Horowitz continued to defend Coulter: "It wasn't Ann who crossed the line. It was these widows who crossed the line"
Research ››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER
On CNN's Larry King Live, right-wing activist and author David Horowitz again defended right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's recent attacks against widows of victims from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, declaring that "Ann has done us a service."
Appearing on the June 12 edition of CNN's Larry King Live, right-wing activist and author David Horowitz again defended right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's recent attacks against widows of victims from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, declaring that "Ann has done us a service," adding: "It wasn't Ann who crossed the line. It was these widows who crossed the line." Characterizing Coulter's personal attacks on the 9-11 widows as "satire," Horowitz echoed others in the media in suggesting that the underlying point Coulter was making in going after the widows -- that Democrats and liberals use victims as advocates for particular causes because they are insulated from criticism -- was "perfectly legitimate." In fact, far from being immune from challenge, the individuals Coulter cited as examples of "infallible" advocates promoted by Democrats have faced strong Republican opposition and, quite often, ad hominem attacks from conservatives, as Media Matters for America has demonstrated. Indeed, Horowitz himself smeared one such person -- anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan -- during the CNN broadcast, stating that Sheehan is "a disgrace" who "defamed her own child" who died in the Iraq war.
Additionally, in response to a statement from another of King's guests, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), that Coulter is "against all Muslims and Arabs," Horowitz stated that Coulter "is not opposed to all Arabs and Muslims." Horowitz did not seek to account for the following claims made by Coulter, and documented by Media Matters, that do not appear to distinguish between Muslims:
- Coulter claimed that Islam is "a car-burning cult."
- Coulter suggested Muslims rarely "celebrat[e] something other than the slaughter of Americans."
- Coulter declared that "the conventions of civilized behavior, personal hygiene and grooming" are "inapplicable when Muslims are involved."
As Media Matters noted, Horowitz defended Coulter as a "national treasure" during the June 8 broadcast of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.
From the June 12 edition of CNN's Larry King Live, which, in addition to Horowitz and Rangel, also included Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten and Republican fundraiser and author Georgette Mosbacher:
HOROWITZ: Well, first of all, Ann Coulter did not support apartheid, and she is not opposed to all Arabs and Muslims, and this was not a piece about all the widows of 9-11. It was about four widows who use their widowhood as a shield to protect them from any kind of criticism and attack. They supported Kerry. They went out and campaigned for Kerry. They demanded this 9-11 Commission, which whitewashed the Clinton administration. And that's the gravamen of her criticisms in the book. And everything has to be done, you know, taken in the context of what she was doing. It was a critique of the 9-11 Commission. And when she said they enjoyed their husbands' deaths, she was talking about getting publicists, going on TV --
KING: Could she have toned it a little?
HOROWITZ: I think that we all respect grief. And there's also another context, which is Cindy Sheehan. We all respect the grief of a mother or --
KING: Are you mad at her?
HOROWITZ: -- or a widow. I think she's a disgrace, Cindy Sheehan, because she --
KING: She lost her boy.
HOROWITZ: Well, excuse me, she has defamed her own child and dissociated herself. He's a hero. He volunteered twice yet she -- he volunteered after the Iraq war had started. He volunteered for the mission, and she calls him, you know, she says Bush lied and my son died. Her son is a hero. Pay tribute to the son for being a hero, and then you can, you know, criticize Bush.
KING: So you don't think Ann Coulter was in any -- back to Ann Coulter -- was in any way out of line?
HOROWITZ: No. Look, Al Franken, Bill Maher, they all get free rides from the media. I mean, I think --
KING: Do you think she's as funny as they are?
HOROWITZ: I think she's much more -- she's much funnier --
KING: Funnier than Al Franken and Bill Maher?
HOROWITZ: -- than the two of them combined. I mean, read the book.
RUTTEN: David, what kind of conservative position is this? This is moral equivalence. I mean, what does Al Franken have to do with this? What does Cindy Sheehan have to do with this?
