State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf took a shot at Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Thursday for critiquing the widely panned performance of another State Department spokeswoman earlier this week.
— Marie Harf (@marieharf) September 4, 2014
On his show Wednesday night, O’Reilly had on Fox reporter James Rosen, who had asked State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether the Obama administration considers itself to be at war with the Islamic State after the terrorist group beheaded two U.S. journalists.
Psaki said she did not want to “put new labels on it.”
Psaki also insisted that the U.S. was taking steps to fight the Islamic State, but tried to pass off the humanitarian efforts of the U.S. in Iraq for action against the terrorist group in Syria.
O’Reilly mostly used the segment to ask Rosen how the administration views the threat from the Islamic State. Rosen said President Barack Obama has offered conflicting goals about how to handle the threat, but when he raised this as a question, Psaki accused Rosen of trying to twist Obama’s words.
But at one point, O’Reilly did criticize Psaki’s performance, which appeared to motivate Harf to slam O’Reilly in her tweet.
“With all due respect…that woman looks way out of her depth over there,” he said of Psaki. “It just doesn’t look like she has the gravitas for that job.”
At her daily press briefing, Harf said O’Reilly was being sexist for calling out Psaki’s performance.
“I think that 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, about a person that shares this podium with me, I think I have an obligation and I think it’s important to step up and say that it’s not OK,” she said. “And quite frankly, I wish more people would step up when men say those things about women in public positions and say that it’s not OK.”
Harf was asked whether she thinks a man would have been criticized the same way for giving the answers that Psaki gave. “No, I don’t think it would be used against a man,” she said.
Watch O’Reilly’s segment here:
This story has been updated to note Harf’s response at her daily press briefing.