Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ann Hart Coulter (born New Canaan, Connecticut, 8 December, 1961, according to the New Canaan voter registration office; born December 1963 according to her D.C. driver's license issued many years later is a conservative American author and commentator with a reputation for criticism of liberal public policy expressed through provocative polemics, often with the intention of using insult humor.
Coulter has made frequent guest appearances on national television and syndicated radio programs. She has appeared on a large proportion of topical talk shows, including Hannity and Colmes, The O'Reilly Factor, American Morning with Paula Zahn, Crossfire, The Today Show, Real Time with Bill Maher and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Her books include High Crimes and Misdemeanors, How to Talk to a Liberal, Slander, and Treason. All of Coulter's books have been on the New York Times bestseller list. Coulter is also a legal correspondent for the magazine Human Events. She writes a syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate which is carried by several conservative or right-wing websites, including Frontpagemag.com.
Coulter was the subject of a TIME magazine cover story in April 2005.
Coulter was born into a family that she has described as "upper middle class". She claims to have developed both her conservative opinions and her acerbic rhetorical style growing up in Connecticut. Her father, John V. Coulter, was a lawyer, known for his legal work in cases against labor unions; he later became a constable. Her mother, Nell M. Coulter, is member of the New Canaan Republican Town Committee. She has two elder brothers.
As an undergraduate in Cornell University's College of Arts and Sciences, Coulter helped to launch a conservative newspaper, The Cornell Review, with funding provided by Richard Mellon Scaife's Collegiate Network. She graduated with honors from Cornell in 1984, and went on to receive her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an editor of The Michigan Law Review . At Michigan, Coulter founded a local chapter of the Federalist Society. She also received training at the National Journalism Center . After practicing corporate law for four years, she became a congressional aide in Washington, D. C. in 1994, working as a staffer to Republican Senator Spencer Abraham, who served on the Senate Judiciary Committee before working for a public interest law firm.
In 1996, MSNBC hired Coulter as a legal correspondent and political pundit, which launched her media career. Though she was allowed to make many partisan and controversial comments as a panelist, she was fired in 1997 after an exchange with Bobby Muller, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, in which she said "No wonder you guys lost." (MSNBC's NewsChat, October 11, 1997)
Coulter, when asked if she is a fundamentalist Christian, told interviewer David Bowman, "I don't think I've described myself that way, but only because I'm from Connecticut. We just won't call ourselves that." Though she seldom argues from a religious point of view, Coulter has stated that she admires Jerry Falwell, and opposes Pat Robertson (Slander, ch. 9). She is a strong supporter of Phyllis Schlafly, and, like her, opposes the Equal Rights Amendment.  
Coulter gained much of her recent prominence with two books. The first, , addresses what Coulter considers to be media bias in the United States. The book claims that many American journalists have ties to the Democratic Party, which influences their reporting. Coulter argues that George W. Bush has faced a difficult and unfair battle for positive coverage in the media ever since he decided to run for president, and that a similar battle for fair coverage has been waged by practically every Republican presidential candidate since Calvin Coolidge. In effect, she asserts, news coverage is unkind to Republicans.
Her follow-up book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, claimed that Democratic politicians and the media have severely undermined much of America's foreign policy goals since the end of World War II, and that this is tantamount to conspiracy and treason. Summarizing recent history, she accuses Democratic presidents, including John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman, of having sometimes worked against the war against Communism and the Soviet Union, and charges Democratic members of Congress with similarly undermining the efforts of Republican presidents. In the final chapters, she argues that a similar process is undermining the present War on Terror.
Paula Jones controversy
Coulter debuted as a figure on the public scene during her days as an unpaid legal adviser lawyer helping the attorneys representing Paula Jones sue President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment. According to the website Coulterwatch, Coulter told writer Michael Isikoff "We were terrified that Jones would settle. It was contrary to our purpose of bringing down the president", even though that had been Jones' express intention since the beginning of the suit ("Oh, Paula"; par. 5, 2). The website also stated Coulter wrote in the Hartford Courant in 1999 that she leaked the details of Jones's testimony to the press in order to prevent Clinton from avoiding publicity by settling ("Oh, Paula"; par. 5). If true, this does not necessarily mean, however, that Coulter actually acted contrary to Jones' best interests and/or wishes.
