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.