On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Republican strategist Jack Burkman, echoing right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, whom he was defending, declared that "within hours of those [World Trade Center] towers going down," the wives of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks "were ready to make money and exploit this tragedy!"
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On the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Republican strategist Jack Burkman resumed defending and echoing right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's attacks against the wives of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, declaring that "within hours of those [World Trade Center] towers going down, these women were ready to make money and exploit this tragedy!"
In a discussion with host Joe Scarborough, Burkman demanded that people ask "some questions about these widows, these witches of New Brunswick," and wondered how long it took the widows to "hire PR agents" after the 9-11 attacks: "Did they wait two days? Did they wait a month?" Burkman then surmised that "I think it was done in the first week." Burkman then "challenge[d]" the 9-11 widows "to a debate" about the allegations, but suggested that the widows would decline "because they have a lot to hide" and "don't want the nation to see" their desire to "exploit this tragedy."
As Media Matters for America noted, Burkman recently appeared on Scarborough Country to defend Coulter's statements "[a]ll the way," asserting that Coulter "understates the point" and is "telling the truth." Burkman added that the 9-11 widows -- whom he compared to anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan -- "exploited commercially" the deaths of their loved ones, that they had "breathlessly ... stepped just into the fame thing," and that "before the bodies are cold, they're out selling and trying to make money." He further argued that Osama bin Laden is "shocked" and "amazed" because of "what these women have done and others have done with 9-11, they have commercialized him." Burkman later claimed "because of this PC thing," the 9-11 widows "get away with it."
From the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country:
SCARBOROUGH: With me now to talk about it: Air America host Mike Papantonio and Republican strategist Jack Burkman. Jack, let me start with you. What's wrong with New Jersey legislatures [sic] pushing for a Bush [sic: book] ban? A lot of conservatives, according to liberals, don't care for the First Amendment anyway.
BURKMAN: Well, they're taking away her First Amendment rights. It's just silly. It's a hideous restriction on free speech. I'll tell you this, though, Joe. Her next book advance is going to be about $15 million.
You know, Joe, the one thing I would ask -- let's make some news tonight, here. Nobody is asking the basic, factual question. The focus is on Ann Coulter, and I certainly support everything she's saying. But, let's have some questions about these widows, these witches of New Brunswick. Is it the case that they hired PR agents in the days after? How long did they wait? Did they wait two days? Did they wait a month? I think it was done in the first week, and I think there's evidence that they had lawyers, PR people, literary agents, all of these folks telling them to go out there.
And so I say to the news media tonight -- and I will throw down the gauntlet right on this program and challenge all four of those women to a debate. I challenge you to tell this country when you did what you did. But they won't. They won't because they have a lot to hide, and they don't want the nation to see that within hours of those towers going down, these women were ready to make money and exploit this tragedy!
BURKMAN: If it is the case that these women hired lawyers and PR agents and literary agents in the 48 hours after the Trade Center attack, if that's true, will you join me in joining with Ann and saying she said the right thing?