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Maxine Waters: There's something 'psychologically wrong' with Bill O'Reilly

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper about the end of Bill O'Reilly's career at Fox News over sexual harassment accusations. (Image Source: YouTube screen cap)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) talked to CNN's Anderson Cooper about her erstwhile nemesis Bill O'Reilly and his fall from grace Wednesday. In the interview she said that there was something "psychologically wrong" with the former Fox News anchor over the sexually harassment accusations leveled against him.

"Do you think Fox made the right decision to fire him today?" Cooper asked Waters.

"Absolutely," she answered, "and I'm very proud of what I understand took place. The sons of [Rupert] Murdoch are the ones that I am told insisted that he had to go and they're trying to take this station into a new era. And so I'm very pleased that they did that. I'm pleased with the advertisers who decided that they were going to pull their ads from his show. I'm so pleased with the women who came forward, who were victims and decided that they were going to expose what had happened to them.

"You know," she added, "Bill O'Reilly is not going to be recorded favorably in history. Unfortunately, he was a man who made tremendous sums of money, had a huge show, and really there's something wrong with him psychologically. He obviously could not sustain relationships. And the stories about him talking to women on the telephone with this kind of sex talk, it is really, just, you know, unconscionable that he would allow himself to end up like this. It's all his fault.

"So I hope he seeks some help," Waters continued. "And I hope that the women who have came forward feel good about the justice that they're receiving.

"This is an era of women who are fed up with being taken advantage of," she concluded. "Particularly in the workplace. We've been hearing about this for years. Remember the stories about the 'casting couch' and what women in the entertainment industry had to do? Well, these stories are legendary. All over this country perhaps all over this world, women have been taken advantage of."

"What does it say to you that this went on?" Cooper asked. "I mean the first accusation publicly was back in 2004 by Andrea Mackris, apparently was settled for $9 million according to The New York Times. Over the years, these allegations, these accusations continued, and it's only now that Fox News took action. What does that say about the culture?"

"Well, I consider that it was a sexual harassment enterprise there at Fox," Waters answered. "And the men there and [former CEO] Roger Ailes, this was a way of life for them. Powerful men with a lot of money, who would proposition women, taken advantage of them. They thought that was normal. And the way that life should be.

"And so, it is only been in recent years that women have felt strong enough to come forward and to talk about what has happened to them," Waters continued. "Just think how many women depended on their jobs and didn't want to lose their jobs, and was afraid to say anything. But things have changed. Life is changing for women. Women are feeling stronger, coming forward, standing up for themselves.

"And I know that it went on for a long time," she concluded, "but thank God it stopped now, with Bill O'Reilly at Fox."

Waters had recently been in a rhetorical battle with O'Reilly after he made a joke about her hair that he later apologized for, saying that he respects the congresswoman for being sincere in her beliefs.

Waters also said that O'Reilly should be in jail for the behavior attributed to him when the New York Times' reported that he and Fox News had settled lawsuits and accusations against him to the tune of $13 million.

One last thing…
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