This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, July 22, 2003. Click here to order the complete transcript.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: With us now is one of the most successful right-wing pundits, Ann Coulter, the author of the bestselling book, Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.
All right. Your book's doing great, and it's doing better than your first book, and you have a very big following.
But I don't know why you're so vitriolic in your writing, and let me give the folks an example, if they haven't read your book. Kate Moss. You know this little waif, Kate Moss, this little model. She probably didn't even go to high school. Here's what you say about Kate Moss. This is unbelievable.
"Even model Kate Moss took time out from her drug habit to wrap her head around the war issue. Terrified that an attack on Iraq could lead to an attack on Colombia and dry up her supply, she was foursquare against the war." Now come on. I mean Kate Moss?
ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, TREASON: LIBERAL TREACHERY FROM THE COLD WAR TO THE WAR ON TERRORISM: Well, that is one of the frivolous chapters. It's toward the end. I do cover the celebrities, and that's a chapter that really is just for laughs.
But, if I can say, I honestly disagree with your opening statements about calm persuaders being...
O'REILLY: They don't have to be calm, just not so...
COULTER: Well, at least...
O'REILLY: ... predictable.
COULTER: ... in this case -- well, I -- do highly approve of your using Krugman and Rich as examples of...
O'REILLY: Yes, because you -- they're lefties and you hate them.
COULTER: ... not persuade. No, but, also, Frank Rich. You know, his book sold about six copies. Mine has sold 150,000 in the first three weeks.
O'REILLY: Look, there's no question that you have a following, but it's preaching to the choir.
COULTER: I don't think so any...
O'REILLY: You're not making any converts.
COULTER: ... more than you are. But I -- but I want to disagree with your larger point, and that is much of what I am writing about -- I'm compiling historic accounts.
There are somber academics who have been putting together austere, closely reasoned books on this for 30 years, and they...
O'REILLY: And nobody reads them.
COULTER: ... can't get liberals to admit that Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were guilty. OK.
In three weeks, I've accomplished that much. Sometimes you have to hit people over the nose.
O'REILLY: Not to everybody. Not to everybody. You'll never get Robert Sheer to admit to that.
COULTER: Well, I think your approach is more to hit people over the nose, and I think that works.
O'REILLY: But, look -- look, here's -- here's the point. Here's the point. You basically are doing somewhat what the left-wing bomb throwers are doing.
O'REILLY: You demonize the oppo -- Oh, come one. Jimmy Carter, quote, "self-righteous, vengeful, sneaky, and backstabbing." Jimmy Carter!
COULTER: Oh, read the full sentence. It's so much better.
O'REILLY: It's more invective. Come on. Look, I don't agree with President Carter, and I think most politicians are sneaky and backstabbing, but...
COULTER: The full sentence was much funnier.
O'REILLY: All right. It's -- but it's not a matter of being funny. It's a matter of you having...
COULTER: It is a matter of funny.
O'REILLY: ... credibility in your crusade to convince Americans that there is a way to conduct themselves and be a good citizen. Isn't that what you want to do?
COULTER: No, I want to change people's minds. I am giving them an alternative view of history, and they've been having a false history force fed to them for 50 years and an outrageous history. I'm...
This is a history book. The fact that it's fun and light reading and I tell jokes is getting people to read it.
O'REILLY: Tell jokes. All right. Now how much of this is serious? One of your good friends is Bill Maher who's a -- totally opposite from you in his thinking, and you hang around with him. Do you call him sneaky and vengeful and backstabbing?
COULTER: No, that was Jimmy Carter.
O'REILLY: I know, but he's a liberal. Do you hate -- not hate him, but do you demean what he says?
COULTER: No, some of my best friends are traitors.
O'REILLY: Traitors? Is Maher a traitor?
COULTER: That's a joke.
O'REILLY: Is he a traitor?
COULTER: No, but he's a liberal. He's not...
O'REILLY: Yes, but you hang with him, you like him, you're friends. So why the vitriol in your book here?
COULTER: I don't have any vitriol directed toward Bill.
O'REILLY: Oh, Ann. You don't have any vitriol. What, is this the Wizard of Oz here?
COULTER: No, toward Bill.
O'REILLY: Oh, that's right. But that's my question.
COULTER: No. In fact, I will...
O'REILLY: What's the difference between Bill and Janeane Garofalo or Kate Moss? I mean why tear them to pieces and give Maher a pass?
COULTER: Well, that is, as I say, the frivolous chapter that I almost didn't...
O'REILLY: But get Maher -- get Maher in the frivolous chapter.
COULTER: ... laugh. Because Maher actually does debate things. That's one of the reasons he is one of my liberal friends. We have ferocious debates about issues dear to his heart, and then we go out and have drinks...
O'REILLY: But Janeane...
COULTER: ... and that's what I like about him.
O'REILLY: Janeane Garofalo debates. She came on this program. She was one of the few.
Now I -- I'm with you on the weasels who drive by, throw their real ideological grenades, and then won't answer questions, and you have my permission to tear them limb for limb, all right.
