Washington Post 'Reliable Source' Gossips Mangle Ann Coulter Quote

June 28th, 2007 8:29 AM

(Updated 10:00 see below) For anyone who thinks newspapers are much better than those television types at avoiding the manufacture of quick sound bites out of context, see today’s Washington Post so-called "Reliable Source" gossip column by Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger, who like many others, skip over the context of Coulter’s complaint that Bill Maher can get away with saying Dick Cheney should be killed by terrorists:

The conservative shock-pundit, who sniped on "Good Morning America" Monday that she hoped the Democratic candidate would be "killed in a terrorist assassination plot," was a guest on MSNBC's "Hardball" Tuesday night, prompting a live call-in by Elizabeth, who demanded that Coulter "stop the personal attacks." The exchange went downhill from there.

Actually, the Post went downhill from there. Doesn’t anybody check facts and context because it’s a gossip column? To review, here is the actual Coulter quote from ABC, in reference to her "faggot" jokes about Edwards at CPAC this year:

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 gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.

The Post doesn't have room for the whole 46-word package? In his review of Paris Hilton's long interview with Larry King on CNN last night, TV critic Tom Shales threw in this gratuitous note:

To look at the spectacle from yet another perspective, watching Hilton for an hour was in its way more edifying and encouraging than enduring more hateful rants from publicity hound Ann Coulter on MSNBC's "Hardball With Chris Matthews" the night before. Matthews was still discussing the Coulter appearance on his show last night. Next to Coulter, Paris Hilton is pure refreshment.

Update 10:00 | Matthew Sheffield. Note: I called into the Post just now and reported the error to Amy Argotsinger who is writing the column for the next few days. You can call in at (202) 334-7556.