Bill O’Reilly Can’t Listen to Congresswoman Because He’s Too Distracted by Her “James Brown Wig”

The Fox News host continues the network’s tradition of attacking Rep. Maxine Waters.


Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is under fire after dismissing a speech by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) with a racially charged jab at the 78-year-old congresswoman’s hairstyle.

“I couldn’t hear a word she was saying,” O’Reilly said during a Wednesday segment of Fox & Friends, after Waters spoke on the House floor about the dangers of President Donald Trump’s policies. “I was looking at the James Brown wig.”

As the male hosts laughed off the remarks, female host Ainsley Earhardt called O’Reilly out for “going after a woman’s looks.” Earhardt said she found Waters “very attractive.”

“I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive,” O’Reilly responded. “I love James Brown, but it’s the same hair.”

The segment immediately drew outrage on social media.The Fox host later apologized for the “dumb” comment.

“As I have said many time, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs,” O’Reilly said in a statement. “I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her ‘old school.’ Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize.”

This isn’t the first time Fox has been accused of racially insensitive attacks on Waters. In 2012, host Eric Bolling used Whitney Houston’s death as a cautionary tale to suggest that Waters “step away from the crack pipe.” He later claimed he was “just kidding.”

This post has been updated to include a statement from O’Reilly.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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