Deputy Spokesperson for the State Dept. Lashes Out at Bill O’Reilly, Calling Him Sexist
Thanks to their undeniable success in the ratings, Fox News has earned its place at the media table in Washington, D.C. In fact, their presence – despite how you feel about their editorial bias – is good for America, because when the opposition media is right in the front row it keeps officials on their toes.
James Rosen, one of Fox News’ straight-news journalists, sat in on a briefing Wednesday at the State Department and pressed spokesperson Jen Psaki to define whether or not the U.S. is “at war” with ISIS. Specifically, he asked her if she did not see the murders of two captive journalists as “an act of war.”
Psaki dismissed that as “putting new labels” on the conflict and highlighted the numerous airstrikes America has conducted in the region along with humanitarian efforts. Yet, later on Bill O’Reilly’s show the host dismissed Psaki as “being out of her depth” in the state department.
Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department responded to O’Reilly’s criticism on Twitter.
— Marie Harf (@marieharf) September 4, 2014
According to The Washington Post, she “doubled down on her defense” of Psaki telling reporters “When the anchor of a leading cable news show uses, quite frankly, sexist, personally offensive language that actually don’t think they would ever use about a man…I think I have an obligation…to step up and say ‘that’s not okay.’”
While the charge of sexism is a little light – more likely is that O’Reilly would have been as dismissive of any Democrat behind the podium – Harf’s point that the implication that Psaki cannot handle her job does have sexist connotations, even if not intentionally.
Still, an apology from the like of O’Reilly is as likely as one from ISIS itself.