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Caught in the Crossfire: Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Get Back Into the Water...She's baaack...Ann Coulter!

[Aired June 27, 2002]

CARLSON: She's never been the shy type, but columnist Ann Coulter has reached new levels of ferocity in her latest book, "Slander", the liberal lies about the American right. In it Coulter slashes a number of media figures -- Katie Couric, Peter Jennings, and a certain bald man on this very set. She joins us tonight from our Los Angeles bureau. Welcome.



CARVILLE: Ms. Coulter, you got a lot of things to say about a lot of people in the media and liberal media and even some things to say about the conservative media, but you (UNITELLIGIBLE) some of my favorite topics, gossip and sex. Let me put up a quote from you from the "Washington Post".

She, meaning you, Ann Coulter, said yesterday that "National Review" editor - the "National Review" by the way is one of the most prestigious conservative publications in the country. "National Review" editor Rich Lowry and his deputies are just girly-boys.

So I'd like to ask you about a couple of his deputies and see - get your opinion if he's a girly-boy or not. Is Ramish Purnaru (ph) - is he a girly-boy or not?

COULTER: No, he's a friend of mine ...

CARVILLE: No, girly-boy or not a girly-boy ...

COULTER: ... and an excellent writer.



CARVILLE: Go ahead.

COULTER: Was that the end of the question or ...


CARVILLE: No I was asking you, Rich Lowry is a girly-boy? Is ...


COULTER: I was responding to a question about why they had dropped my column, recommending that we take an extra little gander at swarthy men going - flying commercial aircraft in America after ...


COULTER: ... September 11th and remarking that perhaps they were a bit hysterical in light of the fact that six months later "National Review" came out for racial profiling at airports. I think that is -- and I did accurately describe what was going on, though I have to say a lot of people were hysterical after the war. We - the nation was under attack, so I don't really blame them.

CARVILLE: That's interesting. But I just-we have established that Lowry, in your opinion, is a girly-boy. Is Mr. Purnaru (ph) a girly-boy?

COULTER: No, but I am pleased that you are illustrating an aspect ...


COULTER: ... put together an MTV video, I can put this in it. I wrote a book that has ...


COULTER: ... you know, thousands of facts, studies, quotes - 35 pages of footnotes ...


COULTER: ... and what you're trying to do is go through and find some quote that will - that will expose me as a wild bigot so that people can just dismiss the idea of the book ...


CARVILLE: No ma'am, I'm not accusing ...


CARVILLE: ... I'm not accusing you of being a bigot ...


CARVILLE: ... I'm accusing you of being a fool. There's a difference.

COULTER: I don't - I have ...

CARVILLE: I don't know if you're a bigot. I do know you're a fool.

COULTER: Oh, I'm a fool. Well let me ...

CARVILLE: Of course you are.

COULTER: ... retract my book then. This is precisely ... (CROSSTALK)

COULTER: ... the problem ...


CARVILLE: Well I don't care about your book.

COULTER: ... in America.


COULTER: And I must say I barely mention you - is the question going on?


COULTER: Sorry, I didn't hear ...

CARVILLE: Go ahead.

CARLSON: Let me address - hello, let me address one of the ideas in your book. I want to read you a quote you wrote - a pretty amusing quote. We'll put it up on the screen.

COULTER: Thank you.

CARLSON: Here it is. "George Bush doesn't actually have to be a penis head for some portion of voters to believe absolutely without hesitation that he is a penis head. That's the beauty of controlling all major sources of news dissemination in America. It ensures that liberals will never have to learn how to argue beyond the level of a six-year old".

Now obviously I agree with the last point. I work on CROSSFIRE. I know. But the first point, that there's this conspiracy, this liberal conspiracy ...

COULTER: Conspiracy is your word, I believe, Tucker.

CARLSON: Well no, but I'm just - that's what - that's the implication, that the press is really sort of in a league with its various parts and that they're aligned against the right. That's a conspiracy. Is that what ...


COULTER: This is why conservatives have to write books. I put things in my own words, which interestingly enough, I find the better words ...


COULTER: ... and the point of that is that, as James just demonstrated, we'll be able to use it as a clip for the MTV version of my book. This is how Democrats argue. Instead of engaging ideas, generally you're either an idiot or a fool, as he just called me, or you're crazy ...

CARLSON: Well, wait a second ...


COULTER: ... it's either scarily weird or dumb, and so you can never engage in ideas. That is ...


CARLSON: Hold on. Slow down ...


COULTER: ... beginning of the chapter.

CARLSON: No, Ann, I'm not accusing you of any of those things - being dumb or ...

COULTER: No, I'm explaining the quote you just ran.


COULTER: You asked ...


