In Defense of Ann Coulter. Well, Sort of.

I feel bad for Ann Coulter. It’s not that she isn’t, as comedian Kathy Griffin put in the comedy special I saw on TV last night, “a crazy @&#@%,” but the current anti-Coulter campaign, led by the National Jewish Democratic Council, is unfair.

In response to comments Coulter made about Jews in an interview on CNBC’s “The Big Idea,” The NJDC is calling for the media to stop inviting her to do interviews:

Today, the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) called on mainstream media outlets to stop inviting Ann Coulter as a guest commentator/pundit and strongly condemned recent comments that Jews should be “perfected” by accepting the New Testament and that America would be better off if Judaism were “thrown away” and all Americans were Christian.

“While Ann Coulter has freedom of speech, news outlets should exercise their freedom to use better judgment,” said NJDC Executive Director Ira N. Forman. “Just as media outlets don’t invite those who believe that Martians walk the earth to frequently comment on science stories, it’s time they stop inviting Ann Coulter to comment on politics.”

First, Coulter, a lawyer and journalist, commenting on politics is not quite the same thing as a martian-believer commenting on science stories. Bad analogy.

Second, the shocking thing about her comments is not that she holds those views but that she had the audacity to proclaim them on national television. She was not calling for Jews to be wiped off the face of the Earth, merely honestly expressing her Fundamentalist Christian views, the same views held widely by many Christian Fundamentalists — that Christianity is a perfected extension of Judaism, in that Jesus died for their sins and absolved them of having to keep the Jewish laws, and that, ultimately, all Jews (and other heathens) should, and will, become Christians. If you watch the video, you can see that Coulter really was trying to explain herself and convince host Donny Deutsch that she was not trying to be offensive. But she was also not willing to take it back.

Third, the reason the media has kept on bringing the always-offensive, often hate-mongering Coulter back is because of her provocative views and her lack of inhibition in expressing them — she’s good for ratings! Even The Jewish Press, the most conservative, religious Jewish newspaper of them all, has interviewed Coulter — twice! — and the second time they admitted to inviting her back because her first interview was “the most viewed article on our website for 2006.”

It didn’t bother the NJDC back then that Coulter bashed women, Muslims, and liberals. Now that she’s offending Jews, suddenly she needs to be banished from the media. It’s so typical.

The NJDC is not wrong in calling on the media to stop encouraging Coulter, but they could have done so in response to the myriad of other “unacceptable” views she has expressed in the past. The NJDC claims Coulter crossed a line with this most recent interview, but the truth is, she’s crossed that line many times over. The male-run NJDC just didn’t notice until it was their line she crossed.

You can watch the video or read the transcript to see exactly what the hullabaloo is about.

–Rebecca Honig Friedman

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