O'Reilly Factor correspondent and fellow Fox News colleague Jesse Watters recently took a trip to Albuquerque for the 2014 National Organization for Women annual conference. Although he applied for press credentials months ago, Watters wasn't allowed into the conference to cover the event but thankfully, he went anyway. After a few questions to attendees, Watters was quickly escorted out by police and was banned by the Albuquerque Hyatt.
"There is actually an all out war on women raging right now," another attendee told Watters.
"Do I get a weapon, for the war?" Watters asked. After a long pause, the woman responded: "I'm not sure what you mean."
"Have you ever been wounded in the war on women?" Watters asked another visitor. "Yes," she nodded. "Shrapnel?" Watters asked. "Kind-of," she chuckled.
Later, Watters was met with some further resistance when he tried to enter the conference itself.
"You haven't been credentialed," an organizer told him.
"You're not allowing me to cover the event?" he asked. "No," she said.
Watters was soon confronted by two Albuquerque policemen. The journalist smiled and greeted the law enforcement officials.
"We're just here to fight this War on Women," he said.
"The management doesn't want you on the property, so unfortunately, sir, we will have to ask you to leave," one officer said.
"I feel like a P.O.W. now," Watters responded.
Last year I went to the 2013 NOW conference in Chicago and had a similar experience. Despite being a credentialed female member of the press, I was denied press credentials for the event. I went anyway. In order to get in, I had to do something I thought I never would: I became a member of NOW. Here's a sneak peak of what happened from my new upcoming book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women.
When I learned that NOW was going to hold its national convention in Chicago in July 2013, I figured that I owed it to readers of this book to go. After all, if I was going to write about how the political left takes advantage of women and manipulates them for political purposes, I needed to see how the nation’s “largest organization of feminist activists” fit in.
Before my applying for press credentials for the convention, I came across a NOW newsletter that proclaimed as its goal for the future “to expand and diversify membership in our ongoing efforts to bring different perspectives to the organization.” So I was certain they would be happy to welcome me to cover the convention—since I clearly would add diversity and a vastly different perspective.
Instead, just two days before my departure for Chicago, I was informed that despite being a credentialed female member of the press, my press credentials for this conference were denied. “Thank you for your interest in attending this year’s NOW conference as a member of the press,” a woman named Sarah Coppersmith wrote to me in an email. “However, press credentials for the conference will not be issued to you. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.” No other explanation was offered.
I wrote back to Ms. Smith the following: “As a credentialed female member of the press, I’d like to know why the credential to the conference was denied, especially considering flights and hotel rooms have already been booked. I look forward to your response. Thank you.” She never responded.
Assault and Flattery will be published on July 8, 2014.
Katie Pavlich is the Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her latest book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, was published on July 8, 2014.