On 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.”
What follows is the first part of the discussion (video follows with transcript):
In Part I, Coulter told NewsBusters that one of her goals with this book was to get herself and others reengaged in the political debate following the disappointment with last November's elections. She also wanted to give Republicans tips on how to win elections in the future.
As you might imagine, much of our discussion centered on liberal media bias, and in particular, her view that Barack Obama has unquestionably gotten more favorable press than any president in history.
NEWSBUSTERS: Ann Coulter is one of the leading conservative voices in America with too many New York Times bestsellers to count. Her newest book, “Never Trust a Liberal Over Three - Especially a Republican,” is guaranteed to be her next bestseller. As NewsBusters readers know, Ann is a dear friend of the Media Research Center’s and a dear of mine. Please give an enthusiastic NewsBusters welcome to Ann Coulter.
Good morning, Ann.
ANN COULTER: Good morning, Noel.
NEWSBUSTERS: How are you doing?
COULTER: Just fine. It's so good to talk to you. You're the first person I think I've talked to about it other than my editor who has read my book.
NEWSBUSTERS: Wow! And as you know, I'm one of the rare interviewers that actually reads the entire book as opposed to just the liner notes. Actually, what was interesting is I think your publicist knows this. She didn't even send me your liner notes. She knows that I'm going to end up reading the whole thing.
COULTER: [Laughs] That's great.
NEWSBUSTERS: Okay, so first, tell us about the book and what you were trying to accomplish this time.
COULTER: Well, there actually is a specific goal. Like many people I think, like many patriots out there, after the last presidential election, I just completely withdrew from politics. I don't even know what you guys were putting up. You may have withdrawn from politics and been watching Gossip Girl and Revenge like I did. I didn't listen to political news, and all of my friends were the same way. What was happening on Fox, MSNBC, talk radio, it would be like asking me what happened on Mars for the first three or four months after the election.
And then there were big issues: liberals trying to take our guns away, and amnesty - trying to get the Democrats 30 million new voters. And those two kind of reeled my back in. But other than that, I was just watching Turner Classic Movies. I and all of my most hyper-political friends were that way. I think a lot of conservatives were. We worked really hard on the last election. We had a good candidate. We weren't as bratty about it as Democrats were - remember how Democrats felt when John Kerry lost to an incumbent in 2004? They were all committing suicide, threatening to move to Canada.
So my idea with this book is it's a fun book. About 70 percent of it is – and this is way harder than it sounds – the best of the best of the best of my last ten years' of columns, organized into what I think is a rational grouping with introductions for each one with some points I've been meaning to make on some larger subject areas. It begins with a chapter on what I want Republicans to concentrate on – and that is winning elections - and disputing some of the myths about that.
I think whenever something goes wrong, people tend to lunge at easy solutions, and as you know from reading the book, I am disputing both the claim it's the Tea Party's fault and the claim it's establishment Republicans' fault. A lot of things went wrong. Let's look at all of them and not make any of these mistakes again. But the main point is concentrate on winning the way the Democrats do.
NEWSBUSTERS: Well, my next question is kind of a funny one, and it actually comes from my liberal wife who is by no means a fan of yours: What’s up with the blue dress on the cover? She misses your signature black dress.
COULTER: [Laughs] Well, we wanted it to look different because all new original books on one particular theme - “Demonic,” “Treason,” “Mugged” - have one word titles. Probably nobody's even noticed this. Collections have longer titles to make it look like it's lighter. So we specifically wanted this book to look different.
It's also kind of a racier shot [Laughs] than I would have used for “Demonic,” “Guilty,” “Godless” because, again, I want people to be lured back into politics. This isn't a heavy tome that you have to read from beginning to end. You can pick it up and read just the crime stories or just the media stories or just the science stories, which actually makes it sound more boring than it is. The crime stories you must admit are fantastic, aren't they?
NEWSBUSTERS: Yep. What's interesting is I thought you were wearing blue to represent blue states because it's about liberals.
COULTER: [Laughs] That had not occurred to me. The other thing, you'll laugh at this, your wife might get it, especially California, although San Francisco's a little different from LA. I was slipping through one of my interior decorating magazines, because again, I was doing anything but paying attention to politics after November 6, 2012, and it was a magazine I had for about a year. I had looked at it a million times. I was looking at the living room table in this beautifully appointed room. In fact, I think it was someplace in California, and there was a copy of my book “Slander” in this beautifully decorated living room. And I thought, “Oh, I see. The colors on the cover of the book match the colors in the room.” And so I wanted to go turquoise and blue because I think they're really fun pretty colors.
