Another memory lapse: Coulter claims “people didn't go after Chelsea Clinton”

On Hannity, talking about David Letterman's references to Gov. Sarah Palin and her family, Ann Coulter falsely claimed that “people didn't go after Chelsea Clinton.” In fact, Sen. John McCain and Rush Limbaugh both reportedly went after Chelsea Clinton.

On the June 10 edition of Fox News' Hannity, host Sean Hannity and conservative columnist Ann Coulter talked about David Letterman's references to Gov. Sarah Palin and her family, with Coulter claiming that “people didn't go after Chelsea Clinton.” In fact, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) reportedly told a “joke” about Chelsea Clinton in 1998, saying, “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.” Additionally, referring to nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh, the late columnist Molly Ivins reported:

On his TV show, early in the Clinton administration, Limbaugh put up a picture of Socks, the White House cat, and asked, 'Did you know there's a White House dog?' Then he put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton, who was 13 years old at the time and as far as I know had never done any harm to anyone.

When viewers objected, he claimed, in typical Limbaugh fashion, that the gag was an accident and that without his permission some technician had put up the picture of Chelsea -- which I found as disgusting as his original attempt at humor.

As Media Matters for America previously documented, on September 1, 2008, referring to Internet rumors about Palin's daughter, Hannity said: "[T]hey tried to make the attack that she has a young daughter, pregnant and engaged. Is that fair that they would attack that? I mean, I don't remember Chelsea Clinton being attacked."

From the June 10 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: All right. You know, I guess people say, “Oh, it's David Letterman.” He also referred to, you know, the “slutty flight attendant” look of hers. And I'm thinking now, David Letterman --


HANNITY: -- from what I understand, he just got married. He has a wife. He has a child. I think David Letterman would react if people started making similar attacks against his wife and child.

COULTER: Right. And now that the families are open to this, have you seen the wife? I think every time liberal males see a female who is identifiable as a female, they think -- they call them slutty stewardesses. I think that's his way of saying she's attractive.

For both of these lines, I mean, it seems to me the two rules are -- have been that you can't attack the family members -- but I guess Sasha and Malia are fair game for comedians now. And the second rule is that it has to be funny. And that's the problem with the herpes joke. I'm not seeing the humor there, OK?

HANNITY: Well, I'm not seeing --

COULTER: Sarah Palin is not going away.

HANNITY: I'm not seeing the humor --

COULTER: So is Obama.

HANNITY: I'm not seeing the humor in any of this, and maybe, it's played itself out because it got killed by Leno, killed by Nightline, and now he's getting apparently killed by Conan O'Brien. So, apparently, he's --

COULTER: He's been killed for years. I mean, he has -- I think since he and -- up until recently, he and Leno were competitors. Leno has, like, twice his ratings. I think we know what keeps him on air.

HANNITY: Yeah. But Leno was funny. I mean, Leno -- I always enjoyed watching him.

COULTER: Yeah. That's why he had twice the ratings of Letterman.

HANNITY: Yeah. You know, look, I wonder if --

COULTER: No, but, Letterman is a reliably -- Letterman is reliably left wing, and that'll keep you a job in the mainstream media.

HANNITY: All right, now, I've watched you speak in public and I can't see you going after Barack Obama's daughters. I can't see you going after the children of politicians. You know, the politicians are fair game. They put themselves in the public arena. We're fair game. People say awful things about Ann Coulter on a pretty regular basis. Obama has attacked me by name -- all fair game.

But when you go after kids the way he did here -- this is a young girl we're talking about -- when you go after a woman this way --

COULTER: Well, and it's not just -- right. Right. And people didn't go after Chelsea Clinton, and they have not gone after Sasha or Malia. This is a rule that has never been subscribed to by liberals, and it isn't just comedians. If MSNBC is the official Barack Obama station, CNN is the official Levi Johnson station. He's on that network more than Cooper Anderson is now.

This has become an obsession with attacking this young girl of Palin's.