Rep. Maxine Waters has been a lawmaker—in the California Legislature and the House of Representatives—for 40 years. She is the most senior black woman currently serving in the House and a former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. On Tuesday, Bill O’Reilly, who throws tantrums for a living, said on Fox & Friends that he had been unable to process the content of a speech by Rep. Waters because of her hair.
O’REILLY: I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it’s the same wig.
BRIAN KILMEADE: It’s the same one. And he’s not using it anymore.*
AINSLEY EARHARDT: No. OK, I’ve got to defend her on that.
KILMEADE: They finally buried him.
EARHARDT: I have to defend her on that. You can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.
O’REILLY: I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive.
EARHARDT: Her hair is pretty.
OREILLY: I love James Brown, but it’s the same hair, James Brown, the godfather of soul, had.
EARHARDT: So, he had girl hair.
O’REILLY: Whatever it is, I just couldn’t get by it.
As Media Matters pointed out this afternoon, this is not the first time Waters has been arbitrarily and derisively compared to another black person by a Fox anchor. In 2012, The Five’s Eric Bolling criticized Waters by comparing her to Whitney Houston:
“Congresswoman, you saw what happened to Whitney Houston,” he said. “Step away from the crack pipe. Step away from the Xanax. Step away from the Lorazepam. Because it’s going to get you in trouble.” After the commercial break, Bolling did not apologize. “I was kidding,” he said.
Update, March 28, 2017, at 2:26 PM: Bill O’Reilly has apologized for his comment.
*Correction, March 28, 2017, at 2:57 PM: This post originally stated that Steve Doocy said, “It’s the same one” in crosstalk with O’Reilly. The comment was made off screen by Brian Kilmeade.