The 22-year-old “feminist” who wrote a story accusing comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct–because he didn’t recognize his date’s “nonverbal cues” while they were having consensual sex–was destroyed on the air by HLN pundit Ashleigh Banfield.
The Babe story caused an unprecedented backlash against the #MeToo movement, with people of all political persuasions slamming the story as trivializing actual sexual assault and ruining a man’s career for, essentially, doing nothing wrong.
Banfield was one of the loudest voices speaking out against the Babe story, calling it “appalling” and dismissing the alleged allegations as a “bad date.”
Banfield’s brutal criticism apparently got under the skin of Katie Way–the 22-year-old who wrote the Babe.net piece about Ansari.
Way fired back against Banfield’s criticism with a nasty email that attacked Banfield’s looks. Banfield then read on the air, saying it gave “insight into the caliber of person who held that nuclear weapon that was wielded on Ansari’s career.”
“‘Ashleigh, someone I am certain nobody under the age of 45 has heard of,'” Banfield read from Way’s email. “‘I hope the 500 retweets on the single news write up made that burgundy lipstick, bad highlights, second wave feminist has-been really relevant for a little while.'”
Banfield then responded with a brutal takedown of Way for her email: “The reason I want to share that is because if you truly believe in the #MeToo movement, if you truly believe in women’s rights, if you truly believe in feminism, the last thing you should do is attack someone in an ad hominem way for her age–I’m 50–and for my highlights.”
Then, Banfield went in for the kill: “I was brown-haired for a while when I was a war correspondent, interviewing Yasser Arafat, and in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, and the West Bank. Google those places.”
“This is not the way we have this conversation, as women or men,” Banfield continued, addressing the other members of the HLN panel. “As journalists, we do not attack people for their age, or their highlights or their lipstick because it is the most hypocritical thing a woman who says she supports the women’s movement could ever do. And that’s the caliber of the woman who was given all of this power and was able to wield this power.”