(Fox News)

Bill O'Reilly on Maxine Waters: "I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig"

The Fox News host dismissed an important point by Maxine Waters, instead toeing the line between humor and racism


Rachel Leah
March 28, 2017 8:33PM (UTC)

Sometimes congressmen deserve serious responses to serious House speeches. For Bill O'Reilly, this isn't one of those cases.

On the Tuesday morning edition of "Fox & Friends," the Fox News host responded an important speech by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who said that resisting President Donald Trump was an act of patriotism. "I didn't hear a word she said," O'Reilly responded. "I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it's the same wig."

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Before watching the clip, O'Reilly claimed that he loved Waters and that she should have her own sitcom.

That comment was a step too far for even "Fox and Friends." "No. OK, I've got to defend her on that," co-host Ainsley Earhardt said. "I have to defend her on that. She a — you can't go after a woman's looks. I think she's very attractive."

"I didn't say she wasn't attractive," O'Reilly replied, thinking that is somehow a defense. But it worked, and Earhardt pivoted from defending an accomplished congresswoman to talking about her looks.

"Her hair is pretty," Earhardt responded.

"I love James Brown, but it's the same hair," O'Reilly continued. "James Brown — alright, the godfather of soul — had —"

"So he had girl hair," Earhardt replied.

"Whatever it is, I just couldn't get by it," O'Reilly said.

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O'Reilly has a history of invoking racist stereotypes and explanations to defend his politics. He once questioned how then-presidential candidate Donald Trump would get jobs for "minorities . . . when many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads," or when he said the violence in Chicago in predominantly black communities derives from "a culture that is sociopathic."

Joy Ann Reid and others on social media were quick to point out O'Reilly's racist and sexist remarks about Waters and the hypocrisy of his statements.

Watch the exchange below:


Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Bill O'reilly Donald Trump Maxine Waters




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