Conservatives Call Out Ann Coulter
Comments on "Hannity" Unnecessary and Unhelpful to Fellow Conservatives, Distracts from Serious Debate
References to Obama and Monkey Seen as a Ploy to Create Controversy, Sell Books
Washington, D.C. - Three conservative activists affiliated with the National Center for Public Policy Research who possess more than 85 years of professional experience between them are criticizing author Ann Coulter for her shameful racial tweaking on the September 9 edition of Fox News Channel program "Hannity."
Coulter, who is releasing a new book next month, appeared on "Hannity" to discuss the Obama Administration's weak response on Syria. On three occasions during in the approximately seven-minute segment, Coulter used "Obama" and "monkey" in the same sentence. It was done in the context of Russian President Vladimir Putin manipulating the Syrian crisis to make Obama look weak and indecisive on the international stage.
During the interview, Coulter said Putin "is making a monkey out of Obama," that the crisis may have been orchestrated "to make Obama look like a monkey" and that Putin "made Obama a monkey" on several occasions since the President's re-election.
While Coulter is free to choose her idioms, it appeared obvious her word choice was purposefully meant to provoke controversy. Even host Sean Hannity called out Coulter on her syntax three times during the relatively short segment, specifically asking at one point: "Why are you saying that? Because you know people are going to criticize you for using that term against the President... Are you trying to be provocative?" Obviously taken aback, Coulter paused and denied Hannity's assertion, but then subsequently used the term "ragdoll" to characterize Putin as "playing with" Obama.
"RFK Jr. said in his diary that Al Sharpton has done more to damage the black cause than George Wallace because he's tainted all black leaders. Ann Coulter is the conservative movement's Al Sharpton," said David Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "The world doesn't revolve around Ann Coulter and whether or not she sells her books. It's time she put America first."
"Ann Coulter has a long history of making provocative statements as a professional advancement strategy, but statements she makes in service of her personal PR goals should not be confused with the genuine views of the conservative movement, 99.9999 percent of which is far more interested in advancing sound public policies for the United States than it ever will be in selling books," said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center.
While her performance on "Hannity" in absolutely no way indicates Coulter harbors racist inclinations, it does provide plenty of excuses for the left-wing smear machine to launch attacks against her in particular and conservatives in general -- attacks that are common and point to incidents such as this as alleged smoking guns of racism in the conservative movement. It also distracts from the real debate. In this case, more than a minute was devoted to Coulter and Hannity discussing her speech rather than her thoughts.
For Coulter, however, such controversy keeps her in the public eye.
"In March of 2007, Ann Coulter called John Edwards a 'faggot' at CPAC -- much to the dismay of many of the conservative conference's sponsors such as the National Center for Public Policy Research. Three months later, her latest book hit store shelves. Last night, Sean Hannity even seemed taken aback as Coulter repeatedly said Putin was making a monkey out of Obama. She was baiting the haters. And she has a new book coming out next month. Coincidence? I think not," said David W. Almasi, the executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research and a D.C. activist since 1989. "Ann Coulter is a fine writer and her contributions to our cause are appreciated, but she has a pattern of using other conservatives to get attention. I didn't appreciate the haters condemning me by association in 2007, and I don't appreciate it today."
In the aftermath of the 2007 CPAC comment, the National Center said it would be better to not do CPAC at all than to do it and have all the media attention about it be focused upon the nasty word choices of a single individual, who falsely is portrayed as representive of the conservative movement as a whole.
The National Center co-sponsored CPAC that year. Its behind-the-scenes work at the time kept Coulter off the CPAC's official agenda in 2008. Coulter has since been re-invited to speak at CPAC, and the National Center has ceased being a co-sponsor.
National Center personnel have also called on Coulter to use more constructive rhetoric on other occasions, such as a Coulter attack on Canada in which she said, in part, "When you are allowed to exist on the same continent as the United States of America... They had better hope the United States doesn't roll over one night and crush them... They are lucky to be allowed to exist on the same continent..."
"We are aware of the irony that in calling out Ann Coulter for making conservatism look bad in order to draw attention to herself, we are giving her more attention," added Amy Ridenour, "but as I've said for years now, Coulter is perceived by many to be representative of the conservative movement. If we don't correct this misperception, it will stand."
The National Center is also the home of Project 21, a leadership network that promotes the political diversity of black Americans. In 2013 alone, Project 21 members have appeared in the media at least 1,400 times.
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than 2 percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Contributions to The National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.
Contributions to The National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.