The Fox News reporter on campus. Multiple national media outlets have reacted to him being booted from Cornell

This story was written by the Ithaca Voice’s Mike Smith.

Update 2:30 p.m. Tuesday —

On Tuesday, Cornell University released the following statement about its decision to expel a Fox News reporter from campus:

“Cornell University believes in exposing students to a diverse set of perspectives. Our decision to apply our media policy to Fox News, as we do to all news outlets, was motivated by our responsibility to protect student privacy.

Fox News has been on our campus many times, but they have typically contacted us in advance and worked with us to set up interviews with students. This time, there was no advance notice. We provided the crew with a written version of our policy and they proceeded to go off campus where they interviewed students and completed their story unhindered.

The vast majority of media interactions on campus, including faculty and student interviews, are done in compliance with our policy and with full cooperation between our Media Relations Office and the news organization. This was one of the rare cases where the media refused to cooperate, and we accordingly implemented our policy.”

Earlier — 

ITHACA, N.Y. — In a segment for “The O’Reilly Factor,” Fox News interviewer Jesse Watters visited the Cornell campus after a report from the Cornell Daily Sun revealed that 96% of political donations by faculty went to the Democratic Party.

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In the segment, Watters questions several students about the political climate on campus and the leanings of their professors.

Among the more serious questions about the students’ political views and their professors’ alleged agendas came questions such as, “Do professors pass around doobies in class?”

When a student rejects the idea of building a wall to prevent the “illegal alien invasion,” Watters asks, “So you’d be okay with Guatemalans coming into your dorm room and sleeping on the floor?” Punctuating every “gotcha” is a jump cut to footage from such films as “Animal House” and “Old School.”

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Two students interviewed suggested that pandering to their professor’s’ political views when writing essays or papers could net them better grades.

Interviewer’s Request to Film on Campus Denied

During the segment, Melissa Osgood, deputy director of media relations at Cornell, interrupts Watters and asks that he stop interviewing students on campus.

When Watters tries talking to John Carberry, also of Cornell’s media relations, he is similarly rebuked. A statement that Carberry sent to Watters after he left the campus simply restates the University’s position: “Cornell does not consider a person’s political stance in its hiring practices.”

In a post-segment chat with Watters, O’Reilly criticizes the university’s response, saying, “Don’t they understand they look 18 times worse than if they just left you alone?”

Interviewer’s Request for Date Denied

The highlight of the video may be an exchange between Watters and a female student. Watters asks, “Do you have a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat?”


“Can I buy you one?”

“You can’t buy me anything.”


“Ok, this got weird…” she says as she trails off, practically running away from Watters.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.