NEWSBUSTERS: Okay, that's great. Getting more serious, you make a point early in the book about how rigged the media are against Republicans, and advise candidates to not complain about this reality and instead properly deal with it. You wrote, “If you can’t operate in a world that holds you to a ridiculously higher standard than a Democrat, then the Republican Party may not be right for you.” Please explain.
COULTER: When one of our candidates, some I mention by name, I hate attacking Republicans. When I do it, it's because they're running for office and I think it's going to hurt the Republican Party. Some I'm already all in on. So I went ahead and included some of those columns. But there are others. And so another one of them I'm already all in on is Mark Sanford. And where is he by the way? Okay, he didn't lose the seat for us in a guaranteed Republican district. But is he helping the team? I guess he's voting right.
In any event, I don't think it helped us having him running. It was selfish of him. If there was no other Republican candidate, okay, fine, I would have just kept my mouth shut. But there was a fantastic Republican candidate running for that seat. It's a very Republican district. Why should Republicans be wasting time, money, and energy to save someone who had a self-inflicted wound? Nobody did this to him. He's the one who cheated on his wife in this elaborate way by claiming to be hiking the Appalachian Trail, and then had a one hour press conference talking about his love for his mistress. This is a self-inflicted wound.
Look, you can go on and nobody will bring it up again, but why do you have to have that House seat? That's the sort of selfishness that makes me really angry. And often you would hear in response, “Oh, but look at Bill Clinton.” Or “Look at Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer” and so on and so forth. Frankly, a lot of those don't make very good examples as someone who has recovered. I guess Barney Frank. And I just wanted to say to people, “We're not Democrats. That's not an answer."
Conservatives have to be what feminists always say about women, but it is not true, that women have to be smarter than men and better than men and nicer than men and prettier than men just to be treated equally. That's conservatives. So just face it and deal with it. You screw up, you can go out and have a lovely life, but you're not entitled to your House seat just because you're bored.
NEWSBUSTERS: Well, and you commented about this in the past: if women have to be prettier than men to be successful, there wouldn't be any elected Democratic women.
COULTER: Uh, yes. [Laughs] Look, it may sound mean, but, well, A it's true. [Laughs] They say enough mean things about us. The reason I think there is a point to this is watch Newsroom for example. Watch West Wing. Watch any product out of Hollywood, and those of us who are familiar with what people working on the Republican side look like and what people working on the Democrat side look like the parties' looks are reversed by Hollywood. This is part of the subtle propaganda out of Hollywood. You always knew who the Republican was on West Wing because he was the bald sweaty guy – making really bad arguments, by the way. [Laughs] I wouldn't be churlish enough to bring it up except why is Hollywood completely reversing it?
NEWSBUSTERS: And the Republican also had really bad-fitting clothing.
COULTER: [Laughs] Yes. Yes. You go to Capitol Hill and it was like a joke how good-looking the female aides were. And look at the elected representatives. Michele Bachmann versus Rosa DeLauro. And, as I say, I don't like making these comparisons. I'll let it drop there. The point is how Hollywood portrays it.
Once I was with a non-political boy, and he looked up at the TV and saw Amy Goodman of Democracy Now on – who if you looked up “What does the typical liberal woman look like,” it would be Amy Goodman – and he said, “She's a liberal? That's funny. She looks like more what I expect a Republican to be.” So it's not like it isn't working.
NEWSBUSTERS: That's hysterical. Okay, in your “Slavery, the KKK, and the Trail of Tears” chapter, you wrote, “Strict enforcement of racial etiquette makes white liberals feel terrific about themselves but does very little to improve the condition of black Americans.” To a certain extent, weren’t you echoing Attorney General Holder’s February 2009 comment about Americans being cowards when it comes to race, except in your view, the cowards are white liberals?
COULTER: Yeah, I actually thought that at the time. That's very perceptive of you. I remember thinking, “Yeah, I actually kind of agree with him on this, but not conservatives, not Republicans.” And, by the way, there's a reason for that - described in detail in chapter twelve of my last book “Mugged.” It drives me crazy that Republicans don't know their own history on Civil Rights. We have a very proud history. It was Republicans for more than 100 years fighting to end slavery, to end Jim Crow. The KKK was originally formed as a terrorist organization against Republicans. Then it branched out to be a terrorist organization against blacks because who was in the south really stamping on the slave-supporting Democrats to allow recently-freed slaves to vote and have all the rights of citizenship? That was Republicans.
