Ann Coulter Calls Out CBS’s Smith On Fearing Obama Assassination

Appearing on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, author Ann Coulter promoted her new book, ‘Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America’ by demonstrating how co-host Harry Smith contributed to liberal victimhood when he asked Ted Kennedy about the possibility of an Obama assassination in a January 29, 2008 interview: "...everyone talking about as if Obama is at some unique risk for assassination...you kept saying things like I am thinking of a word and it begins with the letter 'A.' And Teddy Kennedy was refusing to understand what you were saying..."

NewBusters’ Mark Finkelstein first reported Smith’s exchange with Kennedy. Smith asked the Massachusetts Senator: "...sometimes agents of change end up being targets, as you well know, and that was why I was asking if you were at all fearful of that." In her book, Coulter remarked on Smith’s interview: "Kennedy may be a drunken slob, but unlike CBS News anchors, he is not certifiably insane."

During the Tuesday exchange with Coulter, Smith defended asking the question: "A friend of mine who's a liberal -- who was a liberal talk show host in Denver was gunned down in his front yard. He was assassinated. I stood in front of the Murrah Federal Building. I have looked hate in the eye. I know that there are people in this country who would be interested in the death of not only Barack Obama but any president. That was a legitimate question to ask Ted Kennedy." Smith then asked Coulter: "You don't think as an African-American, that he was at some greater risk?"

In response, Coulter pointed out: "I promise you George Bush is at greater risk. He has been physically attacked two weeks ago. There's a book fantasizing about George Bush's assassination. There's a movie -- a documentary fantasizing about George Bush's assassination....So maybe we can stop talking about the threat of right-wing violence in a country that is teeming with left-wing violence."

Later, Smith challenged the idea of liberals promoting victimhood and instead accused Coulter of acting like a victim herself: "You talk about victims and victimhood in America, which I think is a serious problem. On the other hand, the more I listen to your complaints, the more I kept thinking, well, you're the whiner. You're the one who's claiming victimhood here. That you're the victim o this great left-wing conspiracy...if there was a real live left-wing conspiracy, how do you account for a Republican president being elected and then realizing it?" Smith later went so far as to say: "You should -- you should have a cross. You should put yourself up on a cross."

At the very end of the interview, Smith took one final jab at Coulter: "And a final thought, and your dissolution of your relationship with ‘The National Review,’ and the final discussion....And the editor who was offering an explanation, he said ‘the deeper you get with Ann, the less sense she makes.’

Here is the full transcript of the exchange:

7:30AM TEASE:

HARRY SMITH: Also ahead this morning, Julie, you're not going to believe this, talk about strangers in the night. We found out that Ann Coulter and Dave Price were classmates at Cornell.

JULIE CHEN: Did they know each other?

SMITH: Yeah.

DAVE PRICE: No, Ann was popular.

SMITH: Ann Coulter has a new book. She says nasty things about me in it. We're going to find out why in just a couple of minutes.

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: It's going to be good.

7:31AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter is at it again, stirring up controversy, with her new book, 'Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America.' And Ann is with us live in the studio this morning. Good morning.

ANN COULTER: Good morning.

SMITH: You know what? You want to be taken seriously. I think -- I sense that. Right?

COULTER: Yeah.

SMITH: Don't you? Right?

COULTER: Well, I make serious points, but often in a humorous way. For example, with you Harry, because today you are the most brilliant person in the mainstream media.

SMITH: Right, right, right.

COULTER: The most manly. And I am totally reconsidering my approach of attacking everyone in the media I then want to interview me for my books.

SMITH: There you have it. Here's what -- because I took you seriously. I read 150 pages of your book last night.

COULTER: You did! Wasn't it fun?

SMITH: Well, it's not exactly -- here's my problem. Because you try to be funny, because you have this kind of sophomoric, sort of simplistic kind of view of so many things, the points that should be taken seriously, this whole section on single motherhood would be -- could -- should be part of the American conversation right now.

COULTER: Yes.

SMITH: Because you're so goofy, who's going to take you seriously?

COULTER: Well, for one thing, I think any comedy writer will tell you sophomoric is New York Times code for funny. So I thank you for that. And I do think people take me seriously. If they're not reading the book, they're not taking -- they're not getting any of it seriously. And I'll use an example what we've all been joking about today or you've all been joking -- that line from the book that I -- where I quote you.

SMITH: Right.

Ann Coulter Quote, CBS COULTER: Which -- and it wasn't just you. I mean, everyone was saying it, but that is a serious point I'm making, which is everyone was talking about how -- oh, you want to read the quote?

[ON SCREEN QUOTE: 'Kennedy may be a drunken slob, but unlike CBS News anchors, he is not certifiably insane.']

SMITH: No, well here's the -- because here's the point is-

COULTER: That is such a beautiful line. You see, that is my point.

