Jesse Watters' Math Mishap Ends in Spectacular Failure

Fox News host sparks debate with wage comments

by Zain ul Abedin
Jesse Watters' Math Mishap Ends in Spectacular Failure
© Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

In a recent episode of the "PBD Podcast," Jesse Watters, the Fox News host now filling Tucker Carlson's prime-time slot, sparked controversy with his remarks about the earnings of fast-food workers. The discussion, which quickly went viral on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter), highlighted Watters' misunderstanding of basic salary calculations.

During the podcast, Watters pondered aloud whether earning $20 per hour at a fast-food restaurant equated to a six-figure annual salary. "If you’re making $20 an hour to work at a fast-food restaurant, right? Is that six figures? Are you making six figures?" he questioned.

The response he received clarified that such a wage would instead total around $40,000 if worked full-time. Undeterred, Watters then speculated on the combined income of a couple both employed at similar pay in the fast-food industry.

"OK, so, $40k a year. So, and then if your husband or wife is also there. You’re making $100,000 as a family, both working at McDonald’s," he asserted. This figure was also corrected during the conversation; the actual combined income would be approximately $80,000.

Watters' Remark Critiqued

Watters' reaction to the correction was one of disbelief: "OK," he responded. "That’s crazy. That is crazy, because that job really doesn’t require much so it’s inflating the entire, you know, labor sector."

The misstep drew sharp criticism from other media figures, including MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell, who took to X to question the competence requirements for Fox News hosts.

“Does Fox have an entrance exam to make sure you’re stupid enough to host 8pm?” O’Donnell quipped, highlighting the incredulity shared by viewers.

Watters' comments have fueled ongoing discussions about wage expectations and the valuation of labor in various sectors, particularly in roles often undervalued in public discourse.

As these conversations unfold, they reflect broader societal questions about fairness, economic realities, and the perception of "unskilled" work in the American economy.