June 27, 2007

Coulter Didn't Say It. Again. UPDATED

Hatched by Dafydd

Today's drive-by smear against Ann Coulter -- and I can think of several Coulter-haters in the dextrosphere who will eagerly seize upon it to demand that Coulter be muzzled -- is that she supposedly expressed a desire for John Edwards to be "killed in a terrorist attack."

If you see that anywhere, understand that you're being punked: She never said it; the supposed quote from Good Morning America is deliberately taken out of context to bear false witness against her. But that's not what you're going to hear from the screaming meemies.

So what did she actually say? You can judge for yourself in this clip... but here is my transcript of the relevant portion. She was asked by the interviewer, Chris Cuomo, about the earlier controversy over remarks she made about Edwards; she had said something to the effect that she couldn't say what she really thought about him, because you have to go into rehab for using the word "faggot."

We pick it up where she notes another aggressive attack that a different person used against a target on the right -- but which none of the anti-Coulterites seemed to care much about:

COULTER: But about the same time, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So I’ve learned my lesson: If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he’d been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.

First, let's look at the literal words: The offending phrase is the second part of a subjunctive statement, an "if - then." She is literally saying that if she is going to say anything about Edwards, then she will express that wish.

But she is not, of course, actually saying even that much... because anybody with a pair of neurons to rub together understands that what Coulter is really saying is that the Democrats don't seem to mind people using hate speech on-air... at least when the "people" in question is ultra-liberal Bill Maher, and the target is the despised and feared Dick Cheney; why should Republicans appease haters who accuse us of hate speech?

Her statement is not an expression of actual desire to see John Edwards killed. Ann Coulter is noting the irony of people attacking her for implying that Edwards is fey -- while not batting an eyelid at a snide, embittered leftist defending the hate-driven regret of a Huffington Post commenter that the vice president wasn't killed by a bomb attack when he was in Iraq.

Now, I want to be fair to Maher: Coulter was not exactly correct that Maher "said" he wished Cheney had been killed. But he came much closer than Coulter did to saying something similar about Edwards.

According to the partial transcript in this NewsBusters blogpost by Noel Sheppard, here is what Maher actually said on his HBO show (I believe they have a video link, but I confess I didn't follow it to see whether it was still live). He, Joe Scarborough, John Ridley, and Rep. Barney Frank were discussing the Huffington Post commenters who flatly said they wished the bomb attack on Cheney had succeeded:

Maher: What about the people who got onto the Huffington Post -- and these weren’t even the bloggers, these were just the comments section -- who said they, they expressed regret that the attack on Dick Cheney failed....

Scarborough: Okay. Did you say…

Maher: No, no. I quoted that.

Frank: You don’t believe that?

Maher: I’m just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That’s a fact.

In the transcript, Maher does not condemn the comment; in fact, he goes out of his way to defend it. And that is more than Coulter did: She was clearly attacking Maher and those who turned a blind eye to his clear implication.

I hope that before some of the more notorious Coulter haters in the right-wing blogosphere write a post condemning her, they will stop, take a deep breath, and actually listen to what she said in context. It's very different from the way that DemocraticUnderground and DailyKos are spinning it today -- and therefore how the MSM will be spinning it tomorrow.

SWIFT UPDATE a few minutes later:

Here is the official New York Times blog of Michael Falcone, in which he originally repeated the slur intact from the nutroot blogs. He is praising Elizabeth Edwards for her courage in speaking truth to power:

Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, keeps making headlines.

She took on Ann Coulter yesterday, calling in to MSNBC’s “Hardball” to criticize the conservative commentator for “debasing” the political dialogue in the country and to demand that she stop making personal attacks on her husband and other candidates.

Their exchange followed Ms. Coulter’s remarks on Monday that she wished Mr. Edwards would have been killed in a terrorist assassination plot, in response to a question about having labeled Mr. Edwards with an anti-gay slur earlier this year.

Immediately thereafter, Falcone inserts a correction that completely undermines the claim above, in which he finally quotes the actual language... which clearly is not saying Coulter wishes Edwards would be killed. And he ends his correction with a flippant "Now back to the Edwards-Coulter exchange on MSNBC"... returning to what, in Falcone's mind, is the real story of the first segment of his post: poor, put-upon victim Elizabeth Edwards speaking truth to Ann Coulter's power.

