Responding to radio host Melanie Morgan's assertion that if New York Times executive editor Bill Keller were convicted of treason she "would have no problem with him being sent to the gas chamber," right-wing pundit Ann Coulter wrote in her July 12 nationally syndicated column: "I prefer a firing squad, but I'm open to a debate on the method of execution." Coulter claimed that the Times should be charged with treason for publishing stories on the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program and the Treasury Department's program to monitor international bank transactions, and concluded that "[a] conviction for treason would be assured under any sensible legal system."
From Coulter's July 12 column:
In 1985, Times columnist Anthony Lewis accused the Reagan administration of trying to "intimidate the press." Channeling Anthony Lewis this week, Frank Rich claims the Bush administration has "manufactured and milked this controversy to reboot its intimidation of the press, hoping journalists will pull punches in an election year."
Rich's evidence of the brutal crackdown on the press was the statement of San Francisco radio host Melanie Morgan -- who, by the way, is part of the press -- proposing the gas chamber for the editor of the Times if he were found guilty of treason, which happens to be the punishment prescribed by law. (Once again Frank Rich finds himself in over his head when not writing about gay cowboy movies.)
I prefer a firing squad, but I'm open to a debate on the method of execution. A conviction for treason would be assured under any sensible legal system.