Fox News’ Jesse Watters Defends ‘Richard Jewell’: Female Reporters Sleep With Sources ‘All the Time’

Calls to boycott Clint Eastwood’s movie mounted this week

Jesse Watters

Fox News’ Jesse Watters defended the “Richard Jewell” film’s depiction of a female reporter who sleeps with a source by saying that “happens all the time.”

During the Wednesday episode of “The Five,” Watters used the example of a 27-year-old New York Times reporter who made headlines for possibly dating a source as the film’s defense: “This happens all the time. Ali Watkins was a reporter for many, many years at many distinguished publications. She slept with one of her sources, allegedly, for four years and broke a lot of scoops according to this Politico report here.”

In 2018, Watkins disclosed that she had had a personal relationship with a subject of her reporting that had since ended — and denied that he provided her information during the course of their relationship, the paper said.

Calls to boycott Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” mounted this week after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley accused the producers and filmmakers of “malicious fabrications” in the film.

The AJC says the movie version of reporter Kathy Scruggs, a real woman who died in 2001, is written as someone who gets story tips in exchange for sexual favors with an FBI agent and behaved unethically and recklessly. Others — including members of the media — agree.

A rep for Warner Bros. had no comment beyond the studio’s Monday statement responding to the threat of legal action from the AJC, which demanded that the filmmakers issue a public statement that acknowledges they took dramatic and artistic licenses with the story, and that a prominent disclaimer be added to the film.

“There is no disputing that Richard Jewell was an innocent man whose reputation and life were shredded by a miscarriage of justice,” the statement read. “It is unfortunate and the ultimate irony that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, having been a part of the rush to judgment of Richard Jewell, is now trying to malign our filmmakers and cast. ‘Richard Jewell’ focuses on the real victim, seeks to tell his story, confirm his innocence and restore his name. The AJC’s claims are baseless and we will vigorously defend against them.”