Brent Bozell

Note: NBC changed their mind late Tuesday and rescheduled Coulter for 7am Wednesday.

Ann Coulter's new book, "Guilty," is out, and two things are certain: It will surely be another best-seller, and she will once again drive the Left bonkers. No institution will be more offended than the national press. Prepare to witness their meltdown.

The Drudge Report caused a firestorm when anonymous NBC insiders leaked the word that Coulter had been "banned for life" from that network. CBS featured her on "The Early Show," and a combative Harry Smith tried to insult her to the extreme. He called her "goofy," "simplistic," "sophomoric" and a "whiner." "You should have a cross," he said dismissively. "You should put yourself up on a cross." Why are they so upset?

The so-called "objective" media clearly feel threatened because they are the very liberals Coulter is attacking. If they weren't liberals, none of her mockery of liberals would bother them. Oh, they might not appreciate her style, as some conservatives don't. But they wouldn't have pitched debates inside their walls about how they will savage her in interviews -- and I defy the networks to deny this -- or how they would remove her from their airwaves altogether.

Those rumored bans have been demanded by the leftist lobbyists for the Censorship Doctrine -- people who say they oppose "conservative misinformation," but clearly want conservatives tossed from the radio and TV airwaves before "misinformation" or just plain conservative thought spills out. They have pressured the networks to stop helping Coulter sell books. Freedom of speech is truly a dangerous concept when conservatives exercise it.

But liberals who claim to oppose "inflammatory rhetoric" on television when it comes from conservatives have no problem with uncivil liberalism. Or 100 percent hate-filled left-wing character assassination. Take NBC, which could not look sillier if it ever seriously banned Coulter for being hyperbolic, when vicious, hyperbolic liberals (Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews) dominate MSNBC.

It's easy to run down a list of inflammatory liberals who are welcomed on the TV morning shows. Start with Kitty Kelley's wild "investigative" books on the Reagans or the Bushes. Or Michael Moore's kooky conspiracy theories. Or Al Franken suggesting Karl Rove and Scooter Libby should be executed over Plamegate. (NBC's Matt Lauer and his off-camera crew laughed at that.)

Or recall Bill Maher on his HBO show in 2007 suggesting Arianna Huffington shouldn't ban commenters on her website wishing Dick Cheney had died in a terrorist attack in Afghanistan. "That's a funny joke," Maher said. "If this isn't China, shouldn't you be able to say that?" He added that Cheney's death by suicide bomber might be a public service: "I'm just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact."

Harry Smith hosted Maher on CBS just months ago on his faith-mocking movie "Religulous" and didn't say one discouraging word to him about his caustic remarks about Cheney or his hateful anti-Christian bigotry. Not one word.

But when Ann Coulter speaks, the brass knuckles come out. In 2007, Coulter was heavily criticized for joking that she couldn't talk about John Edwards, since an ABC actor was forced to apologize for saying "faggot" at the Golden Globes. Liberals were furious. Coulter responded by saying next time, she'd echo Bill Maher and just wish Edwards died in a terrorist attack. Elizabeth Edwards then denounced Coulter for suggesting she wanted her husband dead. Harry Smith invited Mrs. Edwards on CBS, offered her brief softballs and let her verbally whack Coulter with a bat.

Smith is an enormous hypocrite. He completely ignored vicious remarks by Mrs. Edwards just days before, in accepting a "Rage for Justice" award, that the Bush administration was waging a class war that compared to slaughters in Darfur:

"The White House has led the charge against working people, in their own class war. The late, great Molly Ivins once wrote: 'If there was class warfare, that war was long over. And it was a massacre ... a genocide to which there have been words of acknowledgment, as there have in Darfur, but as with Darfur, no meaningful action.'"

But when Ann Coulter comes on the set with Smith, the gloves come off.

Ann Coulter's liberal-bashing columns and books and television appearances are fun for conservatives, simply because there's nothing funnier for the right than witnessing CBS putting up on its own screen a Coulter quote about Ted Kennedy and CBS: "Kennedy may be a drunken slob, but unlike CBS News anchors, he is not certifiably insane."

Call Coulter outrageous, call her a bomb-thrower, even state she goes beyond the pale of civility, if that's your read. But do not assign that label to Coulter and then present your on-air love, kisses and giggles to all the public leftist hate-spewing that far exceeds any perceived incivility by Coulter. That is utterly transparent liberalism, and utterly transparent hypocrisy.


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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