Fox News host Bill O’Reilly doubled down on an attack against African-American congresswoman Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on Friday, calling her a “liar” and a “pinhead” after calling her a “race hustler” earlier in the week.
On Tuesday, Lee appeared on O’Reilly’s show to discuss Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s remarks about lazy “inner city men” and their deleterious effects on the U.S. economy. In the same interview Ryan made favorable mention of the works of “controversial political scientist Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve and other works that use disputed IQ studies to argue that social programs for black Americans are a waste of time.
Lee called out Ryan for his use of coded racist language in his statements, an assertion that earned her the insult of being called a race hustler by O’Reilly.
On Wednesday, Lee fired back in a statement condemning O’Reilly’s comments as “disgusting.”
“Unfortunately we’ve come to expect language like ‘welfare queens,’ ‘food stamp president,’ and now ‘race hustlers’ from the right wing and Mr. O’Reilly,” she said. “It is disgusting and divisive and should never be accepted in our national discourse.”
Stung, O’Reilly angrily lashed out at the California Democrat on Friday night’s “O’Reilly Factor,” expressing disbelief that she would have “the gall, the nerve” to criticize him.
O’Reilly dismissed Lee’s charges of racism by alleging that she would say that about any “people with whom she disagrees.” He went on to say that if she doesn’t like being called a “race-hustler” he can call her some other names.
“How about ‘pinhead,’ congresswoman?” he taunted. “You like that better?”
O’Reilly has made a number of offensive statements about people of color. Last summer, he blamed “unwed black mothers” and their children for violent crimes in this country as part of a series of statements he made about “President Obama’s race problem.”
He has accused civil rights activists of making themselves into a “grievance industry” designed to annoy whites and win concessions for African-Americans by exploiting white people’s guilt.
In 2007, O’Reilly ventured uptown to New York City’s Harlem for dinner at the famous soul-food restaurant Sylvia’s in the company of Rev. Al Sharpton. On his radio show the next day, the Fox host expressed amazement that black people were able to dine civilly in a room with tablecloths on the tables.
O’Reilly “couldn’t get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia’s restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City,” he marveled. “I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it’s run by blacks, primarily black patronship. There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘M-Fer, I want more iced tea.’”
Watch the video, embedded below:
Watch O’Reilly’s earlier statements, embedded below: