‘An embarrassment to women’; State Dept.’s Harf cries sexism — and the scorn pours in

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf is still seething over the reaction to her silly remark that the United States cannot defeat Islamic State militants by killing them, that we must “go after the root causes” terrorists join ISIS — “lack of opportunity for jobs.”

And the reason Harf says she got treated badly is because she is a woman.

The charge of sexism is quickly becoming a familiar refrain with likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton about to announce her run for the White House.

Harf spoke earlier this month at a Historically Black Colleges and Universities foreign policy conference and referenced her “totally uncontroversial” comment about ISIS when asked about her biggest mistake on the job — a comment Harf had previously justified as being “too nuanced an argument for some.”

“It’s instructive that in today’s media climate, anything you can say can set off––I had people tweeting the meanest things you can imagine,” she said. “And it’s not based on what I said, most of it, it’s often based on how I look or how old I am or that I’m a woman, which makes it even worse.”

Of course, this is not the first time Harf has run the misogyny flag up the flagpole.

AP reporter grills State Dept. about mushy
condolences to Iran: ‘Are you sending flowers, as well?’

When Fox News host Bill O’Reilly questioned whether State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had “the gravitas for that job” back in September, saying she was “way out of her depth,” Harf defended her then-boss.

“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, against the 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’s not okay,” Harf said at State Department press briefing at the time.

The Twitter world was having none of Harf’s excuses, though, with one female posting the spokeswoman is “an embarrassment to women.”

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Tom Tillison

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