[There was a video here]
The brawl, as it were, began when Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim noticed Fox News “ambush” reporter Jesse Watters smoking a cigarette in a heated tent at the MSNBC afterparty. Grimm, who recalled Watters had confronted his now-colleague Amanda Terkel on-camera in 2009, took out his phone and confronted Watters about the confrontation.
The video is deeply uncomfortable and embarrassing for everyone involved, including Terkel, who repeatedly tells Grim in the video that she’s not interested in speaking to Watters and doesn’t want to be involved in the confrontation. Undeterred, Grim continues to demand an apology from Watters, who initially agrees, until it becomes clear Terkel that refuses to get involved. After a few minutes of back-and-forth, Watters knocks Grim’s phone out of his hand and finally shoves it in his pocket, after Grim retrieves the phone and continues filming.
The actual fight, which a witness said consisted mostly of the two “flail[ing] around a bit, upending a table and bumping into several people,” was not caught on video.
Strangely, Terkel—who outright refused to participate in the confrontation—published the video today on the Huffington Post, along with a blog post explaining the matter under her own byline. Asked why, she responded that “Watters commented on me directly, and I felt it was important to give the backstory on Watters’ ambush tactics.” In the article, she writes:
Fox News has never given an explanation for how Watters found me. I didn’t tell anyone exactly where I would be that weekend, and in retrospect, I remember a car following me for much of the way. My best guess remains that Watters found my home address, followed me for two hours to Virginia and then harassed me after I walked out of my hotel.
Watters was unrepentant Saturday night at the MSNBC party. He said I “denigrated some rape victims” and “said some nasty shit.”
“I ambushed her because O’Reilly told me to get her, because she said some really bad shit... She denigrated some rape victims, so we had to call her out. It’s what we do,” Watters said.
“I love Amanda Terkel, she’s a good girl,” he added. “I’m not gonna apologize, but she’s a good girl.”
O’Reilly never reached out to me before sending Watters and his cameraman out on the ambush mission, belying the idea that he was a journalist simply trying to get comment. O’Reilly ran segments describing me as a “far-left blogger” who attacks rape victims, and cast himself as an ally of victimized women. Sending men to intimidate, follow and ambush a young woman is an odd way to make that point.
Which is all to say, it takes a lot to make Watters look like the nice(ish) guy in a situation—congratulations to Grim on his accomplishment.