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Friday, June 29, 2007
MRC Doubles Down on Coulter Defense
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has officially become a Ann Coulter dead-ender.

Another June 28 press release -- the second Coulter-related MRC release of the day -- complains that "[s]ome leading national media are misreporting conservative Ann Coulter’s remarks about liberal Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards." But in repeating Coulter's "entire quote" that "Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack," the MRC does not note that Coulter distorted Maher's words in a not-dissimilar fashion to the way the MRC accuses the media of distorting Coutler.

The release goes on to quote Brent Bozell explaining Coulter's "humor":

Ann Coulter was making the point that (a) a leftist like Bill Maher made the serious statement that it might be a positive thing to have Vice President Dick Cheney killed by terrorists,” Brent Bozell continued, and, “(b) it received no condemnation from the national press; and therefore (c) she would escape negative media scrutiny in the future were she to take that line against John Edwards.

It is an inescapable truth that Ann Coulter was dripping with sarcasm when she made her remark.

1) That "dripping with sarcasm" excuse doesn't extend to Amanda Marcotte, as we've noted.

2) Bozell softened Coulter's distortion. She didn't say that Maher said "it might be a positive thing to have Vice President Dick Cheney killed by terrorists," she said Maher said "he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack." No "might" involved.

3) Unmentioned by Bozell is that Coulter made the arguably serious statements that "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York  Times Building" -- which she called "prescient," not exactly the sign of someone who's jokiing -- and that "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee." Both of these statements predate Maher's remark, so it can be plausibly argued that Coulter set the precedent for making death threats against her political enemies and that Maher was merely following her lead. 

If the MRC is going to defend Coulter -- which it appears it will do to the death -- it's axiomatic that this defense extends to her death threats as well. Are you really comfortable doing that, Brent? Is Coulter worth this much effort?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 AM EDT

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