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Jewish World Review Oct. 9, 2003/ 13 Tishrei, 5764

Ann Coulter

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Answering my critics | In a recent interview with Al Franken conducted by Edward Nawotka for Publisher's Weekly, after suggesting that some readers might want Franken to run for president, the interviewer proceeded to ask Franken hardball questions such as:

— "It's got to be a little grating to see your book on the same New York Times best-seller list as the Ann Coulter book."

— "You fact-checked Ann Coulter's book and found a lot of inconsistencies, outright lies and quotes that are taken out of context. Who is responsible for those kinds of errors, the author or the editors?"

— "How should booksellers deal with this?"

In a later interview with me, the same interviewer asked me questions like these:

— "(W)ho is ultimately responsible for the errors (in your book), you, the publisher, or both?"

— "What gives — was this an honest mistake or malfeasance as he suggests?"

— "Why all the name calling?"

Apparently it never occurred to Publisher's Weekly that Franken's allegations of errors in my book — or "outright lies," as the interviewer put it — were false.

It's interesting that the most devastating examples of my alleged "lies" keep changing. As soon as one is disproved, I'm asked to respond to another. This is behavior normally associated with conspiracy theorists in tinfoil hats. One crackpot argument after another is shot down — but the conspiracy theorists just move on to the next crackpot argument without pause or reconsideration. Certainly without apology.

Here are a few of the alleged "lies" that I have already responded to — and which were then dropped by the Coulter hysterics as they barreled ahead to the next inane charge.

Franken's very first charge against me is that I told a reporter from the Observer that I was "friendly" with Franken, when in fact, we are not "friendly."

Needless to say, I never claimed to be friendly with Al Franken. Inasmuch as I barely know Franken, a normal person might have looked at that and realized the reporter misunderstood me. But apparently Franken thinks he has a pretty cool name to drop — the oddest case of reverse name-dropping I've ever heard of.

I don't hear about this "lie" so much anymore.

Franken hysterically accuses me of "lying" for calling my endnotes "footnotes" in interviews on my book.

Yes, notes at the end of a book are technically "endnotes," not "footnotes." Franken will have to take his case up with The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and the rest of the universe — all of which referred to my 780 endnotes as "FOOTNOTES." Also, G-d, for inventing the concept of "colloquial speech."

I don't hear so much about this "lie" anymore.

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Franken claims I complain that conservatives don't get on TV enough.

Inasmuch as I am on TV a lot, this would be a hilarious point. Too bad I never said it. My book "Slander" — which Franken seems to have gone over with a fine-toothed comb — would have been a good place to make that point if I wanted to make it. "Slander" contains an entire chapter on the media, and yet I never claim that conservatives are not on TV enough. What I say is: "Democrats in the media are editors, national correspondents, news anchors and reporters. Republicans are 'from the right' polemicists grudgingly tolerated within the liberal behemoth."

By the way, I also say: "The distinction between opinion journalism and objective news coverage is seemingly impossible for liberals to grasp."

Franken's absurd description of my point proves it.

I haven't heard so much about this "lie" anymore.

I claim Evan Thomas' father was the Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas.

Franken drones on and on for a page and a half about how Norman Thomas was not Evan Thomas' father — without saying that he was Evan's grandfather. This was one of about five inconsequential errors quickly corrected in "Slander" — and cited one million times by liberals as a "lie." Confusing "father" with "grandfather" is a mistake. Franken's deliberate implication that there was no relationship whatsoever between Norman and Evan Thomas is intentional dishonesty.

I haven't heard so much about this "lie" anymore.

I incorrectly claimed Dale Earnhardt's death was not mentioned on the front page of The New York Times the day after his death.

In my three best-selling books — making the case for a president's impeachment, accusing liberals of systematic lying and propagandizing, arguing that Joe McCarthy was a great American patriot, and detailing 50 years of treachery by the Democratic Party — this is the only vaguely substantive error the Ann Coulter hysterics have been able to produce, corrected soon after publication. CONGRATULATIONS, LIBERALS!!!

The Columbia Journalism Review was crowing about this great victory over Ann Coulter a year ago. A search of "coulter" and "earnhardt" on Google turns up more than 1,000 hits. Now Franken dedicates another two pages in his book to it. I believe this triumph of theirs has been sufficiently revisited by now. At least I didn't miss the Ukrainian famine (cf., Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Walter Duranty).

I don't hear so much about this "lie" anymore.

Henceforth, I shall rely on sensible people to see that I have answered the liberal hate groups' first 17 rounds of indignant charges against me. If they had a better example out there, we would have heard it before the 18th round.

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JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of, most recently, "Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism." (Sales help fund JWR.)

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