Fox Guest Ranting About 'Migrant Crime' Previously Arrested For Domestic Abuse

Fox’s Jesse Watters Primetime producers apparently don’t screen their guests very well. Color me not shocked when Watters got his start as Bill O’Reilly’s hitman out shoving a microphone in unsuspecting people’s faces.

This is exactly the sort of segment Chris Hayes was talking about the other night, where the network is constantly fearmongering over the manufactured “crisis” of “migrant crime.”

Here’s more from Media Matters: Fox News guest decrying “migrant crime” previously arrested after getting violent over a grilled cheese sandwich he deemed too cheesy:

On February 28, Fox News host Jesse Watters hosted “James Lee” on his show to discuss the murder of Laken Riley on the campus of the University of Georgia. Watters did not disclose, however, that Lee is actually James DePaola, who has had multiple run-ins with the law himself, including when he became violent over a grilled cheese sandwich his wife had made, prompting his 12-year-old daughter to call the police.

On February 28, Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz held a press conference. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the press conference had been interrupted multiple times by protesters, including James DePaola.


DePaola also spoke to at the press conference.

Later that day, Watters hosted “James Lee” on his show and played footage of DePaola interrupting the press conference, praising him for his actions. (Watters’ full “migrant crime spree” segment can be viewed here. Watters likens his guest to Rick Santelli’s rant in 2009 that kicked off the tea party. His guest concludes by telling Watters that “You don’t get the credit you deserve as a patriot and a real journalist.”)

As both Media Matters and The Daily Beast reported, after misidentifing DePaola as “James Lee,” they also failed to mention his own criminal background:

The protester turns out to have a wild background, including criminal charges—a fact that was not disclosed to Fox News viewers on Wednesday night, as liberal watchdog Media Matters first reported. Although he was identified as “James Lee” on Watters’ show, the man’s name is actually James DePaola, and he was arrested and charged in 2016 after violently threatening his wife for making a grilled cheese sandwich too cheesy.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Fox News claims they didn’t highlight DePaola’s criminal past or use his full name because he had misrepresented himself to the network. “The guest identified himself as James Lee to Fox News and other news outlets following the press conference,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “A search of James Lee from Athens did not turn up any connection or link to James DePaola.”


While appearing Wednesday evening on Jesse Watters Primetime, DePaola was identified by an on-air graphic and Watters himself as James Lee and a father of five. Describing Girtz as a “left-wing nutjob,” DePaola claimed that local law enforcement supported his public outburst and added that, under different circumstances, he’d have assaulted the mayor. “If that was my daughter, I would have done more in that meeting,” he asserted. “That mayor would have had a black eye walking out of there.”

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