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Bill O’Reilly Says Conservative Women Get Hammered

Reported by Priscilla - November 16, 2009 -

For today’s conservatives, ain’t no party like a pity party. Last week’s “Culture Warrior” segment, on Bill O’Reilly’s “Factor” served to aid and abet a popular right wing meme that conservative women are not treated with the deference they deserve. The “warriors,” Gretchen Carlson and Megan McCain did make some very valid points about the difficulty for all women in politics and the workplace; although I didn’t agree with their conclusions. What was really amusing was the commentary by “warrior-in-chief” (alpha male?) Bill O’Reilly, that, once again, demonstrated his sexism, narcissism, paranoia, and all around arrogance. I guess he just can’t help it. What was really irritating was Bill O'Reilly's contention that conservative women are treated more harshly than liberal women. As the member of Congress from Massachusetts once said to someone who was talking crazy talk - "What planet are you from?"

Meghan McCain is interesting. She frequently goes “rogue” when she espouses ideas that do not fit into the standard paradigm of right wing womanly behavior. Although she states that she is “pro-life,” she also told Steven Colbert that she is “pro-sex and pro-gay marriage.” I suspect that Bill O’Reilly would take issue with Ms. McCain’s statement, from an article in“The Daily Beast,” that “It is not realistic for this generation of people to be just plain abstinence... I think if the Republican party just says abstinence-only is the only way to be, then we're going to lose a lot of young voters.” So I guess, in that respect, you could say that she provided a liberal balance to Gretchen Carlson who is not so liberal. But rather than providing a quote from a “mainstream” conservative Republican woman such as Christie Todd Whitman (former governor) or Meg Whitman (governor wannabe), O’Reilly began with a quote from the right wing’s drama queen and pity party girl, Carrie Prejean who whined about the double standard for conservative women who are “under attack.” Bill added that “there’s no question that conservative women are getting hammered.” (Hmm….literally?) And then, in introducing Gretchen Carlson, he told her she was “a vision in red.” (Gag reflex time). Carlson made the valid point that not only women in politics, but women in general have a “rougher time” especially in careers that involve public exposre. Narcissism and paranoia made an appearance in O’Reilly’s response: “So in television you get a harder time than, say, me?” When she said that people would be more apt to critique her personal appearance, O’Reilly joked that he was “perfectly flawed.” (Ain’t that the truth) Perhaps Carlson was responding to Bill’s “vision” comment when she said: “Look at me, and instead of necessarily listening to exactly what I'm saying, for example, say, "I love that dress…” at which point O’Reilly sticks the sexist foot in even deeper by saying; “Isn't that natural, you know?” (Gag reflex time) Narcissist Bill asked if Carlson thinks she’s under more pressure in the media than he or other males are. She responded, validly, that the perception is that women are not as smart as men to which Bill asked, “Really?” (Ya think!)

Turning to Meghan McCain, Bill asked if she thought that the criticism of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin was fair. She felt that there was a double standard applied to both Clinton and Palin and as such, future women might be discouraged from running for office. Bill agreed but worked in a not so subtle dig at Clinton when claimed that “some say” that Clinton was criticized “legitimately” because of her “let’s say, questionable activities.” In discussing criticism of Palin, he brushed off the ethics complaints and referenced her poor tv interviews. Both Carlson and O’Reilly claimed that women are tough on women as evidenced, according to O’Reilly, SNL’s treatment of Sarah Palin. (That Hillary Clinton was also lampooned was not mentioned.). O’Reilly claimed that conservative women “get it worse than liberal women.” O’Reilly and McCain agreed that liberal women say that conservative women can’t be feminists if they’re pro-life. O’Reilly said “that’s where it all starts."

Comment: While I agree that women haven’t broken the “glass ceiling,” I totally take issue with the notion that conservative women are subjected to rougher treatment than liberal women. If a Democratic woman, with the kind of family dynamics presented by Sarah Palin, were running for VP, do ya think that all the right wing family values types would have been down with that? Most of the negative criticism towards Palin was legitimate because it was directed at her policy positions and incoherency. It turns out that a lot of criticism of Palin came from the McCain camp. And re the women vs. women thing – I do wish McCain had brought up the fact that Bill O’Reilly surrogate, Laura Ingraham, referred to Ms. McCain as being “plus sized.” But if Bill O’Reilly thinks that conservative women have it rougher than liberals he is truly as deluded as he appears to be. Not only is Nancy Pelosi criticized for her “San Francisco values,” but snide references to botox and plastic surgery are made by some in the right wing such as Fox’s Frank Luntz. Laura Ingraham recently said that Pelosi had to do everything except selling her body to get health care passed through the House. Glenn Beck "joked" about poisoning her. SCOTUS Judge Sonia Sotomayor was subject to the harshest of criticisms for the halls of the right wing. How about Glenn Beck: "Hey, Hispanic chick lady! You're empathetic...you're in! That's the way it really works." A Republican activist compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla. A Townhall (conservative) columnist suggested that Ms. Obama was “the first bitch.” Bill O’Reilly said she looked like an angry woman. And Hillary Clinton – Sean Hannity had a whole section of his “Clinton Chapters” devoted to sliming the Secretary of State. So don’t tell me that there’s a double standard for conservative women – Puleeze!


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