As we’ve reported, Liz Trotta has come under a lot of fire for having said, “Now, what did they expect?” at the news that the Pentagon is looking into ways to deal with a rise in violent sexual assault in the military. The Viet Nam Veterans of America were outraged and demanded an apology from her and a denunciation of her remarks from Fox News. Instead, yesterday, Trotta skirted the “what did they expect” aspect of her commentary and doubled down on her complaints about women in the military - and attacks on feminism - in an attempt to respond and defend herself. Fox host Eric Shawn sympathetically helped emphasize her military cred as he and Fox News graphics highlighted her war-reporting credentials. Classy.
Trotta turned a blind eye to the real objections to her statements. As John Rowan, VVA National President put it, “We are appalled that Ms. Trotta would use the Fourth Estate as a vehicle to condone the criminal acts of some by contending that sexual assault in the military is ‘expected’ behavior.”
Instead, she acted as though the objections were a misunderstanding of her criticisms of women serving in the military. So she reiterated and expanded on that with such divisive, hostile statements as, “Political correctness infecting the Pentagon has resulted in silly and dishonest fairy tales about female heroism.”
Shawn said supportively, “You were the first woman network news reporter in Viet Nam. You were fired at. You were out there living with the troops.”
The essence of Trotta’s theory seemed to be that feminists have somehow stealthily worked their will on the military without proper public scrutiny into what women's roles should be, if any. But that was not the cause for the offense taken over her previous remarks. Nor was her comment, “Now, what do they expect?” a call for any kind of discussion. In fact, the essence of what was supposed to be a clarification of last week’s remarks was more or less a re-declaration that women shouldn’t be in the military in the first place:
I am very sensitive to the needs of forces and the political chicanery of the feminist left. The military is not a social services operation or a testing ground for gender wars. It is a fighting machine. Yet male troops are now encumbered with the realities of feminist biology. Women are not as strong as men. Their instincts and reactions in crisis are markedly different... Biology is destiny.
Trotta said she did “three tours of duty” as a reporter in Viet Nam and covered other wars and that there is “an enormous difference” between covering a war and fighting one.
In other words, she has no personal experience on the subject she was declaiming about. And rather than report on any actual studies or conduct any interviews with people who do have that personal experience or knowledge, she was ready to pronounce what is and is not acceptable in the military - with inflammatory, divisive language.
And Fox News is standing behind her.
Video via Mediaite.
Last Sunday, Fox News' Liz Trotta made several inflammatory comments about women in the military; stirring up the ire of Jon Stewart and countless pundits. Yesterday, Trotta was back on Fox News, given a chance to clarify her comments and explain what she meant.
No official statements yet, but I’m hearing down the wire that the veteran and womens groups are both less than amused.
And let’s not even go into the siding up this is causing.
This is now officially a very, very ugly affair.