NewsBusters Interview: Ann Coulter
Unless you've been hibernating somewhere, you know that conservative author Ann Coulter has a new book out called "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America."
In an email interview with NewsBusters, Coulter talked about her book, liberals, and other subjects including how the "MSM is both part of the mob and inciters of the mob. That’s with the exception of Ed Schultz, whom I’m pretty sure is an extraterrestrial":
NOEL SHEPPARD: You’ve got a new book out called “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.” Before we get to the media reception, what is the overall theme of the book?
ANN COULTER: That liberals are a mob and mobs are always dangerous.
SHEPPARD: Why is it a must-read in 2011?
COULTER: Mostly because I just thought of it. Mobs have always been dangerous, but the instinctual American aversion to mobs has weakened since the sixties.
SHEPPARD: What exactly is a liberal mob?
COULTER: Mobs can be both psychological mobs and physical mobs -- the latter frequently emerging from the former. Liberals' weird adoration for their leaders, their slogans, myths and acceptance of contradictory ideas are examples of mob psychology. Liberals' periodic explosions of violence, from the Ku Klux Klan, the SDS and Weatherman to the Wisconsin protesters today are examples of literal mobs.
SHEPPARD: You’ve done a lot of historical research for this book. How does today’s liberal mob compare to past ones either in America or other countries?
COULTER: Mobs are always the same, it’s the reaction to mobs that is different. I am arguing that Americans should respond the way George Washington and Abraham Lincoln did when faced with a mob, not the way Louis XVI did.
SHEPPARD: What does the book tell us about the media today and how they assist the liberal mob?
COULTER: The MSM is both part of the mob and inciters of the mob. That’s with the exception of Ed Schultz, whom I’m pretty sure is an extraterrestrial.
SHEPPARD: To be more precise about the media and the liberal mob, how do you think they assisted junior senator Barack Obama in getting elected in 2008, and what do you think they’re doing now to assist his reelection in 2012?
COULTER: Everything. They worship him (a mob characteristic) and so they engage in sloganeering (mob) and repetition (mob) to create a contagious adoration for Obama (yet another mob characteristic) among the most gullible, simple-minded Americans, generally known as “the Democratic base.”
SHEPPARD: How do you think GOP presidential candidates, the future nominee, and the conservative media should combat this?
COULTER: Run candidates who can speak clearly enough to overcome the liberal mob’s methods of agitation, sloganeering and repetition, someone like, say, Chris Christie.
SHEPPARD: Have you ever in your life or in your research observed the liberal media mob attack anyone like they have Sarah Palin?
COULTER: Yes, of course! Where have you been? Richard Nixon, Joe McCarthy and Clarence Thomas were attacked much more viciously than Palin – and that was before there was an alternative media to fight back! How about Rush Limbaugh, Dan Quayle, Tom DeLay, John Yoo, Scooter Libby, William Rehnquist, Ray Donovan (“Where do I go to get my reputation back?”), Robert Bork, Roy Cohn, -- even Carrie Prejean and Joe the Plumber! And that’s just a few of the mob’s targets over the years.
SHEPPARD: Why do you think this has been the case and do you believe it will ever stop?
COULTER: No, it won’t stop because turning those who disagree with you into enemies is a classic mob attribute and liberals are a mob.
SHEPPARD: Many observers believe the liberal media mob really took shape during Watergate and has just expanded since. Do you agree with this premise and if not, when do you think the media component of the mob began to manifest itself?
COULTER: Democrats have always been a mob, from the vicious racist lynchings in New York City during the Civil War – committed by Democrats and smashed by Republican president, Abraham Lincoln -- to their pandering to racist KKK-types from Reconstruction to the mid-sixties (when blacks became a large enough voting bloc that pandering to racists wouldn’t work for the Democrats electorally anymore). Liberals have always been a mob, but the far left came to dominate the media, the universities, the public schools, Hollywood and the Democratic Party around then.
SHEPPARD: When you were on CNN’s “Piers Morgan” recently, the host made an absurd comment about Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini being right-wingers while accusing the Tea Party of being today’s example of their mobs. As he was constantly interrupting you, you didn’t have a chance to fully address these inanities. Please do.
COULTER: I never heard that because I was powering through his interruptions to answer his claim that I was citing someone – Gustave Le Bon – who was a "hero" to Hitler and Mussolini, which is true in the same sense that Albert Einstein is a “hero” to nuke-building Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
SHEPPARD: You had two encounters with Joy Behar recently, one on ABC’s “The View” and the other on her HLN program. How would you characterize those interactions, and how do you see Behar in the grand scheme of this liberal media mob? Are people like her and Whoopi Goldberg just yentas dishing out mindless entertainment, or are they a powerful part of this liberal media mob because they’re perceived by so many to be credible?
COULTER: Joy is among the last living funny liberals, so I love her. It’s not "The View's" fault that dopey women hang on their every pronunciamento. I think they’re doing entertainment, though to be honest I’m not sufficiently familiar with “The View” to comment on it.
SHEPPARD: ABC’s “Nightline” seemed to spend its entire recent interview with you making the case that you’re widely hated. Terry Moran began the segment, “Simply put - a lot of people despise Ann Coulter." Dan Harris then immediately asked, “Is it ever uncomfortable for you to be hated?” Were you honest with your answer that this doesn’t really bother you, or is that a reflexive response to a liberal and you would really rather be more liked by the public?
