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Offer from Fox News Over Watters World Chinatown Segment Gets Luke Warm Response

Jesse WattersBy Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

An executive with Fox News has said the network will “consider” more Asian American guests and topics following the uproar over a segment by Jesse Watters set in Manhattan’s Chinatown on the O’Reilly Factor.

The story made comic fodder of those with limited English speaking abilities and played up the martial artist stereotype.

In an email to former Asian American Journalists Association President Paul Cheung, David Tabacoff, senior executive producer of The O’Reilly Factor, said the network’s Vice President of Bookings would “consider pitches and guests from your membership and community.” Tabacoff also offered to act as a conduit for suggestions from the community for Fox News prime time programs.

One AAJA member based in New York reacted on Facebook with less than enthusiasm simply stating “not a resolution in my opinion.”

Another New Yorker, activist Karlin Chan, called the Fox News response “lame” on Twitter.

Interestingly, the email to Cheung was sent in January, but not made public until this week.

AAJA, which along with other community members, met privately with Fox News in October over the controversy, reported on the email from Tabacoff, without any comment.

News outlets routinely accept submissions and ideas for stories and guests on a daily basis. Those ideas are received by the dozens, if not hundreds, everyday. Due to limited time and space, most those ideas are rejected. It’s unclear how Fox News’ offer to “consider” these ideas is any different.

In the latest report on diversity on Sunday shows, Media Matters found that just 20 percent of guests on Fox News Sunday were people of Color. The percentage of Asian American guests was minuscule.

The sincerity of Fox News offer to “consider” more Asian American guests and topics will be measured by what we see on air. What’s important is not only the number of reports, but the quality of those reports as well. 1,000 reports similar to what we saw on Watters World will do the community more harm than good.

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