‘That’s not okay': Bill O’Reilly’s slam of State Dept. spokeswoman draws fire

September 4, 2014
(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invison/AP) (Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

Another day, another pot stirred by conservative host Bill O’Reilly — and this time, there’s return fire coming from the briefing-room podium at the State Department.

On Thursday, deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf doubled down on her defense of colleague Jen Psaki, the Foggy Bottom spokeswoman who O’Reilly called out during a Wednesday night FOX News show for being “way out of her depth.”

“When the anchor of a leading cable news show uses, quite frankly, sexist, personally offensive language that I actually don’t think they would ever use about a man against a person that shares this podium with me, I think I have an obligation … to step up and say that’s not okay,” Harf told reporters today. “And, quite frankly, I wish that more people would step up when men say those things about women in public positions and say that it’s not okay.”

Earlier, Harf tweeted her displeasure at the FOX News host:

On Wednesday night’s “O’Reilly Factor,” O’Reilly had as a guest Fox News correspondent James Rosen, who recounted his exchange with Psaki earlier in the day over the administration’s approach to combating the terrorist group Islamic State and whether the United States considers the beheadings of two journalists to be acts of war. During the segment, he played a clip of Psaki. 

“With all due respect, and you don’t have to comment on this,” O’Reilly told Rosen. “That woman looks way out of her depth over there. Just the way she delivers … it doesn’t look like she has the gravitas for that job.”

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Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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Emily Heil · September 4, 2014