Joe Scarborough Slams Media Distortions of Ann Coulter

On the Thursday edition of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," host Joe Scarborough slammed media outlets, such as AP and The Hill for misrepresenting what Ann Coulter said in her now famous on-air debate with Elizabeth Edwards. He also attempted to set the record straight by playing an extended clip of her appearance on the June 25 "Good Morning America," which started the whole controversy.

But first, Scarborough and contributor Willie Geist derided the misrepresentations of Coulter’s statements from various media outlets:

Joe Scarborough: "I want you to read, Willie, from The Hill, really quickly. Just read this line from The Hill. This is what The Hill and the Associated Press and what other wires are saying about what Ann Coulter said on GMA. Read it, Willie."

Willie Geist: "This week Coulter proclaimed, quote, ‘If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot,’ end quote."

Scarborough then proceeded to replay Coulter’s comments, which were actually an attack on media double standards, in complete context.

A partial transcript of Coulter’s appearance on the June 28 edition of "Morning Joe" follows:

8:35am

Joe Scarborough: "Let’s bring on now the Edwards, really, biggest helper in the Democratic primary, Ann Coulter. Ann, thank you so much for being with us."

Ann Coulter: "Sure, anytime. Hello, Joe."

Scarborough: "Ann, you– First hour. Willie Geist and I made the mistake of actually suggesting that people should actually hear the entire GMA clip. And I swear to God, seriously, we got flooded with e-mails comparing us, you know, calling us basically Satan’s little helper. So– Ann, I want–"

Coulter: "Oh, you just did that to get higher ratings for your show."

Scarborough: "Well, actually, do we have the Paris Hilton– Ann, can I hold you right there? We have Paris Hilton right now in an elevator somewhere. Ann, let's start at the very beginning. That’s a very good place to start. Ann, talk about the GMA interview. Elizabeth Edwards called in and said she was very offended by your GMA interview because you suggested said the only time you would talk about her husband was when you were going to suggest that he was going to be killed by a terrorist attack, that he should be killed in a terrorist attack. Why would you say such an awful, awful thing about John Edwards?"

Coulter: "Yeah, that is how it's being reported by the AP, apparently all over NBC except on your show and Donny Deutsch’s. CNN, the AOL pop-up page, because liberals lie. I've written lots of books about it. And this happens to be a good example of it."

Scarborough: "Okay, but Ann, I think sometimes you give people too much credit. When you make references to Isaiah Washington at CPAC, from ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ when you make references to Bill Maher."

Coulter: "I described the entire Bill Maher scenario in one sentence. If the ‘Good Morning America’ audience, which is pretty large and pretty broad, gets the joke and no one figured out a way to truncate that sentence until 36 hours later, I mean, it’s not like the liberal blogs weren’t, as they always do, watching my appearance and, and, and instantly posting from the moment I walked off ‘Good Morning America,’ all of their indignation, which apparently centered on my comparing George Bush to FDR because he’s great on foreign policy, lousy on domestic policy. Nobody even thought of how to lie about what I said for 36 hours. So don't tell me I was giving them ammunition. And if you want to go back to CPAC, I was speaking to a group of 7,000 college Republicans and no, I will not be arranging my words so that the stupidest person in the liberal blogosphere understands what I'm saying."

Scarborough: "Okay. Okay, so now this is what we want to do. What we want to do– I want you to read, Willie, from The Hill, really quickly. Just read this line from The Hill. This is what The Hill and the Associated Press and what other wires are saying about what Ann Coulter said on GMA. Read it, Willie."

Willie Geist: "This week Coulter proclaimed, quote, ‘If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot,’ end quote."

Scarborough: "So if I’m reading this, I’m thinking that Ann Coulter is calling for the assassination of John Edwards."

Geist: "Of course."

Scarborough: "But then, I decide I’m actually going to see what Ann Coulter said. And this is what I’m saying, my friends, hey if you’re going to hate Ann Coulter, hate her for the right reasons. Now, let’s run the GMA clip that started this firestorm."

[GMA clip begins]

Chris Cuomo: "To begin with the tough words, some tough words for you by the three top candidates in response to what you had said, some were calling it a homosexual slur, you said it was a taunt. They all came out when you were talking about John Edwards and said this was wrong. We must deny it. Fair criticism of you, or a shift towards the tolerant among the GOP?"

Ann Coulter: "No, no, I was denounced all over. All over. I think the one that hurt the most was from ‘I'm a little girl in a pink party dress.com.’ Very upsetting."

Cuomo: "Why?"

Coulter: "Though about the same time, Bill Maher said– And, by the way I did not call John Edwards the F-word. I said I couldn’t talk about him because you could go into rehab for using that word."

Cuomo: "You said you were joking. You were joking."

Coulter: "Oh, yeah. Yeah. I wouldn't, I wouldn’t insult gays by comparing them to John Edwards. That would be mean. But about the same time, you know, Bill Maher was not joking and saying he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack. So, I’ve learned my lesson. If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."

Cuomo: "So let's get off of you, but let's get your view on what’s going on with the party right now. You hear what the speculation is, you know what the poll numbers are."

[GMA clip ends]

Scarborough: "All right. So, actually– You know, go ahead ad cut that. Actually, Ann, we could have just shown three seconds before the quote in question, where, where three seconds before the quote that has been yanked out by the AP and everybody else, you bring up Bill Maher and the fact when I was on with Bill Maher, Bill Maher suggested that if Dick Cheney had be killed in an al Qaeda terror attack, the world would be a better place."

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org