You aren’t helping women, Gov. Haley

Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina recently went on a European spending spree at the expense of taxpayers. Reporter Renee Dudley covered the story:

Gov. Nikki Haley’s weeklong trip to Europe in June in search of “jobs, jobs, jobs” cost South Carolinians more than $127,000. But the governor and her entourage of more than two dozen returned without any finished deals to bring new employers to the Palmetto State.

Haley, who captured the governor’s office preaching fiscal restraint, spent the cash so she, her husband and the rest of the state’s contingent could stay in five-star hotels; sip cocktails at the Paris Ritz; dine on what an invitation touted as “delicious French cuisine” at a swanky rooftop restaurant; and rub elbows with the U.S. Ambassador to France at his official residence near the French presidential palace.

The South Carolina group also threw a soiree at the Hotel de Talleyrand, a historic Parisian townhouse where they feted foreign employers in hopes they’d set up shop in South Carolina. The Department of Commerce billed the $25,000 event as a “networking opportunity for members of the South Carolina delegation.”

“It was a great party,” Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in an interview last week.

In this investigative piece, Dudley raises a number of concerns that ought to interest South Carolina. She uses several sources and attempted to contact the governor’s office for comment. It was a professionally done story. Unfortunately, since it strikes at the heart of the governor’s claims to fiscal conservatism, Haley had this to say:

And all I will tell you is: God bless that little girl at The Post and Courier. I mean her job is to try and create conflict. My job is to create jobs. In the end I’m going to have jobs to show for it,” Haley said on “The Laura Ingraham Show.

First, something which is going to fly under the radar and be ignored for the bigger and more obvious story: Even if Dudley’s job is to create conflict – and it isn’t – then she did so. She showed that the interests of Haley do not jive with the interests of South Carolina taxpayers. So when Haley implies that at the end of the day she’s going to have something to show for her efforts and Dudley isn’t, she’s wrong. But of course, the bigger story here is the “little girl” comment. It’s a stupid and demeaning statement. Naturally a number of people want Haley to apologize. And she did. Sort of:

The story painted a grossly inaccurate picture and was unprofessionally done, but my ‘little girl’ comment was inappropriate and I regret that,” Haley said. “Everyone can have a bad day. I’ll forgive her bad story, if she’ll forgive my poor choice of words.

What a dick.

As I said earlier, Dudley’s piece meets journalistic standards. Haley’s people had an opportunity to rebuke the story. They failed. The only unprofessional thing here is Haley’s childish back-handed apology.

I know it’s a popular thing for people to assume only white men can be sexist and/or racist, but that clearly is not the case. (See this video from Texas for a bit of black-to-white racism.) Haley has given ample evidence against that. (And, hey, who wants to bet PZ isn’t going to latch onto this story?) She ought to join everyone else at the adult table, apologize, and then stop using ad hom fallacies as a response to legitimate concerns.