'The Daily Show' Had An Actually Brilliant Takedown Of Fox News' Chinatown Segment

An actual comedian was a better journalist than Jesse Watters.

When Fox News deployed Jesse Watters to Chinatown to interview locals in the New York City neighborhood about the election, his apparent purpose was less to collect the opinions of Asian Americans than it was to mock them. Rife with nauseating stereotypes, the segment sparked intense backlash from Asian American groups, journalists, elected officials and social media users. Watters, who called himself a "political humorist," responded to the criticism with a classic non-apology: "I regret if anyone found offense," he tweeted.

Watters' flimsy attempt at humor presented The Daily Show with a ripe opportunity for actual comedy. The show tasked correspondent Ronny Chieng with a mighty takedown of Fox News' Chinatown segment, and he did so with gusto.


But Chieng not only delivered on-point criticism of the segment, he also did what Watters failed to do — Chieng conducted actually insightful interviews with Asian Americans on their views of the election, and, unsurprisingly, it turns out that many of them know much more about politics than how Watters decided to portray a whole continent of people.

Despite their voting potential, politicians are not reaching out as actively or diligently to Asian communities the way they do African Americans or Hispanics — even women. Part of that is because Asian American communities, while growing, are still smaller compared to other ethnic groups; yet another part is due to the political machinery's lack of understanding about the complex, diverse communities that exist within the demographic. But there is also something to be said about the marginalization of Asians in American society at large and how that plays into their political invisibility, as Alex Wagner at The Atlantic reported.

As the fastest growing demographic in the country, the Asian American vote has the potential to be a game-changer in elections. Recent polling trends have shown that they are steadily moving to the left — a majority view Donald Trump unfavorably — and episodes like Watters' Chinatown segment only serve to further alienate the increasingly powerful demographic. 


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