Monday, January 05, 2009

Ann Coulter's Jewish Problem

The National Jewish Democratic Council wants NBC to cancel conservative firebrand Ann Coulter's appearance tomorrow on the "Today Show."  She is scheduled to hawk her new screed, Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America.

It's hard to tell whether this is simply a cheap publicity stunt or a manifestation of genuine outrage by the NJDC,  which launched an online petition that asks the peacock network not to host her. Either way,  it's unlikely to convince NBC to dump her but could provide Coulter more fodder to caricature all liberals as intolerant.  

The NJDC complains that Coulter "has a rich history of inflammatory and inappropriate remarks," such as saying  that Jews need to be "perfected" and calling Al Gore "a total fag."

"Let's be clear,"  the NJDC said in a January 2 email, "Coulter has a constitutional right to 
'free speech' but a prestigious network such as NBC is not obligated to amplify her outrageous message."

Let's examine the NJDC's  argument (at the risk of violating the adage never to argue with a fool because people watching won't be able to tell who is who.)  Nobody says bouncing Coulter would be the equivalent of government censorship.  The issue is whether NBC should give her a forum.  The "Today Show" has every reason to feature Coulter. She is a prominent public figure and author of many best-selling books. 

She is an obvious guest.  It is incumbent on NBC, however, to grill Coulter. For all her carping about the liberal media the reality is that journalists often treat her with kid gloves. Time magazine did a favorable cover story on her.  Previously on the "Today Show" she got softball questions.

Coulter is never at a loss for words but the "Today Show" could ask Coulter about some matters that would leave her genuinely uncomfortable.   For example, how can someone who is unmarried and childless defend family values against liberals?

The "Today Show" should also ask Coulter what she says about Jews behind closed doors. It's an open secret in conservative circles that Coulter indulges anti-Semitism. 

Conservative apostate David Brock,  in his 2002  memoir/apologia,  Blinded by the Right, says that Coulter regularly made anti-Semitic comments to him. She also did to Weekly Standard founder John Podhoretz when they dated.

Podhoretz  and Coulter don't say otherwise.

Coulter did not respond to this reporter's repeated email inquiries about Brock's charge.  Podhoretz said it's "none of your business."   

Moreover, Coulter pals around with conservative writer Joe Sobran, who was fired by National Review after years of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel invective.  Coulter even wrote the introduction to one of her books. 

Instead of trying to silence Coulter the NJDC should challenge her to a debate.  Sunlight is the best disinfectant--especially for Coulter's stench of anti-Semitism.       

--EVAN GAHR has written for most every major conservative publication.