COULTER: That is ...

CARLSON: But ...


COULTER: ... the chapter.

CARLSON: OK, the bottom line question I have is you're obviously on the right - so am I, good for you. But, you've done well in spite of that. Doesn't that say something, that if they're - you know, if the liberals do control the media and I think generally they do. They're - conservatives can still vanquish them or rise above or whatever. Isn't that - aren't you a demonstration that that's true?

COULTER: It does say something. What it - what it says something about, and this is an important point, is the great common sense of the American people, despite the constant browbeating, 24 hours a day, on the major networks on all major newspapers and magazines. The American people really have shown an enormous capacity to withstand the propaganda, especially in those media, which I describe as the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) media where they are allowed to choose.

That is the Internet, radio, and books, where conservatives absolutely dominate the list, dominate the top Internet sites, dominate talk radio. When Americans are given a choice, they choose conservatives. They're not given a choice on ABC, NBC and CBS.

CARVILLE: Well let's - first of all, I want to - no liberal thinks that President Bush is a penis head. We think he's actually an airhead, but there's a difference between the two. Let's go to your book and let's take a quote out of the book here. Like Catholic schoolgirls engaging in wild promiscuity to prove they aren't fanatics, and we're going to talk about a real liberal here as opposed to some of these pseudo liberals.

Robertson (ph), that is Pat Robertson (ph), consistently takes to most pathetically moderate, establishment positions within the Republican Party. Do you think Robertson is a real liberal?

COULTER: That is so preposterous to take that quote and suggest ...


COULTER: ... where I wrote it that I was suggesting that he was a liberal. I was saying nothing of the sort. That is not the point ...


CARVILLE: ... is he a pathetic moderate?


COULTER: I'm sorry, I thought you were done with your question.


COULTER: What's your question?

CARVILLE: I've rephrased my question. You're right, you didn't say I want to be accurate, that Pat Robertson is a pathetic moderate.

COULTER: Are you done with your question now?

CARVILLE: Yes, I'm done.

COULTER: Because you know what? Another way liberals avoid engaging in ideas to constantly, constantly interrupt conservatives on air, to talk over them, to filibuster them. It's as if liberals are afraid if - an articulate conservative position ever escapes into the world it will put a religious hex on them. What are you so afraid of? Let me talk. Let me answer your question. Both of the quotes that you have both just put up really are sort of odd quotes to be using to take them completely out of context ...

CARLSON: Ann ...


CARLSON: ... hold on. Stop for a sec.


CARLSON: I'm not a liberal. I'm as right wing as you are. Answer the question.

COULTER: I'm not accusing you ...


COULTER: ... of being a liberal, but first I will describe the penis head quote. That was in the chapter in which I point out that liberals can be deprived of half their arguments if they could never call another Republican dumb. That is the chapter that is detailed in the number of times Republicans, especially presidential candidates, are called dumb. The point I was making in the middle of that paragraph, that sentence there, was that it's on the order of, you know, a six-year old who has been deprived of all capacity to melt logical counter arguments calling ...

CARVILLE: Well you're right ...

COULTER: ... everything a penis head, calling everything stupid.


CARVILLE: ... but conservatives ramble and you're rambling right now.

COULTER: And on the ...


CARVILLE: ... ask you the question - I want to ask you the question - Robertson, is he a pathetic moderate? Is that your opinion of Pat? Is he defined pathetic moderate ...

COULTER: That is in a chapter on the religious right in which I've tried to figure out what the religious right was, and from reading through, you know, endlessly, it ultimately comes down to either one man, Pat Robertson, or a majority of Americans, as the "New York Times" seems to define the religious right, anyone who wants his taxes cut and believes in it being even higher than the "New York Times."

My point in going through Robertson's position right there, which I follow up with, is to say that if he didn't go on TV and yap about God all the time, yes he would be Jim Jeffords of Vermont, even be ...


COULTER: ... concerned moderate Republican. If that's what liberals are frightened of, they scare easily.

CARLSON: OK, then speaking of moderates, I mean I think - I think it's actually fair to call the current president, President Bush, a moderate. I mean it's an insult, but I think it's true. Are you disappointed in him, in his endorsement in signing the campaign finance bill, the steel tariffs coming out yesterday in favor of settlements for the partners, the gay partners of firemen and cops in New York, et cetera, et cetera. I mean I could go on. He's obviously not as conservative as you are. Do you feel like he's betrayed conservatism?

COULTER: Oh, absolutely not. I think he's been a great president. I think he's been a fabulous wartime president, as I describe in the book. OK, he sells out on a few namby-pamby issues, but he has been a magnificent leader and most of all, I would say consider the alternative.