HOROWITZ: I was just pointing out --
MOSBACHER: This is all just Iraq.
RUTTEN: It's all about these women, and it's all about what they said.
HOROWITZ: Satire is understood.
RUTTEN: And it's all about Ann Coulter.
HOROWITZ: When Al Franken does satire, people understand it's satire.
RUTTEN: Do you think this was satire?
HOROWITZ: Yeah, I absolutely do.
HOROWITZ: I think this is serious. I think that Ann has done is a service. And I don't think people understand it, obviously, at all. There's a great human -- there's a great human tragedy. There's also a political argument. It wasn't Ann who crossed the line. It was these widows who crossed the line. They have called Bush a liar. They have accused him of being responsible for 9-11. And then you want to say --
KING: Hold on, Georgette. Don't speak --
HOROWITZ: -- then you want to say, well, hold them harmless. They can go out and call the president a liar and make him responsible for all these deaths, but you can't respond to them. That's her point --
RUTTEN: David, why not -- why not make the point -- why not make the point that that's what they've done --
HOROWITZ: -- and by way -- by satire --
RUTTEN: -- but not -- not follow their example --
HOROWITZ: But she is -- what she is doing is breaking the sacrosanct bond around five women who misused their -- look, you know, they have a right to go into the political arena. But then they've got to, you know, take the heat.
RUTTEN: Why is being called a name -- why is being called a witch or a harpie part of being in the political arena?
KING: Why does she have to call them names?
HOROWITZ: Well, because that's what -- look, Bush is being called a murderer.
RUTTEN: What does that have to do with anything?
HOROWITZ: No, look -- who introduced --
RUTTEN: What does that have to do with these women?
HOROWITZ: -- who started calling the president of the United States in the middle of a war--
RUTTEN: This is a schoolyard thing -- you hit me, I hit you. What kind of argument is that?
HOROWITZ: What Ann is making here is a point about people that -- what she's saying is that Democrats, and this is true, put people like Max Cleland, who lost three limbs, you know, like Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son, and they put them in the front line so that Republicans and conservatives who support this war can't fight back. That's the issue. I think it's perfectly legitimate --
HOROWITZ: You know, I feel for these women --
KING: No Republican conservative has ever won the election with a lost limb? No Republican conservative --
HOROWITZ: Of course --
KING: So what are they doing?
RUTTEN: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. What about the fact that Max Cleland put himself there? Who put him there?
HOROWITZ: The point is -- the point is that on the war issue -- it's very interesting with Jack Murtha. Jack Murtha is invulnerable because he's a veteran. Jack Murtha said we should get out immediately, which means give Iraq to the terrorists. So the Republicans put -- this is all described in Ann's book. The Republicans put up a bill saying let's withdraw now. And no Democrats voted for it. And that shows you what's going on. The Democrats want us to quit, but they are afraid to say it.
HOROWITZ: I see David Letterman comparing Ann Coulter to Zarqawi. That's civilized commentary.
KING: It was funny, it was funny.
HOROWITZ: It was funny. Ann Coulter's book is a riot. I hope it goes to No. 1 on the [New York] Times [bestsellers] list. And I don't think for a second that she wrote this book for money, or did these things for money.
She did it because she passionately believes that we're in the middle of a war in Iraq and conservatives like myself see half the country abandoning our troops in the field. You cannot support the troops and not support the war and surrendering the country to the terrorists. And this woman, Kristen Breitweiser, who you just had on, has attacked even the war in Afghanistan, saying that we're there to protect the pipeline. She's a mouthpiece for wild-eyed leftist conspiracy theorists --
KING: Quickly, Tim.
RUTTEN: David -- David, two-thirds of this book, not about the war in Iraq. About her opposition to stem cell research, the theory of evolution, public school teachers who she accused of mass child molestation.
HOROWITZ: I agree with her.
RUTTEN: I mean, come on.
HOROWITZ: The teacher unions are destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands -- millions of young kids.