The transference from nutroots to elite media has already begun.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 27, 2007, at the time of 1:33 PM

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The following hissed in response by: k2aggie07

Dafydd, off topic:

You've been silent on the senate immigration bill proceedings, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Especially regarding the Cap'n's post here.

The above hissed in response by: k2aggie07 [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 27, 2007 1:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


You've been silent on the senate immigration bill proceedings...

Nothing interesting has passed yet, and there's no news to report.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 27, 2007 2:26 PM

The following hissed in response by: Rovin

Ann Coulter is brilliant when it comes to promoting her books. And Crissy (Matthews) has milked this for another whole day. Nothing pleases me more than to see the left come unglued every time she opens her mouth. And the art of taking things out of context has long been established by the left, which Ann knows to a tee.

The above hissed in response by: Rovin [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 27, 2007 7:08 PM

The following hissed in response by: nk

Ann Coulter has her own agenda which is getting moron colege students to keep on paying her speaking fees. Twenty thousand dollars per the last time I heard. Any resemblance between her and a genuine conservative interested in the continued well-being of this country is purely a calculated confidence game.

The above hissed in response by: nk [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 27, 2007 8:32 PM

The following hissed in response by: Steve

Say what you want about Ann Coulter, but she got sandbagged by the leftists and she handled it in her usual manner, like a pro (and I mean that in the best possible way).

Great post, Dafydd!!!

The above hissed in response by: Steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 27, 2007 8:46 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

No more cooperating with lefty attacks on conservatives.
The lefties expect to be able to whine about a conservative, and then have 'good willed' ocnservatives line up to condemn that wicked person as well.
It is simply a replay of the adage "First theycame for the jews, but no one liked the jews and so did nothing. Then they came for the communists, but no one liked the communists so they did nothing. Then they came for me, and no one did nothing."
We stop the lefty bs now. No more toleration of their calls for censorship. Period.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2007 6:22 AM

The following hissed in response by: Jabba the Tutt

Let's see, what does John Edwards considering uplifting political debate. John Edwards claimed that if Republicans had supported stem cell research, Christopher Reeves would be able to get up and walk. Uplifting debate is to accuse Republicans of wanting Christopher Reeves remain crippled.

Recently, John Edwards accused Republicans of wanting war in Iraq, of wanting people to live in poverty and of wanting global warming. Yup, Elizabeth Edwards, if you are looking for uplifting political debate, why don't you have a sit down with your hubby, Silky Pony.

BTW, in Ann Coulter's mind, 'faggot' isn't a anti-gay slur, it's a person who's a wuss, a weasel, a back-stabber. It's a schoolyard taunt, appropriate for her audience of College Republicans, which included Sophomores, root word for sophomoric.

The above hissed in response by: Jabba the Tutt [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2007 6:48 AM

The following hissed in response by: Seaberry

Great point, hunter. It is obvious that the "progressives" are either as blind as many Germans during the pre-WW2 buildup or outright Fascists.

These "progressives" had thought that by taking back control of the Congress after their 2006 election wins, that they had their "Beloved Precious" back. Then later discovered that they needed even more power, much to their disappointment. Probably explains their slow start at trying to restore the "Fairness Doctrine", that has recently became a major focal point for them, after it had set-on-the-shelf for almost seven months.

Perhaps Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones/WSJ move woke them up. Time has a good story on Murdoch today:

Exclusive: Rupert Murdoch Speaks

My favorite quote, on page three, helps to make my point here:

He'd like the newspaper to be a national counterpoint to the New York Times in setting the country's agenda. "My worry about the New York Times is that it's got the only position as a national élitist general-interest paper. So the network news picks up its cues from the Times. And local papers do too. It has a huge influence. And we'd love to challenge it."

The above hissed in response by: Seaberry [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2007 7:20 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

Thanks. That Murdoch quote is awesome. It is almost exactly what he said about CNN before he took them down.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 28, 2007 9:02 PM

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