The lies continue. Reporters are still treating the Ann Coulter-Elizabeth Edwards smackdown as though the two women were equally responsible for the three days of mud-wrestling, which MSNBC must be loving. On "Scarborough Country" last night I was forced to point out that Edwards didn't "pick a fight" with Coulter (Dan Abrams' words); Coulter picked the fight when she called Edwards a "faggot" at the Conservative Political Action Committee meeting in January and cruelly accused him four years ago of hyping his son Wade's death. Poor Pat Buchanan kept insisting Coulter was "a good debater" who hadn't said anything particularly outrageous. In the end, I was forced to repeat her gay slur against Edwards and toss in that she called Vice President Al Gore "a total fag." I don't use those words, but it was starting to get silly, debating whether what she said was out of bounds without being able to say what she said. So I did.
More silly things: Coulter continues to lie in her column today. She again claimed that HBO's Bill Maher said he "wished" Dick Cheney would be assassinated (that's what she insists triggered her joke Monday on "Good Morning America" that given the storm over her "faggot" slur against Edwards, in the future she'll "wish he got killed in a terrorist assassination plot" instead). But Maher said no such thing. As Juliebird and others have noted in my letters threads, he merely stated that if the Afghanistan assassination attempt against Cheney had succeeded, it might have prevented other people's deaths. When Joe Scarborough, who happened to be Maher's guest that night, asked for clarification, Maher expressly denied that he was saying he "wished" Cheney were killed. I got the transcript from Brent Bozell's NewsBusters site, which nonetheless headlined the item "Bill Maher Sorry the Assassination Attempt on Dick Cheney Failed," which is not precisely accurate, either, but closer than what Coulter says.
Coulter also seems to be taking issue with the way "Hardball" staff told her Elizabeth Edwards would be phoning into the show. When "Hardball" executive producer Tammy Haddad was interviewed on the Wednesday show, she explained: "I talked to Ann before the show and told her that we had gotten a call from the Edwards campaign and that Elizabeth might call in. And she was fine with it." In Coulter's own telling, she doesn't sound fine with it, but I'd trust Haddad. "As I was walking to the set, minutes before airtime, it was casually mentioned to me that Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, might call in." Then she throws in two more anti-"Hardball" lies, just for fun: "I doubled the ratings of the lowest-rated cable news show on Tuesday by agreeing to go on for a full hour to promote my new paperback version of "Godless" -- a mistake I won't make again." Lie No. 1: CNN's right-wing Glenn Beck is the lowest-rated show on cable news. Lie No. 2: She'd go back to "Hardball" in a heartbeat to promote her next book if asked. And sadly, they'd probably have her back.