And wow, Richard Nixon, the way they've rewritten his history. More than any other president, he promoted the cause of Civil Rights and black equality. He pushed Eisenhower on it. He was personally thanked by Martin Luther King. The speeches and columns he wrote between being vice president and becoming president kept hitting the Civil Rights issue saying equality is not enough, and after this, blacks deserve a dividend.
Of course, as president, he fulfilled that, for one thing presiding over the largest desegregation of public schools in the nation's history. Within the first two years of the first Nixon administration, after years and years of Democrat presidents who were supposed to be oh so fabulous on Civil Rights – John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson – in two years Nixon desegregated southern schools. All black schools in the south went from being, about 70 percent of them all black to something like 17 percent of them. Not all, but the vast majority. In two years he got it done.
He imposed racial quotas and timelines, which in my younger days I opposed just because I'm against race discrimination. But when you read the history of it, as I did for my book, you read how recalcitrant and exasperating the building trades were being. They were just refusing to hire black people. It's the same way that colleges refuse not to discriminate against white people. You know, we keep winning court victories. The people keep voting. And liberals keep coming back and saying, “We want to discriminate on the basis of race.” They just switched which race will be the beneficiary.
Reading about the building trades back them, once you get to the part of Nixon saying, “That's it. I've had it. We're imposing quotas, timelines, on the building trades or they're not going to get federal contracts,” I'm suddenly totally on his side.
The whole history of Civil Rights is shot through with Republicans standing on the Senate floor denouncing the Democrats – not always Southern Democrats contrary to what you've been told – who continuously voted against Civil Rights. LBJ gets in, and now Republicans had won so many victories that blacks were voting in large enough numbers that Democrats had to stop the nonsense with oppressing blacks or forget about winning another election.
So LBJ pushes through a '64 Act that - as Republicans do know - was supported in far larger majorities by Republicans than Democrats, because they still had their segregationists just as they will always have their abortion supporters. Most of the provisions of the bill were in the provisions of the original I think '56 Civil Rights bill pushed by Nixon and Eisenhower that was blocked,stopped, modified by LBJ himself.
The idea that he was doing this out of principle, it was utter political calculation, and in fact, the steward on Air Force One reportedly overheard LBJ laughing about the '64 Act to a couple of Democratic politicians and saying, “After that bill I'll have them n-words voting for the Democrats for the next hundred years.”
NEWSBUSTERS: Well, but he was right, wasn't he?
COULTER: [Laughs] It shows you the power of the media. I've never seen anything like it. I wrote the true history of Joe McCarthy, which was exactly the opposite of the ones told in high school history books - and adult history books! There, the Left only had to rewrite about five years of American history. With Civil Rights, they rewrote a hundred years of history switching the roles of the Republicans and the Democrats. It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen, and this is why Republicans - and I'm actually promoting “Never Talk to a Liberal Over Three” right now - but if you read nothing else by me, please read chapter twelve of “Mugged.” You should know your history. But because we Republican have nothing to feel guilty about, we have no discomfort with black Americans. Democrats have a lot to feel guilty about.
NEWSBUSTERS: Well, speaking of the media, NewsBusters readers will especially like chapter fifteen deliciously titled “Does Obama Have Nude Polaroids of Everyone in the Mainstream Media?” Of course, you’re being tongue-in-cheek here. However, is it your view that Obama has gotten more favorable treatment from the media than any president in your life, and assuming that's true, why do you think that's the case?
COULTER: Absolutely no question. I have never seen anything like this. Friends of mine, older friends of mine who aren't even particularly conservative in the news business, have said they've never seen anything like it. Some criticism was allowed of say Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton even as candidates. There was some criticism allowed. Not much, and by and large what you saw - Clinton is the one I really remember - mostly what you saw was no criticism at all of him until Monica Lewinsky when the press couldn't take being lied to, and they had to tell the truth about the biggest scandal that's ever hit Washington.
What's new with Obama is not only will there be no criticism, but there will be vicious attacks on anyone who does criticize him. That's new. When conservatives were out attacking Clinton, it wasn't considered the job of NBC News to hunt down these conservatives and hold them up to ridicule.
NEWSBUSTERS: Do you think that's going to be the new normal, or do you think it's just because of Obama? And if it's just because of Obama, is it just because he's black?
COULTER: Not just because he's black because, boy, Clarence Thomas and Michael Steele and Alan West don't get that treatment.
NEWSBUSTERS: No, a black Democrat.
COULTER: Yeah, they don't care about him being black except that it allows them to call any of the aforementioned critics of Obama racists, and they just love calling other people racists, particularly for no reason at all.
