After the September 11 attack masterminded by a terrorist hoping to spark a religious war, virtually every official and pundit knew better than to take the bait. Except for conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who wrote in a syndicated column on September 12 that in responding to terrorists "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
The column outraged the public, but conservatives, including National Review editor Richard Lowry, ascribed Coulter's column to grief over the loss of a friend in the attacks. But the following week, Coulter was at it again: "Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave....We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males." This time Lowry spiked her column. Coulter responded by calling Lowry and his staff censorious "girly boys." Lowry then dropped her as a contributing editor. Other conservative leaders also condemned her comments.
What's curious is that Coulter's comments aren't all that different, in tone and style, from hundreds of others she's made over the years. But in the past, her ire was directed at her domestic political enemies---for which she drew fulsome praise from conservatives. Last year, the Media Research Center presented Coulter with its "Conservative Journalist of the Year" award. The Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute bestowed upon her its annual conservative leadership award "for her unfailing dedication to truth, freedom and conservative values and for being an exemplar, in word and deed, of what a true leader is."
Coulter is spinning her downfall as a new kind of terrorist-war McCarthyism. "People are hysterical about speech right now," she told The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz. "Everyone's comments are being taken out of context and wildly misinterpreted." At the risk of further de-contextualization, here are some of Coulter's past comments:
"[Clinton] masturbates in the sinks."---Rivera Live 8/2/99
"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"---Hannity & Colmes, 6/20/01
The "backbone of the Democratic Party" is a "typical fat, implacable welfare recipient"---syndicated column 10/29/99
To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."---MSNBC
"Women like Pamela Harriman and Patricia Duff are basically Anna Nicole Smith from the waist down. Let's just call it for what it is. They're whores."---Salon.com 11/16/00
Juan Gonzales is "Cuba's answer to Joey Buttafuoco," a "miscreant," "sperm-donor," and a "poor man's Hugh Hefner."---Rivera Live 5/1/00
On Princess Diana's death: "Her children knew she's sleeping with all these men. That just seems to me, it's the definition of 'not a good mother.' ... Is everyone just saying here that it's okay to ostentatiously have premarital sex in front of your children?"..."[Diana is] an ordinary and pathetic and confessional - I've never had bulimia! I've never had an affair! I've never had a divorce! So I don't think she's better than I am."---MSNBC 9/12/97
"I think there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote."---Hannity & Colmes, 8/17/99
"I think [women] should be armed but should not [be allowed to] vote."---Politically Incorrect, 2/26/01
"If you don't hate Clinton and the people who labored to keep him in office, you don't love your country."---George, 7/99
"We're now at the point that it's beyond whether or not this guy is a horny hick. I really think it's a question of his mental stability. He really could be a lunatic. I think it is a rational question for Americans to ask whether their president is insane."---Equal Time
"It's enough [to be impeached] for the president to be a pervert."---The Case Against Bill Clinton, Coulter's 1998 book.
"Clinton is in love with the erect penis."---This Evening with Judith Regan, Fox News Channel 2/6/00
"I think we had enough laws about the turn-of-the-century. We don't need any more." Asked how far back would she go to repeal laws, she replied, "Well, before the New Deal...[The Emancipation Proclamation] would be a good start."---Politically Incorrect 5/7/97
"If they have the one innocent person who has ever to be put to death this century out of over 7,000, you probably will get a good movie deal out of it."---MSNBC 7/27/97
"If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [child] gunman. ... Don't pray. Learn to use guns."---Politically Incorrect, 12/18/97
"The presumption of innocence only means you don't go right to jail."---Hannity & Colmes 8/24/01
"I have to say I'm all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with are the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the 'hood to be flogged publicly."---MSNBC 3/22/97
"Originally, I was the only female with long blonde hair. Now, they all have long blonde hair."---CapitolHillBlue.com 6/6/00
"I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn't."---TV Guide 8/97
"Let's say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I'm not married."---Rivera Live 6/7/00
"Anorexics never have boyfriends. ... That's one way to know you don't have anorexia, if you have a boyfriend."---Politically Incorrect 7/21/97
"I think [Whitewater]'s going to prevent the First Lady from running for Senate."---Rivera Live 3/12/99
"My track record is pretty good on predictions."---Rivera Live 12/8/98
"The thing I like about Bush is I think he hates liberals."---Washington Post 8/1/00
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