O'Reilly: Steinem Feminists Object to Mocking Helen Thomas, But Stay Silent on Palins

On Wednesday night’s O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly circled around the David Letterman teen-got-knocked-up crack against the Palins, noticing that the Women’s Media Center, founded by uber-feminists Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda, harangued O’Reilly for mocking Helen Thomas for having a voice like the “Wicked Witch of the East,” but made no protest on Palin’s behalf to the Letterman show:

BILL O’REILLY: Now, women's groups. As you know, Sarah Palin and David Letterman. Not one woman's group -- no, NOW said something. I'm sorry. The National Organization for Women said, "Dave." OK. But no protests, no anything like that. But remember when I made fun of Helen Thomas, what happened? Roll the tape.

HELEN THOMAS, JOURNALIST: Do you think that Pakistan and -- are maintaining the safe havens in Afghanistan for these so-called terrorists?

O'REILLY: The White House press corps looked intimidated to me. Didn't they look intimidated? Except for that what's her name? The old lady, Helen Thomas. [Makes a noise like a dying crow.] It's like the wicked witch of the east.

ALAN COLMES: I didn't know you did impersonations.

O'REILLY: If I were Obama, I would have poured water on her.

COURTNEY MARTIN, MEMBER, WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER: I think we both know that Helen Thomas is fine with being criticized for her work, for her actual journalism. But to take an attack at her appearance is just disrespectful.

O'REILLY: What was the appearance attack?

MARTIN: When is the first time you complimented a woman by calling her a witch?

O'REILLY: I didn't call her a witch. I said her voice sounded like - - and I did the voice. That was clear. (END VIDEO CLIP)

O'REILLY: Alright. Now, the Women's Media Center, which came on and said nasty things about me, not a word about Sarah Palin. We checked their Web site. We monitored. Not one word. So I say to you, [Margaret] Hoover, women's groups, pressure groups, all ideological now, all on the far left, and they're done!

The Women's Media Center statement on O'Reilly in February insisted they were the type of feminists who stuck up for all women:

It was an attack no woman deserves--including this accomplished, award winning journalist working in the White House press corps, where women are underrepresented. The Women's Media Center demonstrated in its Sexism Sells But We're Not Buying It viral campaign that sexist remarks went unchecked by networks during the primary season. Now, as then, the WMC demands accountability.

An immediate public apology is required.

But the WMC doesn't "demand accountability" when Palin and her daughters are the targets of nasty mockery. As O'Reilly was calling them out, the WMC was handing out awards in Manhattan. MediaBistro's Fishbowl NY blog reported that Gloria Feldt, WMC board member and former Planned Parenthood boss, claimed at the dinner: "The mission of WMC is to point out, with your help, all the bull[bleep]...wherever it is."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis