In recent days, the State Department has tried to paint Fox News's Bill O'Reilly as a sexist monster because he characterized Jen Psaki as "out of her depth." O'Reilly's criticism has a great deal to do with how Ms. Psaki often appears to be, well, out of her depth. The other member of the non-dynamic duo then pounced. Marie Harf claimed that O'Reilly used "sexist, personally offensive language that I actually don't think (he) would ever use about a man."
O'Reilly recently defended himself quite well; that video is at the end of this post. On Tuesday, liberal Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers also weighed in. Her USA Today column asserted that O'Reilly "does not discriminate when it comes to expressing tough judgments," and that Harf's sexist accusation was "so irresponsible." Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):
Kirsten Powers: Bill O'Reilly is not sexist
Accusers of 'war on women' getting trigger-happy.
In a world exploding in violence, the State Department last week identified an evil closer to home: Bill O'Reilly.
The Fox News host had criticized State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki. "With all due respect ... that woman looks way out of her depth. ... It just doesn't look like she has the gravitas for the job," O'Reilly said.
This, according to Obama administration officials, is sexist.
Marie Harf, the department's deputy spokesperson, blasted O'Reilly from her official Twitter account as lacking "intelligence and class" and then justified the juvenile tweet from the State Department podium, telling reporters that O'Reilly used "sexist, personally offensive language that I actually don't think (he) would ever use about a man."
Sexism is a serious problem and a serious accusation. It's true there are many people who dismiss women as unserious and out of their depth not because they are, but because they are women. Bill O'Reilly isn't one of them.
I know. As a Fox News contributor, I've worked with him for eight years, including weekly segments where we often disagree heatedly. O'Reilly does not discriminate when it comes to expressing tough judgments. Anyone with a passing familiarity with his work knows this, which is what makes Harf's accusation so irresponsible.
Just ask Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, whom O'Reilly called "beneath contempt."
... Democrats have become so trigger happy with the "war on women" charge that they find sexism lurking behind nearly every disagreement. It's a toxic tactic to silence anyone who disagrees. Have we really gotten to the point that any criticism of the competence of the State Department spokeswoman by a man is sexist? Apparently.
It's worth reminding readers that in mid-July, Jen Psaki, as world tensions were mounting, thought it was okay to tweet about how a professional woman can be "Smart, Savvy and Fashionable."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.