COULTER: Haha – that’s funny. I’m glad I didn’t see it. "Nightline" boiled down three hours of videotape of me to five minutes, so I suppose it could have been worse. And yes, it’s not entirely, precisely true to say I’m not bothered by liberals hating me. I adore it! But, in the moment, I thought it might seem churlish to admit that.
SHEPPARD: ABC edited out something from your “Nightline” interview. Harris off-camera claimed that you had called Hillary Clinton “pond-scum” and former ambassador to France Pamela Harriman a “whore.” You told Harris you never said either thing, but ABC chose not to include that. He also claimed you said, “name-calling is a sign of liberal desperation,” yet you didn’t tell him that. Care to comment?
COULTER: Sure. When he said I was “mean” or some such childlike complaint, I told him that most of the quotes attributed to me to prove my inhumanity-to-man were things I had, in fact, never said. He then ran through a Greatest Hits list from some AnnCoulterIsAC*nt.com website and I noted that at least two of those alleged “quotes” were among the things I had never said. I don’t know how that was edited for "Nightline" since, again, I didn’t see it.
SHEPPARD: You had quite an experience with Eliot Spitzer on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” recently when he basically said that you have no knowledge of economic theory because you’ve never owned a business despite him never owning one either. Tell us about that.
COULTER: Yes, it’s great having a political hack whose first job in the private sector happened in his fifties tell a sole proprietor that I have no business experience. Of course, I have no personal experience with prostitution, but it doesn’t disqualify me from being creeped out by guys like Eliot Spitzer. Even more astonishing was the fact that he thought it was dirty somehow for me to be promoting my book.
By the way, are “Weiner” and “Spitzer” the greatest names for those two guys or what?
SHEPPARD: During that same CNN segment, you told Zakaria that he clearly had never read your book but they edited that out. Tell us about that.
COULTER: After swearing up and down that he would talk about my book and accepting a free copy from me the day before – which he promised he’d read that night – Fareed’s only “book question” during the show was to say something to the effect of, “Politicians need to compromise, but in your book ‘Demonic,' Ann, you argue that Republicans shouldn’t compromise.”
I stared at him slack-jawed and said, “Where do I say that? You haven’t even cracked my book!”
It’s interesting that CNN thinks of itself as the intellectual station – compared to low-brow Fox – when every interviewer I had on Fox had read at least large portions of my book before interviewing me about it. In three interviews on a CNN station, the only person who asked me a single question about my book or who had the vaguest notion what it was about was the comedian: Joy Behar -- and she’s on Headline News.
Liberals don’t read. Whether it’s The Constitution, the Obama Health Care bill, my book – they don’t read any of it. They buy liberal books and leave them unopened on their coffee tables. I guess CNN anchors feel they don’t need to read because they have foreign accents.
SHEPPARD: NBC in general seems to not want to interview you anymore. You haven’t been asked to be on the “Today” show to discuss your new book, and despite having once worked for MSNBC, they never have you on to chat with any of their commentators. Care to comment?
COULTER: THEY FEAR ME! As they should.
SHEPPARD: Anything else you want to tell us about this year’s media book tour?
COULTER: It’s been a weird and wonderful experience being able to actually talk about my book this time, rather than explain one sentence fragments or some tiny little jokes in the book.
SHEPPARD: The liberal mob doesn't always get its way, at least Anthony Weiner would say that. What is your take on the whole "Weinergate" phenomenon as viewed through the lens of this book and your knowledge of the liberal mob?
COULTER: Like Robespierre, Weiner counted on the mob to save him, but it didn't work. Recall that for the first week, Weiner was ferociously defended on the websites of Daily Kos and Mediaite, as well as by Howard Kurtz and Jeffrey Toobin and elsewhere -- all of whom assured us that Weiner's Twitter account obviously had been hacked. Meanwhile, the New York Times pretended to be completely unaware of the scandal for the first week. CNN was gearing up to run special reports on the dangers of hacking … and then Weiner held his press conference admitting it was all true and he had been lying. Weiner was done in by one of his Twitter followers producing a photo of Weiner’s naked pecker to ABC News. To paraphrase Talleyrand: Naked pecker photos are counterrevolutionary.
SHEPPARD: On a more general media front, what do you think of mainstream Republican commentators like David Brooks of the New York Times and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC? Are they part of the liberal mob or right-leaning enough to serve a conservative purpose? How do you see ABC’s George Will and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer – who both stray off the conservative reservation from time to time – fitting in to this equation?
COULTER: I’m not familiar with the oeuvre of all of these gentlemen (Scarborough is on a little early for me and Brooks is a bore), but I think I get your drift, so without implicating any of them in particular, I will say that alleged conservatives who gratuitously attack fellow conservatives are like the robber being crucified next to Jesus, who joined the mob in taunting Jesus. He’s hanging there, hours from death, a victim of the same howling mob that demanded Jesus’ crucifixion. But even though he was a victim of the mob himself, he was compelled to join the mob. It shows how powerful the instinct to side with the crowd is.
SHEPPARD: Finally, what do you think people on the right side of the aisle can do to counter the liberal mob – not just the citizenry but also those in the political and media arenas?
COULTER: First, read my book so that you are inoculated against the mob mentality yourself, and second read my book so that you will learn this important lesson: You must always smash a mob.
We'll try, Ann. Thanks.