Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters delivered an epic smackdown of Fox News and Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday night, following O’Reilly’s racist attack against the representative on Tuesday’s edition of Fox & Friends.
The controversy started this morning when O’Reilly was asked to respond to a clip of Waters speaking on the floor of the House of Representatives, and he said this: “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.”
While O’Reilly faced bipartisan outrage after making the comments and eventually was forced to apologize, Waters seemed unfazed when she appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes and issued a brutal takedown of O’Reilly and Fox News as a whole.
Waters said to women everywhere:
Don’t allow these right-wing talking heads, these dishonorable people to intimidate you or scare you. Be who you are, do what you do. And let us get on with discussing the real issues of this country. Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes have no credibility. They have been sued by women. They have had to pay millions out in fines for harassment and other kinds of things, and so we know about that checkered past.
After that epic takedown of Fox, Waters showed that she had no intention of dwelling on it and said, “I’m not going to be put down, I’m not going to go anywhere – I’m going to stay on the issues.”
Waters said it’s more important to get to the bottom of Trump’s ties to Russia.
“We have a president of the United States who’s wrapped his arms around Putin and Russia and the Kremlin, and I believe that if we do credible investigations … that they will find that there was collusion,” she said.
The Democratic congresswoman went to lay out some of the ways the president is already damaging the United States’ reputation around the world and hurting the American people.
“This president has come into this office, he’s disrespected our allies across the world. He has tried to dismantle comprehensive health care for everybody under Obamacare. This is a president who won’t even show his taxes,” she said.
The attacks on her, Waters concluded, are used by the president and his supporters to distract from the real issues.
“When you talk about them, when you pin them down, when you’re able to unveil all that they’re doing, they’ll try to shut you down. I am not going anywhere. I’m going to stay on message,” Waters said. “I’m going to fight for the people of this country. I’m going to fight for comprehensive health care. And I don’t care what Bill O’Reilly or Ailes or Trump or any of them, we have a responsibility as elected officials to do good public policy in the best interest of all the people.”
Instead of stooping to the level of those waging racist attacks against her, Waters handled the controversy with grace and urged the media and the American people to stay focused on the issues.
As former First Lady Michelle Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high.”
In the face of despicable attacks on Tuesday, Maxine Waters went high.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.