Ann Coulter Trashes 9/11 Widows on Today Show (Video)
Ann Coulter has managed, once again, to inflame Left and Right alike with comments she made on the “Today” show with Matt Lauer.
Here’s a transcript of the most controversial part:
LAUER: On the 9-11 widows, an in particular a group that had been critical of the administration:
COULTER: “These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9-11 was an attack on our nation and acted like as if the terrorist attack only happened to them. They believe the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing bush was part of the closure process.”
“These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s death so much.”
Here’s the video, via YouTube:
Ian Schwartz, among several area bloggers I had dinner with last night, has the whole interview in case the YouTube version gets lifted over copyright issues,
Coulter’s critics on the Left are angry that she’s allowed on television at all.
John Amato is aghast that, “The last time she was on the show he treated her as a normal person. I would hope that stops . . . .” He also offers a video of Kathy Griffith‘s appearance later in the show, where she says, “I saw that nut-bag on the show earlier. What’s she doing wearing a cocktail dress at seven in the morning. She got home from the party last night. Doesn’t she just make stuff up Al? Who fact checks? You can’t just let Ann Coulter…”
Peter Dauo agrees, arguing that Lauer lost the debate on this issue by “the mere granting of a platform to someone as obviously disturbed as Coulter.”
Media Matters is launching a write-in campaign to get NBC to stop airing “hate speech.”
Reaction on the Right is mixed but mostly defensive.
Mark Finkelstein observes, “While considerable attention focuses on Ann Coulter’s more superficial charms, from a conservative perspective Ann’s real beauty is her absolute refusal to buy into liberal logic, no matter how pervasive.” He recaps the rest of the “debate” (I thought it was an interview) between Lauer and Coulter although, oddly, omits this particular part.
World O’ Crap is inspired to write a fictious “Meet the Press” episode wherein Tim Russert interviews Satan and Jesus, under the inspiration, “Imagine if you will a network news program where the host believes that his obligation as a journalist is to place evil on the same footing as good (so that evil will stop complaining about how the media always favors good).”
Confederate Yankee Bob Owens: “Excessive hyperbole aside, Coulter was right on this point.”
Sean Hackbarth initially saw the show and proclaimed, “Coulter didn’t call anyone names and frustrated Lauer. That’s a top-notch performance.” In a post-controversy update, he observes, “I’m no fan of Coulter and am as hard on her as anybody, but I wouldn’t call her criticism of some Sep. 11 widows as ‘stomach-churning.'”
Rick Moran, who has a long post taking Coulter to task for this and her general “schtick,” is an exemplar of the “Coulter unhinged” view.
She has descended into a black hole of necessity from which there is no escape; where she is forced to please her rabid base of red meat conservatives usually by going beyond the bounds of decency and proper public discourse in order to make a point that could have been made without resorting to the kind of hurtful, hateful, personal attacks that have become a hallmark of her war with liberals.
The anti-Bush 9/11 widows are not immune from criticism for their political positions nor even for the tactics they use to advance those positions. But to say that they are “enjoying” their status as widows is so far beyond the pale that anyone who makes such a statement deserves the most severe censure possible. And the networks who use Coulter as some kind of “Spokesman” for the right should be told in no uncertain terms by as many of us as possible that she doesn’t speak for any conservatives that we want to be associated with.
AllahPundit posts video excerpts and quotes, including a somewhat uncivil line from Moran’s attack on Coulter’s incivility. Commenters are uniformly positive with, “You go Girl!” among the more well argued.
Don Surber titles his post, “Coulter brings shame to conservatives.”
Greg Tinti terms it,
Absolutely. Disgusting. And even worse, most of the reaction I have seen so far to this from conservatives around the blogosphere has been defending it or trying to explain it away as part of Ann’s “schtick.” Well, if it is “schtick,” it’s certainly not funny anymore. It’s all a shame because Ann is a great writer with a lot of talent, intelligence, and wit but now, unfortunately, has put herself in the uncomfortable position of having to out-shock herself.
As regular readers are aware, I tend to follow the Moran-Tinti school on this one. Coulter is a great talent but her schtick has gotten old and she seems to think she has to continue to say outrageous things to get attention. Someone with her skills doesn’t need to resort to such tactics but, alas, they are quite lucrative in the opinion game. One can look down the list of the most highly trafficked political blogs and find few non-inflammatory sites among them.
As to the “Jersey girls” bit, there’s much to it. I agree with Owens that “the death of a loved one does not automatically grant intelligence or insightfulness or Truth, nor does it grant a Writ of Veracity, where the speaker can no longer be challenged because of the shield of personal loss.” Indeed, I have long argued that the non-government victims of 9/11 deserve no different treatment from the taxpayer than other murder victims. But there’s a right way to deliver a message and a wrong way. Coulter’s is decidedly the latter.
Update: Ed Morrissey twists the knife a bit further, noting that, “Three years ago, [Ted] Rall made essentially the same point in one of his crude cartoons and got rightly panned for it.” Ouch. His final thoughts echo my own:
This represents the downside of provocateurs, even those entertaining enough to enjoy for 80% of the time. Instead of arguing facts or philosophy, the provocateur usually relies on ad hominem attack in order to degrade and dismiss their opposition. A little of that goes a very long way, and unfortunately Coulter delivered it in droves yesterday.