Fox News host Sean Hannity falsely suggested that right-wing pundit Ann Coulter has never "suggested that [President] Bill Clinton should die." But in a 1998 book, Coulter wrote that the national debate during the Monica Lewinsky controversy should not have focused on whether Clinton "did it," but rather "whether to impeach or assassinate" him.
On the July 6 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity falsely suggested that right-wing pundit Ann Coulter has never "suggested that [President] Bill Clinton should die." In fact, Coulter has previously said that the national debate during the Monica Lewinsky controversy should not have focused on whether Clinton "did it," but rather "whether to impeach or assassinate" him. During the same segment, Coulter acknowledged that she has previously suggested "putting rat poison in [U.S. Supreme Court] Justice [John Paul] Stevens's crème brûlée." She added that Stevens's majority opinion in the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case, a recent Supreme Court decision stating that President Bush did not have the authority to order the use of military commissions for the trial of detainees at Guantánamo Bay, confirms that someone already "beat [her] to the punch" and did so. In addition, Coulter attacked "liberals" for downplaying North Korea's recent missile tests, even though the Bush administration has criticized those who have described the standoff "almost in breathless World War III terms," and even Hannity said the previous day that "the world is overreacting" to the situation.
Discussing actor Alec Baldwin's recent weblog post in which he expressed his desire to kill Osama bin Laden and have him "land on Dick Cheney," Hannity asserted that "we all know Alec Baldwin is unhinged. But if Ann Coulter suggested Bill Clinton should die, as Baldwin suggests, what would the reaction be all over the country? It would be quite different than what we're seeing here, wouldn't it?" Coulter responded: "Yes. It's always frustrating trying to explain the humor in something to liberals, who are humorless," adding: "I assume they'd say this is a joke, except for the part about Alec Baldwin fantasizing about rolling around with swarthy Middle Eastern men. I think he actually does fantasize about that."
But contrary to Hannity's suggestion that Coulter has not previously posited Clinton's assassination as an option, as Media Matters for America has noted. Coulter wrote in her 1998 book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton:
In this recurring nightmare of a presidency, we have a national debate about whether he "did it," even though all sentient people know he did. Otherwise there would be debates only about whether to impeach or assassinate.
Coulter also asserted that "[l]iberals keep telling us [that] North Korea isn't an imminent threat" and complained that the left wants to "be nice" to terrorists and dictators. But Coulter completely ignored White House press secretary Tony Snow's recent comments criticizing "attempts to try to describe" North Korea's recent missile tests "almost in breathless World War III terms," and cautioning that "[t]his is a situation in which people are working with a regime in North Korea, trying to reason with a dictator, to step back from provocative activities." Moreover, as Media Matters noted, Hannity downplayed the North Korean missile tests on the previous day's edition of Hannity & Colmes, saying that "the world is overreacting" to the situation, and advocated applying the "Reagan model" of "trust and verify."
From the July 6 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: Joining us now, the author of The New York Times No. 1 best seller, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, Ann Coulter.
Ann, before we get to that issue, obviously this developing news in North Korea is too important to ignore. If, in fact, it is true that that missile, as now is being reported, was aimed at the United States of America. What should happen next?
COULTER: It's quite a pickle, isn't it? I think it demonstrates with great clarity why we need to take out people like Saddam Hussein before they have nukes.
Liberals keep telling us, you know, Iran isn't an imminent threat; Iraq -- or Saddam -- wasn't an imminent threat; North Korea isn't an imminent threat. They don't consider it imminent until a nuke is, you know, 12 seconds away from Maui. Their idea is, as it is with heinous killers, with Willie Horton. It's always -- and terrorists-- it's always, "Let's be nice to them, and maybe they'll repay us with good behavior." It's never happened.
HANNITY: All right, let me move on to Alec Baldwin here for just a second. You know something? I watch all the time. First of all, there is an effort now going on where liberals want to silence your voice in your column, which doesn't surprise me. But if Ann Coulter ever --
COULTER: I think it's been going on for a while.
HANNITY: If Ann Coulter wished that --
COULTER: This isn't a new development.
HANNITY: No, but it's the latest development, let's put it that way. And we all know Alec Baldwin is unhinged. But if Ann Coulter suggested Bill Clinton should die, as Baldwin suggests, what would the reaction be all over the country? It would be quite different than what we're seeing here, wouldn't it?
COULTER: Yes. It's always frustrating trying to explain the humor in something to liberals, who are humorless. I assume they'd say this is a joke, except the part about Alec Baldwin fantasizing about rolling around with swarthy Middle Eastern men. I think he actually does fantasize about that.
COLMES: You seem to think it's not a joke when Alec Baldwin says it. You said they should put rat poison in Justice Stevens's crème brûlée. You said that we should bomb, you know, Timothy McVeigh should have bombed The New York Times.
When you do it, I realize it's funny. When Alec Baldwin does it, I guess it's a liberal saying horrible, dastardly things, right? I see there's a big dichotomy here.
COULTER: Well, I didn't say that. But first of all, I did suggest putting rat poison in Justice Stevens's crème brûlée, and after his majority opinion in the Hamdan case last week, I think somebody beat me to the punch on that. I think it has been put in his crème brûlée.
And, no, I didn't say there's anything -- I mean, OK, Alec Baldwin is fantasizing, joking about killing the vice president, fine, I'll accept that's a joke. But what is the joke illustrating? The joke is illustrating what he says, that he thinks Dick Cheney is the biggest terrorist in the world.
COLMES: I don't think that's what he said, Ann.
COULTER: So, is that what the Democrats are going to run on? Is that your position?
HANNITY: Ann, congratulations on the book. It is insane, the left, though. If only we're nice to the lying, maniacal dictator, only then maybe he'll be nice to us.
HANNITY: Maybe if we're just a little nicer to the world's dictators. It's an amazing philosophy.
COULTER: It's the liberal disease.
HANNITY: It's a disease in a lot of ways. Thank you, Ann. I appreciate you being with us.
COULTER: Thank you.