The National Organization for Women (NOW) has walked back its refusal to FoxNews.com Tuesday to condemn a vulgar remark that comedian Bill Maher made about Sarah Palin during his Friday show.
Maher's attempt at humor: “Did you hear this — Sarah Palin finally heard what happened in Japan and she’s demanding that we invade ‘Tsunami,' I mean she said, ‘These ‘Tsunamians’ will not get away with this.’ Oh speaking of dumb . . . ," he said, using a very vulgar term for women.
He insulted the former Republican vice presidential candidate and potential 2012 presidential candidate even though she never made such a remark.
NOW officials refused to comment when FoxNews.com contacted the organization, with a rep saying it's a "known fact" the organization doesn't communicate with Fox.
However, other women’s groups roundly criticized Maher.
“Widespread sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women, and seriously affects women in politics. A highly toxic media environment persists for women candidates, and discourages all women — irrespective of political persuasion — from running for public office,” said Yana Walton of Women's Media Center.
“Despite the fact that women make up half of the population, we're only 17 percent of congress. Bill Maher's misogynistic comment about Sarah Palin hurts all women, not just Palin, and not just conservative women. By insulting her gender, rather than her platform or stance on issues, he insults women as a group.”
And Wednesday, NOW must have come with a NEW rule on Fox, as NOW communications director Lisa Bennett issued a statement later Tuesday, published at Dailycaller.com, saying: “Listen, supposedly progressive men (ok, and women, too): Cut the crap! Stop degrading women with whom you disagree and/or don’t like by using female body terms or other gender-associated slurs."
Bennett's statement also scolded the media for soliciting her group's reaction to slurs against women.
“You’re trying to take up our time getting us to defend your friend, Sarah Palin," Bennett wrote. "If you keep us busy defending her, we have less time to defend women’s bodies from the onslaught of reproductive rights attacks and other threats to our freedom, safety, livelihood, etc. Sorry, but we can’t defend Palin or even Hillary Clinton from every sexist insult hurled at them in the media. That task would be impossible, and it would consume us. You know this would not be a productive way to fight for women’s equal rights, which is why you want us stuck in this morass.”
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