CARLSON: Well, that's an excellent point. Ann Coulter, we'll be back in just a minute. Her book is the hottest seller at Amazon.com. Ann Coulter will be right back. We'll ask her how on earth she could compare Katie Couric to Hitler's wife and later pledging defiance to a court order on the Pledge of Allegiance. We'll be right back.


CARVILLE: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Our guest is self- appointed lie detector Ann Coulter, the author of "Slander", liberal lies about the American right.

Well, Ann, let's go to the - to the screen here and put something up or picture or two people here that you talk about in your book. All right, now you recognize one of the people as Katie Couric. You may not recognize - oh, there's a woman named Eva Braun who was Adolph Hitler's mistress and then on the last day of their lives got married and then committed suicide together. You might call that the ultimate shotgun wedding.

Ms. Coulter, in your book you say the affable Eva Braun of morning TV authoritatively informed President George Bush, 41, that the Republican Convention had relinquished too much time to what some term the radical religious right. What is it that Katie Couric and Eva Braun have in common?

COULTER: Well, again, I have to recommend the entire book or at least these entire paragraphs to the viewers. I had just quoted Katie Couric blaming the dragging death of James Byrd on Christian conservatives, a quote which is in full in footnotes only partially in the text. You can look at it on page 238, which I think is an astonishing, an absolutely astonishing statement. So yes, the point I'm making by referring to her as the affable Eva Braun of morning TV right after that, really, I think, rather ugly quote about Christians ...


COULTER: ... is to say that she hides behind her girl scout persona in order to systematically promote a left-wing agenda.

CARLSON: But one of the points you make in the book and I agree with it wholeheartedly is that liberals are embarrassingly quick to compare the right to the Nazis. It's appalling and you hear it all the time and here you are doing it. Now Katie Couric, you know may be annoying. Sure, she's a liberal, but Eva Braun, I mean that's over the top and it's self-discrediting, isn't it? (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I mean that's not fair to compare to Hitler's wife. I mean if she's, again, if she's annoying or too liberal or whatever, but isn't that a liberal tactic to compare her to Hitler's wife? I mean please.

COULTER: No, I think it is not a liberal tactic at all, though it is a liberal tactic to be - pretend to be absolutely humorless, Tucker. The quotes I used for liberals comparing conservatives ...

CARLSON: ... you are calling me humorless Ann? Come on.


COULTER: No, I'm saying - I'm merely - I'm saying what I'm saying. I don't know why I'm always having people say, are you trying to say - you know what you can do if you want to know what I'm saying is listen to what I'm saying. What I'm saying is what I said ...

CARLSON: I tried that ...


CARLSON: ... I couldn't understand. Come on Ann.

COULTER: That is a liberal tactic to pretend not to understand irony, hyperbolize, sarcasm. The quotes I have of liberals calling Republicans Nazis or comparing Republican policies to the Holocaust of bringing back slavery to throwing women and children off the - off the - whatever it is - they're always being thrown off something - the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) a truck. Those are not said in humor. They are not meant to be funny. They are meant to frighten people.

CARVILLE: So anyway, but if Pat Robertson is a pathetic ...

COULTER: Why do you keep calling the wrong name?

CARVILLE: ... us your idea of who is a good conservative. Who's a good ...

COULTER: Why do you keep calling ...

CARVILLE: ... give us a ...

COULTER: ... him the wrong name? His name is ...

CARVILLE: Pat - I'm dyslexic. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tell me who a good solid conservative is.

COULTER: Well my book is about liberals. Very few conservatives are mentioned. There are plenty of great conservatives out there and perhaps ...

CARVILLE: Not a girly-boy ...


COULTER: What was the question? I'm sorry.


COULTER: ... done with your question.

CARVILLE: Pat Robertson is a pathetic moderate. Rich Lowry is a girly-boy. Who is a real he-man liberal? I mean conservative - who do you look up to?

COULTER: Is that the question so I can answer now.

CARVILLE: That's the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) man. That's all she is.


COULTER: Because I'm going to answer, so you don't talk over me now, OK? The answer is there are a lot of terrific conservatives out there and I think the "Today Show" might want to look into having more of them on. I could fax lists to you, to all the network TV for lots and lots of terrific, intelligent, articulate conservatives who might - they might want to consider to replace people like George Stephanopoulos and Dan Rather delivering objective news.

CARVILLE: Let the record show she didn't produce one name. Go ahead, Tucker.

CARLSON: Ann Coulter, thanks so much ...

COULTER: Well there are thousands ...

CARLSON: ... we appreciate it.

COULTER: ... how much time do we have?

CARLSON: Unfortunately, we don't have any. I'd like to hear the list too. Thanks for joining us.

COULTER: Thank you.