Ann Coulter's slander on FOX, MSNBC: She smeared Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, and Michael MooreMay 21, 2004 6:06 PM EDT ››› NICOLE CASTA & ANDREW SEIFTER
Ann Coulter, right-wing pundit and author of Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right and Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, appeared on the May 20 editions of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes and MSNBC's Scarborough Country to accuse leading Democrats of rape, molestation, slander, and treason. Host Joe Scarborough asked Coulter if she thought that a letter written by documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore is "treasonous"; before Coulter could conclude "Yes" -- which she eventually did -- Scarborough answered his own question: "I don't know how that is not treasonous."
On Hannity & Colmes, Coulter asserted that it is "factually correct" that former President Bill Clinton is a "scumbag," and she falsely claimed that Clinton "raped a woman [and] molested interns in the White House, and then lied about it and committed felonies." When the show's co-host, Alan Colmes, stated that it is "outrageous" to accuse someone of a felony they haven't been convicted of, Coulter responded, "I think it's outrageous for people to act as if you can only speak the way our criminal justice system works."
From the May 20 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes:
ALAN COLMES: I want to ask very directly: Is [Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) calling former President Bill Clinton a "scumbag"] over the top?
ANN COULTER: I don't know. Do you disagree that [Clinton's] a scumbag?
COLMES: Yes, I disagree with [Burton] factually. And you're ducking my question: Is it or is it not over the top?
COULTER: I think [calling Clinton a scumbag] is factually correct.
COLMES: It is an opinion. It is name calling, is what it is.
COULTER: I don't think you could win a slander suit on that. Truth is a defense.
JENNY BACKUS [DEMCRATIC STRATEGIST]: There you go again. It's a double standard. It is, it's a double standard.
COULTER: It's a double standard? Wait, this man [Clinton] raped a woman. This man molested interns in the White House, and then he lied about it and committed felonies.
COLMES: Where do you come off accusing him of being a rapist?
COLMES: You just accused somebody of committing a felony without being convicted in a court of law. That's outrageous.
COULTER: It is not outrageous. And I think it's outrageous for people to act as if you can only speak the way our criminal justice system works. No, you cannot be put in jail unless it's been proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Coulter accused House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of slander, as well as accused Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Moore of treason.
After host Joe Scarborough quoted Pelosi as having said, "Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he's not a leader. He's a person who has no judgment, no experience and no knowledge of the subjects he has to decide on. He has on his shoulders the deaths of many more troops," Coulter responded:
I would put Pelosi's statement more in the category of my prior book, "Slander." I have a whole chapter on this incredibly crucial argument of Democrats against Republicans: You're stupid. And that is basically what Nancy Pelosi's argument comes down to. I don't see really where she is pointing to the lack of judgment and competence and so on. It's just a long way of saying George Bush is stupid.
Scarborough also played a clip of Kennedy saying, "On March 19, 2004, President Bush asked, who would prefer that Saddam's torture chambers still be open? Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management." Coulter responded to the Kennedy clip as follows:
SCARBOROUGH: Now, what about like for instance statements by Ted Kennedy.
COULTER: Oh, no, that was treasonous.
Scarborough later quoted from the April 14 letter ("Mike's Message") Moore wrote for his website visitors: "I oppose the U.N. or anybody else risking their lives of their citizens to extract us from our debacle in Iraq. The majority of Americans supported this war once it began and sadly that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe, just maybe, God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end." Scarborough then baited Coulter to condemn Moore as treasonous:
SCARBOROUGH: Ann Coulter, is that [what Moore wrote] treasonous?
SCARBOROUGH: But do you think -- because I personally, I don't know how that is not treasonous when you say more young Americans need to die over in Iraq.
COULTER: Yes. I think it's hard to get around that. No, they root against their own country. I think that is an unavoidable conclusion.
From the United States Constitution: "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."