Bill O’Reilly purported to hold a fair and balanced discussion of the fierce reaction that greeted Mitt Romney’s “whole binders full of women” comment during the debate this week. And maybe it would have been if O’Reilly hadn’t repeatedly interrupted his two women guests to patronizingly insert his opinion that the whole thing was some kind of crazy (female) nonsense. To top it all off, he closed by telling his female guest who had been offended by Romney, “I don’t believe you’re being treated as a second class citizen. If somebody does treat you that way, let me know.” Like what, he's gonna beat them up on TV?
For those who missed it, Romney said this at the debate:
We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, can you help us find folks? And I brought us whole binders full of — of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my cabinet and my senior staff that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.
Besides the insulting, high-handed tone of the statement, which progressive guest Erica Payne likened to an Arab sheikh flipping through pages looking for women, Romney’s account of his search for women was not quite true. But as I noted in my post about Megyn Kelly’s America Live discussion on this topic, Romney’s dissembling got swept aside in a deliberate effort to diminish and denigrate the “binders full of women” reaction. Now, O’Reilly was doing the same thing only more diminishing and more denigrating.
The other guest was Wendy Murphy, familiar to any regular News Hounds reader as a supposed voice for women who happens to hate feminists. More on her here.
And then there was Bill, putting his thumb on the “fair and balanced scale. “Is this as crazy as I think it is?” O’Reilly asked. “I can’t believe that anyone would be offended by that statement.”
After questioning Romney’s “Arab Sheikh” posturing, Payne called it more offensive that in spite of his initial efforts to recruit, by the end of Romney's administration the number of women in high-ranking positions was less than when he took office. This was a point that Megyn Kelly also overlooked.
O’Reilly could not have cared less. Or maybe he did and just wanted to defend his guy, Romney. O’Reilly interrupted to say paternalistically, “I just think this is so crazy. But here’s why it’s going on, Wendy. When you have a president who is in trouble, and President Obama is right now. Could change but right now he could lose. Then his supporters like Ms. Payne and Ms. Ledbetter (shown in a clip at the beginning of the segment) are going to find anything to denigrate and diminish the opposition.”
Ignoring what Payne had just said, O’Reilly later said, “When the governor tried to do a good thing… he is being thrown back on his head because he used the word ‘binder.’”
Murphy got in a predictably demonizing dig at those who disagreed. She claimed that women’s rights groups and “victims rights groups” are “not really speaking on behalf of women. They are in a sense shill groups, especially the non-profits, on behalf of the Democrats. And, you know, they don’t really care about women’s interests.”
Then, to top off the rest of his condescension and paternalism, O’Reilly told Payne, “I’m gonna give you 40 seconds to wrap it up. So don’t say anything crazy so I have to interrupt. But go ahead.”
He was half-kidding but still.
Payne said she was offended by Murphy’s characterization and that since women make up a larger percentage of voters than men, “I am tired of being treated like a second class citizen."
But Papa Bear O’Reilly took the last word for himself: I don’t believe you’re being treated as a second class citizen. I’ve never seen that. If somebody does treat you that way, let me know.
Um, Bill, I think Payne just tried to.
“If any woman ever breathed a word, I’ll make her pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born. I’ll rake her through the mud, bring up things in her life and make her so miserable that she’ll be destroyed. And besides, she wouldn’t be able to afford the lawyers I can, or endure it financially as long as I can. … " and so on.
Killer is one psychotic, Hate-Filled putz.