SMITH: Hang on, here's -- but here's what's serious about this. Alright? A friend of mine who's a liberal -- who was a liberal talk show host in Denver was gunned down in his front yard. He was assassinated. I stood in front of the Murrah Federal Building. I have looked hate in the eye. I know that there are people in this country who would be interested in the death of not only Barack Obama but any president. That was a legitimate question to ask Ted Kennedy-

COULTER: No but the points I make in the book-

SMITH: And Ted -- well, the point you make at my expense and at-

COULTER: -I think is -- not at your expense, at everyone talking about as if Obama is at some unique risk for assassination. And as I go through in the book every presidential-

SMITH: You don't think as an African-American, that he was at some greater risk?

COULTER: No, I do not. Because every presidential assassin -- or attempted presidential assassin in the history of the nation has either been a liberal, a communist, an anarchist, someone on the left, or there were two who had no politics whatsoever unless you count John Hinckley, who is certifiably insane. So, you know, we have-

SMITH: Which goes back -- which goes back to -- to your basic point that everything that's wrong with America is the left's fault.

COULTER: No, I have -- I wouldn't have mentioned that all these presidential assassins were anarchists, communists, liberals, they were some form of, you know, basically Obama's base, other than the fact that everyone keeps talking about Obama being at some unique risk. Well, I'm sorry, Sean Hannity's at greater risk. Rush Limbaugh's at greater risk. I promise you George Bush is at greater risk. He has been physically attacked two weeks ago. There's a book fantasizing about George Bush's assassination. There's a movie -- a documentary fantasizing about George Bush's assassination. And there are more hits on going Google for Obama and assassination than Bush and assassination. So maybe we can stop talking about the threat of right-wing violence in a country that is teeming with left-wing violence. At the Democratic National Convention-

SMITH: Take a breath. Take a breath. Take a breath. Take a breath.

COULTER: -protestors -- I'm breathing fine.

SMITH: Take a breath. Here's -- here's my other point-

COULTER: They have protester after protester-

SMITH: I actually did read your book-

COULTER: At the Democratic National Convention with Molotov cocktails, with guns. You don't find conservative protestors like that at the Democratic National Convention. So, yes, you cite a few rare examples.

SMITH: But that doesn't -- that doesn't-

COULTER: That's why we look at statistics. You have a radio host-

SMITH: Okay. But I made that point from a literal -- my own personal experience. Not from some-

COULTER: You're not certifiably insane. I love you today, Harry Smith, but it was a very funny interview-

SMITH: But here's -- here's-

COULTER: -you must admit that because he was refusing to even understand what you were saying, and you kept saying things like I am thinking of a word and it begins with the letter 'A.' And Teddy Kennedy was refusing to understand what you were saying, so that's why I quoted it, it's a funny interview.

SMITH: Here's -- here's my only other serious point. You talk about victims and victimhood in America, which I think is a serious problem. On the other hand, the more I listen to your complaints, the more I kept thinking, well, you're the whiner. You're the one who's claiming victimhood here. That you're the victim o this great left-wing conspiracy-

COULTER: No, I'm not, but there are real victims.

SMITH: -if there was a real live left-wing conspiracy, how do you account for a Republican president being elected and then realizing it?

COULTER: It's amazing it happens because of the great wisdom of the American people. But the point is, I'm not saying I am the victim. I'm saying that by playing victim, real victims are created. You have millions of unborn babies. They are -- they are real victims. You have the Duke lacrosse players, real victims. You have George Bush, the most persecuted, attacked, and assassination movies and books, president I think since Richard Nixon, you have Joe McCarthy, you have Robert Bork, you have Tom Delay. Everyone was identified as an oppressor -- Sarah Palin-

SMITH: Tom Delay is a victim? Tom Delay is a victim?

COULTER: Yes and all the ones who are-

SMITH: Of what?

COULTER: -identified as oppressors-

SMITH: Right-

COULTER: -are always genuinely the victims and the ones who are the play victims are, in fact, the oppressors.

SMITH: You should -- you should have a cross. You should put yourself up on a cross.

COULTER: No, but I'm not citing me. I'm citing the real victims whom I'm defending and demanding that this perpetual motion machine of the liberal victimization machine playing victim while oppressing others, the millions of illegitimate children born every year, the people who are mugged by the millions of illegitimate children born every year -- they are genuine victims.

SMITH: It's the liberals' fault, it's the liberals' fault.

COULTER: Illegitimacy is certainly something that I document quite thoroughly has been promoted through the media, the courts, and federal government, as something that is celebrated and promoted by the left-wing in America. It was a plan, it wasn't an accident. And that's why the illegitimacy rate has gone up by 300% since 1970.

SMITH: Right, right. And a final thought, and your dissolution of your relationship with 'The National Review,' and the final discussion.

COULTER: Yes.

SMITH: And the editor who was offering an explanation, he said 'the deeper you get with Ann, the less sense she makes.'

COULTER: Yes, I do not have a lot of fans among conservative authors who don't sell as many books as I do.

SMITH: There you go.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC