Bill O’Reilly’s sexist and ageist comments about legendary reporter Helen Thomas require an apology.
On last night’s show (February 9th, 2009) O’Reilly compared Ms. Thomas to “the Wicked Witch of the East” along with disparaging remarks about her appearance and age. Guest Bernard Goldberg added his own insult, and even Alan Colmes, while attempting to defend her, seemed to be having too much fun. This kind of verbal degradation in the guise of humor is unacceptable, and as Media Matters has documented, it’s part of an on-going pattern where he’s targeted Thomas.
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 viral campaign that sexist remarks went unchecked by networks during the primary season. Now, as then, WMC demands accountability.
As a member of The Women’s Media Center, I demand a public apology from Bill O’Reilly.