LIBERAL strategist Grahame Morris had what he would term a ''cow of a day'' yesterday.
It all began when he was asked on ABC radio about the tough interview that 7.30 host Leigh Sales conducted with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott last week.
''Well Leigh can be a real cow sometimes when she's doing her interviews,'' he told Radio 702.
The Twitterverse pounced, with various people, including ABC radio host Mark Colvin, reporting the comments on social media.
Sales responded by tweeting: ''I'd rather be a cow than a dinosaur'', and a media scandal was born.
Mr Morris, who apologised both on radio and in person (by leaving a voicemail message for Sales) insisted that calling people and things a ''cow'' is an expression he uses frequently.
''You know, 'I'm having a cow of a day'. It's an expression that people have used for a hundred years,'' he told The Age.
''I was saying there are times when [Sales] can be tough … it's just a fact of life, sometimes Leigh can be tough. So can any journalist.''
But as Sales remarked, she doesn't recall former 7.30 Report host Kerry O'Brien ever being called a cow.
Her male co-host, Chris Uhlmann, has never been likened to a barnyard animal.
''I've had worse,'' Sales said yesterday.
Sales received a lot of feedback following last week's Abbott interview.
The overwhelming majority was positive, but some people emailed or tweeted calling her ''shrill'' or ''a bitch''.
''If you're going to take the positive feedback then you have to be prepared to take the negative feedback,'' she said.
Sales has noticed that some viewers label her aggressive when she conducts a tough interview.
''I suppose sexism is when you call a woman something that you wouldn't call a man,'' she said.
For his part, Mr Morris said: ''I accept that some people saw it as a sexist remark. It wasn't meant to be.''
Asked whether he would moderate his terminology in the future, Mr Morris said: ''I may change that phrase. I won't change anything else.''