But Janeane Garofalo, as misguided as I think she is, came on, was respectful, had a debate. Why kill her?
COULTER: She also said a lot of really silly things. If Bill Maher said silly things, I didn't know what they were.
O'REILLY: Oh, yes, you do. Bill Maher has said silly things.
COULTER: On the topic of my book?
O'REILLY: No. On...
COULTER: I don't think so.
O'REILLY: ... silly things in general.
COULTER: This is the topic of my book, and she said a lot of very
silly things, including, I think, on your program. Her prediction that
500,000 would be killed in Iraq and -- civilian casualties, an attack here
O'REILLY: Yes. She was wrong. Flat-out wrong.
COULTER: She says a lot of very silly things, so, OK, I quote her.
O'REILLY: OK. Don't you think you get to be too mean, though? You don't want to be the queen of mean. You don't want to be the new Leona Helmsley.
COULTER: I don't think it is mean. For one thing, I don't think I am mean, and I give my readers a few laughs to force feed them history through...
O'REILLY: But you know who's going to say the exact same thing?
COULTER: But wait. Let me finish.
O'REILLY: Hold it. Wait a minute. Do you know who's going to say the exact same thing that you just said? Al Franken.
COULTER: Well, they can say what they want to say. It's true or it isn't true, and I think it's true in my case.
But I mean the accusation that I'm the one being mean here, when I am responding to 50 years of the liberal creation of a myth turning an honorable American -- a great American patriot, Joe McCarthy, into a virtual Nazi...
O'REILLY: Oh, I'm -- I am not going with a great American patriot.
COULTER: I'm telling the truth about...
O'REILLY: I'm not going with that.
COULTER: Well, you -- OK. That's what you...
O'REILLY: I'm going with a...
COULTER: You buy into the...
O'REILLY: ... guy who used his power to do some good but a lot of bad, too.
COULTER: Like what?
O'REILLY: Well, he demonized people...
O'REILLY: ... who didn't deserve to be demonized .
COULTER: That's not true. Name one. There is not one. Just...
O'REILLY: I'll name one. Dalton Trumbo.
COULTER: He had nothing to do with Dalton Trumbo.
O'REILLY: Sure he did. It was a House...
COULTER: He did not.
O'REILLY: ... of UnAmerican Activities Committee, all right, and he was overseeing that.
COULTER: ... known as Senator McCarthy. He was in the Senate, not
the House. Everyone confuses him with the House UnAmerican...
O'REILLY: OK. But who was -- no, no, no. But who was overseeing that?
COULTER: ... Activities...
O'REILLY: Come on. You know the clubhouse rules.
COULTER: He had nothing to do HUAC. You see, this is part of the myth. I -- I'm -- it's not -- everyone says this -- everyone says HUAC, Joe McCarthy...
O'REILLY: All right. I don't want to debate McCarthy, he's dead, and....
COULTER: Well, OK, but, look, that's how powerful the myth is. I'm responding to the blackening of a man's name, and people say, oh, that's mean.
O'REILLY: But I'm not debating what's in your book, all right. Although I disagree with some of it. You have a perfect right to say it, and you make a lucid case for it. Millions of people buy your book. I'm objecting to your method.
See, Al Franken is a vile human being, would you agree? He is. Would you agree?
COULTER: After seeing your exchange with him, yes, I would.
O'REILLY: All right. He's a vile human being. But he does almost what you do...
O'REILLY: ... in the sense that he hates all conservative and
moderates. He hates them, all right. Now I don't think you hate them because I know you hang around with Maher.
COULTER: No. No. For one thing, at this point, I'm funnier than Franken.
O'REILLY: Yes, you...
COULTER: He used to be funny.
O'REILLY: No, you've always been funnier than Franken. I'll give you that.
COULTER: Now he's just, you know, a bubbling cauldron of anger and hatred, especially toward you, I hear.
O'REILLY: Well, I threaten him because I see through him, I know what he is. But even the conservatives have said that your rhetoric is so over the top, you may be hurting your own cause.
COULTER: People have a lot of reasons to criticize other people. This is often what was done to McCarthy. I mean Eisenhower was worried -- had a lot of reasons to be worried about McCarthy. He -- McCarthy was more popular than Eisenhower.
O'REILLY: So you don't -- you're not going to concede a little bit that you might too over the top?
COULTER: Not in the least. I mean cite a example.
O'REILLY: All right. So you're -- I knew you weren't going to concede.
COULTER: You cite an example, and I'll tell you why it's not over the top.
O'REILLY: Well, Kate Moss. Kate Moss, I think, is a little over the top.
COULTER: It's been all over "Page Six," I mean, and every gossip page in America, all of her, you know, drug use. I mean...
O'REILLY: She's worried -- she's worried about -- that the invasion of Iraq might cut off her cocaine connection to Colombia. It's not over the top.
O'REILLY: All right. Ann Coulter, everybody. Look, no matter what you say about her, she's out there. She's front and center. So you make the call.
Thank you, Ann. I appreciate it.
COULTER: Thank you.
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