mistress and immediately filed for divorce. And who can blame her.
But my main point is that guys like Watters are part of what weak Republicans, independents, and moderates like about the Republican Party. There’s a kind of instinct to see Republicans as the “(white) boys will be boys” party and to view these kinds of frat boy stunts as “funny,” “brave,” “harmless,” and above all entertaining. The presence of guys like Watters gives the Republican Party and conservative movement cover for the zealotry of the anti-abortion movement, the religious right, and MAGA. It’s like “Republicans can’t be all bad” as long as they’re associated with irreverent and fun guys like Jesse Watters.
In various ways, conservative activists call for a return to the 50’s, but figures like Jesse Watters provide a real connection to the bad boy white male entitlement of the time.
That’s a deep cultural asset for Republicans.