Although former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg said he "disagree[d]" with Ann Coulter "in terms of style," he endorsed the "content" of her new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, "agree[ing] that [liberals] trot out all sorts of people on the left who are victims, people who have lost their sons in war and widows."
During an interview with host Bill O'Reilly on the June 13 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, author and former CBS News correspondent Bernard Goldberg, now a reporter for HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, endorsed the "content" of right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's recent book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum, June 2006) -- including that liberals "trot out all sorts of people on the left who are victims, people who have lost their sons in war and widows" -- while "disagree[ing] ... in terms of style." But as Media Matters for America noted, Coulter's assertion -- echoed by others in the media -- is wrong in at least two respects. First, spokespeople with personal stories are hardly the sole province of liberals; the GOP and conservatives have demonstrated a great willingness to use victims and their families to advocate in support of their candidates and causes. But, more importantly, liberal advocates with personal stories have not been insulated in the least from either real political debate or from personal attacks.
Goldberg asserted that the "difference" between Coulter and him is that "Ann goes 22 miles over the line," adding that "Coulter hurts her team" by "giv[ing] liberals the opening to say 'You see, that's how they [conservatives] all are.' " Still, Goldberg went on to say, "Ann is very smart. Ann is very good. And I hope that Ann's book is very, very successful."
Goldberg is just the latest in a long line of media figures who have expressed support for the "point" Coulter made in her book about relatives of tragedy victims, as Media Matters for America has documented here, here, here, and here.
From the June 13 edition of The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Bernard Goldberg's book, 110 People Who are Screwing Up America, is out in paperback, competing with the Ann Coulter hardcover. Mr. Goldberg joins us now from Miami.
You know, you mock liberals in your book primarily -- some conservatives, mostly liberals. Ann Coulter mocks liberals almost exclusively. What's the difference between your presentation and her presentation?
GOLDBERG: Well, in a lot of ways -- and this is very important -- I agree with a lot of what Ann Coulter says.
I agree -- in her new book -- I agree that liberalism, they make it a religion because by making it a religion they could be morally superior; they could be virtuous; they could look down their nose at conservatives. I agree that they trot out all sorts of people on the left who are victims, people who have lost their sons in war and widows. So, I agree with Ann on a lot of things.
But maybe the difference is -- and I don't know that liberals would agree with this -- Ann goes 22 miles over the line. And she says things -- she says things that not only offend liberals. I don't have a problem with that because liberals aren't going to like Ann Coulter if she behaved like Mary Tyler more. So, that's not the issue.
I think Ann Coulter hurts her team. That's the difference. I don't think I hurt conservatives when I write about liberals screwing up the culture, but I think Ann hurts her team, because it gives liberals the opening to say, "You see, that's how they all are."
Now, Ann is very smart. Ann is very good. And I hope Ann's book is very, very successful. We don't disagree in content most of the time. We do diverge dramatically in terms of style.