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Calif. NOW President Defies Boss, Confirms Whitman is a 'Whore

"Meg Whitman could be described as 'a political whore.' Yes, that's an accurate statement."

It may be that the term "whore" will forever be tied to this year's mid-term election season. It seems it's the word, and story, that just won't die. Thanks to the National Organization for Women (NOW), the story got new life today.

The controversy started when the word was used in a planning session for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown. After failing to properly hang up the phone, someone in his office was recorded as wondering aloud if the campaign should call Republican candidate Meg Whitman a whore. That created a firestorm, and Brown eventually gave a half-hearted apology.

So when NOW decided to endorse Brown last week after the comment became public, some questioned why a group that promotes women and should naturally oppose offense language against them would do so.

In response to the criticism, national NOW President Terry O'Neill said that anyone who "from here on" calls a woman a "whore" should be fired. Previous whore-sayers were absolved.

"This term is hate speech that carries with it negative connotations associated with women, and it has no place in contemporary society," O'Neill said in a statement Wednesday, according to Fox. "NOW calls on Brown, from this point forward, to fire any member of his staff who uses this word or any hate speech against women."

California NOW president Patty Bellasalma must not have gotten the memo. Not only did she repeat the slur, but she expounded on it. Bellasalma used the term on two separate occasions, this one from Talking Points Memo: "Meg Whitman could be described as 'a political whore.' Yes, that's an accurate statement."

Earlier comments to the Daily Caller elaborated on her position:

Bellasalma said that while calling Whitman a "whore" was a poor choice of words, the description was accurate. "The very troubling issue that is embedded in that call is what prompted the description of Meg as a 'whore' is basically that she sold out Californians for an endorsement and a $450,000 independent expenditure campaign," she said.

And for those who might want to claim Bellasalma was taken out of context, she confirmed to TPM that she wasn't. She really, truly, believes that Whitman is a "political whore."

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey raises a good question: will O'Neil follow her own suggestion and fire Bellasalma for the comments? Morrissey says O'Neil should:

NOW routinely plays victim cards, and has done so explicitly on this kind of rhetoric.  Now they have been “hoist with their own petard,” and should be held accountable to their own standards.  Even with O’Neill’s laughable construction, Bellasalma should have her walking papers in hand by the end of the day today.

But won't:

Will O’Neill fire Bellasalma?  Not a chance.  Expect NOW to suddenly embrace the “whore” insult as an asexual description of a lack of honor and ethics, which is exactly how it has been meant when used in the political context by all of the people NOW attacked over the years for using the term.  And in doing so, they will have completed their performance-art meltdown and the exposure of their own lack of integrity and honesty.

Friday, Fox News debated the issue. Host Martha MacCallum asked whether, while offensive, could "political whore" be an accurate description of some of Whitman's dealings? MacCallum's guests dodged the question, but the answer might be "maybe" -- she's apparently promised to protect the Los Angeles Police Protective League's pensions from her pension-reform plan:

One last thing…
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