The comparison is often made between Obama and Carter. That's not the real comparison. The real comparison is to John Lindsay, the man who wrecked New York City, and possibly de Blasio will do the same now. That is the terror reasonable New Yorkers have right now. John Lindsay, if you look back at the editorials in the New York Times about John Lindsay, he was elegant. He looked good in a suit. He came from the right social class. I'm totally describing Obama right now. Elegant, looks good in a suit, comes from the right social class, uses the right words, all the crazy PC lingo. That was 100 percent John Lindsay.
I wrote about him in “Guilty” comparing him to the man who saved New York, Giuliani. Much like Obama, it was just disaster after disaster in New York City. But meanwhile, the New York Times reporters and editors were cheering, cheering the night Lindsay won. There's your objective news media. Years later, of course, in Lindsay's obituary, the New York Times admitted he was a complete disaster. Garbage all over the streets, constant strikes, constant riots and cops being killed. But liberals liked Lindsay because he was elegant and left-wing. And I think it's the same with Obama.
NEWSBUSTERS: Well, but using the same example there, let's assume that ObamaCare completely flops, and conceivably as a result ends up having to be repealed in some form in the next couple of years. And let's assume – and it doesn't look this way – but let's assume the economy were to actually worsen, that there would be some type of a new financial crisis before Obama leaves office and the economy turns down. Would the media ever turn on him and say anything bad about him post facto, or no way?
COULTER: 30 years from now, maybe. Maybe. That's the best you're going to get because, usually historical analogies bug me, but I do think the media's approach to Obama is so similar to Lindsay, which I don't particularly remember at the time, but I spent a lot of time reading through news articles on it, because man, you read about, [Laughs], that's really what started New York's decline. Years later, you're wondering what on earth, how did this happen? And so I spent many happy days reading through the contemporaneous news on Lindsay, and it just seems so very similar.
But did New Yorkers learn? Did they immediately say, “Oh my gosh, what have we done?” Some did. The equivalent of the Tea Party living out in the boroughs. When Lindsay won his reelection, he lost I believe every borough except Manhattan. [Laughs] That's Obama! It is totally the elites. It's Hollywood. It's Wall Street. There were some people who voted for Lindsay out in the boroughs, but not a majority of them. They knew this was a disaster. And yet New York City kept electing Democrats. And everyone just thought this is the way it is.
The title of that great book about what Giuliani did titled “The Ungovernable City,” that's what everyone used to say about New York. That's what they're going to say about America: “Oh well, America's time has come and gone. We're just in a state of decline now. It's just the way it is. Nobody can do anything about it.” No! That's not true! We just have to stop electing Democrats.
NEWSBUSTERS: Speaking of Democrats, my favorite chapter actually, because of how much I've written about anthropogenic global warming, was your science chapter. And you mention that the scientific opinions of liberals are based on quote “status anxiety.”
NEWSBUSTERS: You must explain “status anxiety.”
COULTER: [Laughs] Turn on MSNBC at any point of any day to see an exhibit of status anxiety. It's all just bullying. “Well, all the smart people believe in global warming,” and “All the smart people don't believe intelligent design.” It's completely contrary to facts.
Consider that nightly, Chris Matthews cites Republican opposition to Darwinism or evolution. It's not evolution. Everything evolves. The question is the mechanism of Darwinism – the survival of the fittest, the random mutations, so on and so forth. Approximately one third of my book “Godless” is an attack on Darwinism. He sat with me for an hour for an interview on that very book. [Laughs] Did I get one single question about Darwinism? Why no, Noel, I did not.
But in one of the presidential debates – and they've got to stop this practice of having loyal Democratic foot soldiers be the moderators of our presidential debates – in the very next presidential election, there's Chris Matthews as a moderator. And he wants a show of hands of the Republicans who believe in Darwinism. That's like asking for a show of hands on whether guns reduce crime before John Lott's book came come out and lots of people read it.
We are in the process of explaining and persuading people. This isn't something that can be done by a show of hands. People can be wrong about things. That's why there is continuing knowledge and people learning things, and sometimes changing their minds about things. But you don't see it in the arrogance and the sneering, the sneering. Scientists who have vicious debates with one another do not sneer and mock one another.
NEWSBUSTERS: But what's interesting is you say, “We can learn.” But can a liberal learn?
NEWSBUSTERS: I say that seriously.
COULTER: I know. I've always said that an amoeba learns to move away from a poisonous substance. Can liberals learn this? Most of the evidence on the record suggests no.