Wall St. Journal Reporter Cites Smerconish as a Gaffe Expert: Mrs. Obama Good, Coulter Bad

Jeffrey Zaslow of The Wall Street Journal reported on political gaffes on Wednesday, and as an expert he brought on Obama-loving former Republican Michael Smerconish. Unsurprisingly, Smerconish bashed Ann Coulter and forgave Michelle Obama as he discussed his "Muzzle Meter" and the severity of scandalous words:  

We've become a culture that is unforgiving when it comes to poor word choice, says syndicated radio host Michael Smerconish. "We're far too thin-skinned, starting federal investigations every time someone says something stupid." He blames political partisanship and a 24/7 media looking for "gotcha" moments. Web sites such as TMZ.com, Politico.com, Gawker.com and TheSuperficial.com traffic in verbal gaffes.

Mr. Smerconish, a lifelong Republican who this year announced he is now an independent, has developed a "Muzzle Meter," asking listeners to help him measure, on a scale of 1 to 10, whether poor word choices are innocent mistakes (a 1 or a 2) or were said with malice (a 9 or a 10).

Unlike many of his listeners, he gave Michelle Obama a pass for saying at a 2008 campaign rally: "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country." "I believe she meant she had never been as proud of her country," says Mr. Smerconish.

However, he gave pundit Ann Coulter a 9 for belittling the activism of certain wives of Sept. 11 victims. "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Ms. Coulter said.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis