Last Friday, NewsBusters had the privilege of being the first organization to interview New York Times bestselling author Ann Coulter about her new book, “Never Trust a Liberal Over Three - Especially a Republican.”
Brace yourselves for part II (video follows with transcript):
NEWSBUSTERS: You talk about liberalism being a religion. Explain that, and to a certain extent, I'm going to contest it after your explanation – or I might not.
ANN COULTER: [Laughs] Well, that's a diss to religion because religion is based on facts, it's based on a book that was - whether or not you believe it was inspired by God - these are at least historical accounts, at least as reliable as say Socrates writing about Plato. This is how history was transmitted. So we start with those facts. We see things in front of our eyes. We have to answer questions like, “Why are we here rather than nothing here? Why is there anything at all?”
One other thing I'll say in defense of religion: basically throughout history there have been huge arguments between the God-believers and the atheists, and the science keeps proving the God-believers right, but then the atheists just pretend we never had that argument. The principle example of this is: Was there a beginning to the world? For 100 years the atheists were saying, “No, it's just always been here.” And the God-believers said, “No, it had a beginning.” And then, haha, the big bang theory comes along.
Did the atheists say, “Oh my gosh, we just lost the biggest argument we've been having with the God-fearing?” No. They just pretend, “Oh, we always knew that.”
It's the bad aspects of religion, which isn't to say bad aspects of God. Religion is something different. That's how man creates an edifice in order to worship God - and some are better than others. It's what they accuse our religion of being: a blind faith immune to facts. Now, again, I'm anticipating your objection. That isn't what religion's do – but what a fake religion does. Liberalism is more similar to crystal worshiping.
NEWSBUSTERS: Okay, so liberalism is a religion based upon what liberals think religion is.
COULTER: [Laughs] Yes. Or a false religion.
NEWSBUSTERS: Now I get it; I withdraw the objection.
COULTER: [Laughs] No, you're right. That is kind of a diss to religion. I will say it makes some sense to the extent that religion isn't belief in God. Religion is the method by which man worships God - or Mother Earth or, I don't know, the God of Wicca, or that sort of thing. Religion is the artificial construct in order to practice religious observance, and some are better than others.
NEWSBUSTERS: Right, and liberals believe that folks that are religious do so with just a blind faith without any thought of the subject matter, but in reality that's how liberals look at most things.
COULTER: Yes. What's important is that they agree with everyone around them.
NEWSBUSTERS: Do you think that people in the media as it pertains to let's say science and specifically anthropogenic global warming do any research whatsoever on the subject or it's all just a big groupthink?
COULTER: Definitely groupthink and then skimming some of the literature so they have a couple of talking points. But the main argument you hear is, and I find it baffling because, as I noted in one of my books, appeals to authority never work with conservatives. A liberal thinks his job is done says, “Well, every major scientist believes in global warming!” And one of the arguments they often use on us – which just leaves conservatives perplexed and looking like a dog listening to a high-pitched noise – is, “Well, even Bill Buckley supported XYZ.” No, that's not a good argument on us.
NEWSBUSTERS: For example, if we were to ask a Bill Maher or a Chris Matthews or an Andrea Mitchell or a David Gregory or any of these folks to actually explain what the theory of anthropogenic global warming is, do you think any of them could?
COULTER: No, and I know for a fact – I have mostly left, you notice I haven't written a lot about global warming because I think people like you and Chris Horner and a few others have got the field covered. I feel like, phew, I don't have to do that – but I know for a fact Matthews has no idea what evolution means.
NEWSBUSTERS: Not surprising. Moving away from the book for second, how would you handicap the current shutdown/debt ceiling battle.
COULTER: Oh, I'm so proud of our Republicans. You know, I really want every one to notice. We always complain, “You guys don't do anything. You don't fight for us. We elect you, we work hard for you, and you – particularly you, Marco Rubio - you get to Washington and sell us out promoting amnesty which you promised not to! I'm so proud of Mike Lee and that magnificent Ted Cruz and these fantastic House members. This was a really brave thing for them to do.
I always say to Republicans on the outside complaining about Republicans not being like Stonewall Jackson, “You don't have to get reelected.” You know, give them a break. I give a big break to people like Scott Brown, to people like Mitt Romney. They have to get elected in states that look nothing like Utah or South Carolina.
So this was an incredibly brave thing for them to do. They didn't know how it would turn out. I think it has turned out much more in accordance with my predictions than many others talking on TV because conservatives have been living in fear of reliving the 1995 shutdown for 20 years now. And as I've been pointing out, in 1995 there was no Fox News, there was no NewsBusters, there was no Drudge Report. Talk radio wasn't as big as it is now. There basically was no conservative media. That's a huge change right there. You can get the truth today. This was 1995.
That nasty response Harry Reid to Dana Bash during the press conference when she asked about kids with cancer, and he said, “Why should I care about that,” and then tells her she asked a stupid question. We would never know about that. We would not have known about that in 1995. When he's whispering nastily basically “Shut up and do what I say” to Eleanor Holmes Norton, we never would have known about that. Democrats could say anything, do anything.
Look at the history of how the press covered the Kennedys. The Washington Post would send their reports on Kennedy to the White House for review before being printed. Obama is a lot like Kennedy. It's more elegance and social class. That's what it has to do with, the Obama thing. It's not just that he's the most liberal president we've ever had. Kennedy wasn't at all the most liberal president we've ever had.
So now it's at least possible to get the other side where it was not before. Also, I really do think it makes a difference – Ted Cruz is very, very, very smart. I am now prepared to admit: Princeton kids are smarter than Cornell kids.
NEWSBUSTERS: Wow! We just made news here.
COULTER: [Laughs] Oh my gosh! That 21 hour – it wasn't a filibuster, but him holding the Senate floor for 21 hours – was one of the most magnificent things I've ever seen. I tuned in – I was busy that day getting a column out – I tuned in around 11PM. I watched straight through to 4AM. He'd been talking for over twelve hours, and he is a beautiful speaker making really interesting comments. I think I learned more watching him and Mike Lee than I did in three years of law school. [Laughs]
This is a very, very, very important fight to have. Besides being led by these spectacular and spectacularly articulate Republicans that - as Thomas Sowell pointed out in a column this week - one of the problems our party has is a lack of articulate spokesmen. These two are articulate, as are others on their side.
The third huge difference here is this isn't about spending generally. This is about ObamaCare. The majority of Americans never asked for it, never wanted it. A majority of Americans have continuously opposed ObamaCare. The horror of it is beginning to set it. That makes a big difference in this fight.
So I think it's going fabulously well right now. Look, if there comes a point when public opinion shifts, it's not the fault of Republicans. It's the fault of people like us for not being out there making the arguments and letting Americans understand that the only reason the government is shut down right now is that Democrats refused to pass the entire budget, including ObamaCare, if it requires them to live under ObamaCare. If people understood that this was the Republicans' last offer, and that's where it stands right now: “Fine, we will fund everything, but you guys have to live under ObamaCare too. And, of course, no special favors for Obama's business friends. If they get a one-year waiver from the individual mandate, so do individuals.” That's it. Everyone has to live under ObamaCare the same way. No exceptions for Democrats and their friends. And the Democrats said: “No, we'll shut down the government.”
NEWSBUSTERS: But we have seen something interesting from the regular media, the non-Fox media as you call it the past eight or nine days. We've actually seen reports on NBC and CBS about how poorly ObamaCare is doing. Do you think that's because they knew the conservative media was going to be on top of it, and they felt they were going to have to report this and be behind the eight-ball so to speak? Or do you think it's going so badly that they had to report it?
COULTER: That's interesting. You and I must be watching MSNBC at different hours. [Laughs]
NEWSBUSTERS: No, I'm not talking MSNBC. CBS and NBC have done numerous reports on the website train wreck. There was a report that Jan Crawford did on CBS where she talked about it being disastrous, and spoke to a database software company owner who said it seemed to him that the website wasn't even ready for beta testing.
retarded version of liberalism on MSNBC and the high-IQ version in the New York Times. And the way the New York Times usually lies is simply by refusing to admit something. I think I have in my book an example of a Hitler obituary: “Artist and war hero dies.” And you're screaming at them, “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST?” “Well, you put that in your obituary. Is anything untrue here? Everything we wrote is true. He was an artist. He fought in World War I. And he died. So, what did we get wrong? Did we lie about anything? Is there anything untrue in this obituary?” “NO, BUT YOU LEFT OUT KIND OF THE MOST RELEVANT PART!”
That's how liberals usually lie. Here ObamaCare is the story, and I think most reporters will do an honest job if assigned to write a story on something in particular. And, wow, this is just blowing up around everybody.
You know, CBS – this isn't directly about ObamaCare – their report on Binder, Binder, and Binder just completely ripping off Social Security disability. Some astronomical number of Americans are on Social Security disability, and it's just because they can't get a job. They go to these shyster law firms, and they say, “You've got fibromyalgia” which former lawyers of these firms say, “Yeah, that's a good one because you can't disprove it.” And they have mills of doctors coming in signing doctors' notes.
In a way, that is about ObamaCare. Any government program is going to rife with fraud and abuse and some people ripping it off and the rest of us feeling like we're being ripped off. It's just so horrifying to think that they're going to do to our healthcare what they've done to the Amtrak food service.
NEWSBUSTERS: You talked about how the media were able to withhold facts about the '95 shutdown because there was no Fox and there was no conservative media. Taking that a step further, would they be as honest about ObamaCare – and I'm not talking about MSNBC – if we were in 1995 and there was no Fox News or conservative blogosphere?
COULTER: That's a good question. Perhaps some would not have been without the competition out there. But I do think on my third point of why this is different, ObamaCare really is different, and as liberal as most of the media are, this is going to wreck their healthcare, too. There will be no medical innovations, there will be no medical advances. Unless they have the money of Warren Buffett, or the have the political connections of a friend of Nancy Pelosi's, they're going to be the ones standing in line with an insolent government worker trying to get their cancer treatments. And they're the ones who perhaps if they lose their job as a reporter are going to need an ObamaCare exchange insurance where they will not get an American doctor. They're going to suffer. That's why this is an important issue.
You were saying earlier in our discussion - and this is not exactly what they're saying on Fox News, but I've heard a lot - this weird complaint about what Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are doing, and that is: “ObamaCare is failing – don't get in the way.” These are the people who are our representatives. And I would not be so cocksure that just because ObamaCare comes in, is a total disaster, and it becomes obvious to everyone that it's a total disaster that it will then be gotten rid of. My example to you is public schools. No one can read anymore. Why haven't we gotten rid of that?
No, once they get the socialist tentacles in, it's not just that a small percentage of people will benefit, mostly government workers – nobody does better other than the teachers themselves in public schools. But liberals keep bringing up this argument about conservatives saying “Once it goes out, we'll never get rid of it because it'll be so popular.” No, in the case of ObamaCare, some people with rare diseases may be better off. Gosh, there are a lot better ways to take care of them. I'm quite sure no American would object to – it wouldn't even have to be that large a fund, get rid of the Department of Education – simply funding the people who have children born with some rare disease. I'm kind of surprised we don't do that already.
Putting that aside, once this kicks in, the main constituency are government workers, right? For any government program, that's always the Democrats' main constituency, and ObamaCare is going to require, what? 100,000 of them. They're the ones who are guaranteed votes against you if you run against ObamaCare.
NEWSBUSTERS: Yeah, that's a different take. So you're suggesting that our representatives should be going to Washington to prevent harm to be done to us as opposed to allowing that harm to be done so that they can take away the harm that's being done.
COULTER: Right, and I wouldn't count on that. I wouldn't count on that. It's obvious we're not going to be able to completely get rid of ObamaCare right now. To mention another fabulous accomplishment of what's happening now: We wouldn't even be talking about ObamaCare for three weeks right now. It would be out of the news if the Republicans had just funded government and moved on. No, this keeps it alive as an issue. It reminds people and brings up things they may not know: it's against the law under ObamaCare to raise the premium of someone with HIV AIDS BUT you can raise the premium by 50 percent for former smokers. Does political correctness help healthcare?
NEWSBUSTERS: No, but that raises another interesting question: this complaint by the media that if we weren't involved in the shutdown debate right now, and weren't involved in the debt ceiling debate right now, ObamaCare would be front and center. Isn't it possibly the other way around? The fact that we are fighting ObamaCare with the shutdown debate, the program's failures are being more publicized.
COULTER: Oh, absolutely. There's no question we're winning this fight now. Right now. Back in '95, I was working in the Senate then, which is why in the past when some Republicans would threaten a government shutdown simply over spending I was always against it. It's not worth it. This is over ObamaCare. That makes it different.
NEWSBUSTERS: Well Ann, do you have anything else you want to say to NewsBusters readers this morning?
COULTER: You know, my book is also so fun because there were some things in these columns that I had forgotten myself. Like how incredibly deceptive and sneaky liberals are and the true facts of this or that story. In the first chapter I discuss a number of things we won on, the facts were proved - and then liberals just wouldn't stop lying about it, e.g. Valerie Plame being an undercover agent. The August 6 presidential daily briefing, which I summarized and printed excerpts of in one book. They kept lying about it. In the next book, or maybe it was the paperback, I printed the entire presidential daily briefing. I have written about it in columns and books. You cannot get it out of liberals' heads that the August 6 presidential daily briefing warned: “Look, it's like a road map of the 9/11 attack because it was titled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack!” Which, as I say, is like “Midwest Girl Determined 'The German to Succeed in Hollywood.'” That tells us nothing.
Yes, we knew Osama bin Laden was determined to attack. If Bush had closely followed every recommendation, every alleged fact in that memo, we would have had bomb-sniffing dogs around federal buildings in New York. The World Trade Center would have been completely unprotected. There was no thought of planes being turned into cruise missiles. There was nothing about the Pentagon being attacked. It was that Osama was maybe going to use bombs stage a hijacking. 9/11, as you know, was not a hijacking. But to this day you see liberals lying about the August 6 PDB on TV.
NEWSBUSTERS: Do you think that if you look back over your years covering Washington and looking at the media, do you think that entities such as Fox News, such as NewsBusters, the Media Research Center, do you think that we're having a slight, moderate, or great impact on the reporting that the regular media are doing? Are we winning in that regard do you feel?
COULTER: Oh yes, absolutely. I have been told – I don't remember the media from before I was born – but I've been told that it used to be that there were some mainstream media outlets that were conservative, and perhaps in a sense we've become that again with Fox and NewsBusters and all of our conservative sites on the internet, it's become more of “This is the conservative media and this is the liberal media.” Whereas as you used to see Pat Buchanan's columns or George Will's columns in liberal newspapers. That's becoming less true it seems to me.
But in the majority of my adult lifetime, it was pretty much just solid, solid liberalism. And you see the effect – and perhaps this is what you were asking about earlier – that it doesn't matter what the mainstream media covers ANYMORE. These stories that we're getting from all over America of the things Obama is doing to make the government shutdown painful – shutting Mt. Vernon, photos of the closed parking lot, photos of the World War II veterans, not being able to access open-air parks to go look at the Grand Canyon. How do we know that? Because you have thousands and thousands of just ordinary Americans thinking, “Oh, I'm going to take a picture of this and send it to Fox News or send it to NewsBusters.” I don't know if liberals really have as much of a farm team because they're just used to the media doing their dirty work whereas we have genuine Americans outraged at what's happening.
NEWSBUSTERS: Do you think that where this is all heading is somewhere in the next ten or twenty or thirty years media will evolve to just presenting the facts – and honest, real facts – and when opinions are either being published or spoken on radio or television, it'll be very, very clear that this is somebody's opinion?
COULTER: I think that's possible. It's something to hope for, isn't it? I suppose there will always be little outposts like MSNBC which is so insane. Unlike the New York Times – which lies by omission – MSNBC lies by lying. So all day yesterday you may have seen them playing that clip of Obama warning if there's a government shutdown, veterans benefits won't go out.
Republicans heard that. They immediately took to the House floor. They passed a bill making sure veterans benefits would go out. The Senate refused to pass it. The president refused to negotiate. But all day they're playing the clip of Obama to show him like Nostradomus predicting: VETERANS WON'T GET THEIR BENEFITS! And what did the Republicans do? They sat on their hands. Did they do anything about this?
To not say that Republicans immediately voted to ensure that veterans benefits would go out is not misreporting. That is a lie.
NEWSBUSTERS: And that is MSNBC.
COULTER: [Laughs] Yes.
NEWSBUSTERS: And that should be their tag line. With CNN it's, “This is CNN.” With MSNBC, it should be, “THAT is MSNBC.”
COULTER: [Laughs] Or just “THIS is a Lie” for simplicity.
NEWSBUSTERS: Well, Ann, it's been a pleasure as always talking to you. We at NewsBusters are thrilled with your new book, and wish it great success.
COULTER: Thank you! I knew you'd like it, Noel.