When the case did get to court, after Coulter had broken with Jones, it was summarily dismissed because Jones could not show that she had actually suffered any damages, even if her allegations proved true. Jones did eventually gain a settlement from Clinton in exchange for not appealing the decision, although at $850,000 it was only one-third of the amount she had been asking for and all but $151,000 went to pay her now-considerable legal expenses. However, the Jones case eventually led to the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal and to the movement lobbying for Clinton's impeachment, as Coulter had wished. She appeared on MSNBC as a commentator on the case (doing so before her legal involvement with Jones), and went on to write a critical exposé of Clinton, boasting on Rivera Live that she "got a bestseller out of it" (High Crimes and Misdemeanors), and telling Hannity & Colmes, "The reason we were doing it for Paula – well, was for Paula. She had been defamed and I think we can say we got her reputation back." (Coulter, 1999)
Jones, who had divorced her husband during the case and purchased a house after the settlement, leaving her with a large tax debt, then posed for Penthouse, stating that she wished to use the money to fund her two grade-school-aged children's college education. Coulter publicly denounced her as "trailer-park trash", saying "I totally believed she was the good Christian girl she made herself out to be. Now it turns out she's a fraud, at least to the extent of pretending to be an honorable and moral person." (Coulter, 2000) Jones defended herself by saying, "I haven't been offered a book deal like everybody else in this huge thing has done. Ann Coulter's done books. I haven't seen her call me up and say: 'Paula, would you like for me to help you write a book, a really nice, decent book?' I haven't had any help from anybody whatsoever."
Coulter's communication style
Coulter gained prominence in the field of conservative commentators with her brand of outspoken criticism of many liberal and Democratic Party figures and policies over the past half-century. She quickly became known for being a controversial and colorful speaker, and indeed has relished this role (Coulter, August 2002). As she told The Sunday Times in 2002, "I am a polemicist. I am perfectly frank about that. I like to stir up the pot. I don't pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do."
Columnist and blogger Andrew Sullivan has created a parody Michelle Malkin Award for writing which he considers to be cliché-ridden, insulting, and in concordance with the reader's beliefs. Sullivan has declared that "Ann Coulter cannot be considered" for the award on the grounds that "No one else would stand a chance."  
Relations with media outlets
When the editors of the National Review Online, the website of a well-known conservative magazine that carried Coulter's syndicated column, and of which she was the contributing editor, said they would like to discuss making changes to a piece written in 2001 directly after the September 11 attacks in which her friend Barbara Olsen had been killed (Coulter, July 2002), she went on the national television show Politically Incorrect and accused them of censorship, claiming her pay was only five dollars per article. National Review Online then dropped her column and terminated her editorship (Goldberg, 2001). See Quotations: On the 9/11 attacks, bullet 2.
Coulter was contracted by USA Today to cover the 2004 Democratic National Convention, but was replaced by Jonah Goldberg after a "disagreement over editing" (Memmot, 2004). The article began "Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston", and referred to an indefinite number of female attendees as "corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons". The newspaper did not print the article, but Coulter published it on her website. 
Controversy regarding Coulter's accuracy
Coulter is frequently accused of being overly biased when reporting facts, and of twisting them to support her case. Even when she has taken pains to defuse these attacks by documenting her sources, as with the 780 endnotes provided in her book Slander, the criticisms have not abated. A large number of webpages have sprung up that take her Slander endnotes to task , prompting her supporters to launch equally vigorous campaigns in her defense amidst calls of unfairly partisan nitpicking.
Her opponents have also attacked Coulter for what they consider to be her unreliability in live interviews, alleging in particular that she frequently misstates facts rather than admitting error or unfamiliarity with the topic being discussed. Although many of these criticisms have been dismissed by Coulter and her defenders, a few have become staples among her critics.
Democrats richer than Republicans
In Slander, Coulter expounds the view that liberals are out of touch with America and "have absolutely no contact with the society they decry from their Park Avenue redoubts".
In an August 2002 Newsday article, she argued that the media are biased to the left because Republicans don't have the wealth to start media outlets, while Democrats do. That Republicans are rich, she said, "is one of the stunning lies that Democrats have been able to palm off... Liberals really are the idle rich." 
Her critics, including Joe Conason, the author of Big Lies , accuse Coulter of double standards, arguing that she is a highly-educated, affluent woman with a high-profile media presence who does not similarly accuse herself, or other privileged Republicans, of being out of touch.
Canada and the Vietnam War
In January 2005, Coulter gave an interview to CBC's The Fifth Estate (video clip of this part of the interview) in which she argued that Canada's non-participation in the 2003 invasion of Iraq demonstrated that Canada's "loyal friendship" with the United States was weaker than in the past. She attempted to contrast the situation with the Vietnam War, stating:
- "Canada used to be one of our most loyal friends and vice-versa. I mean Canada sent troops to Vietnam - was Vietnam less containable and more of a threat than Saddam Hussein?"
The interviewer Bob McKeown countered, "No, actually, Canada didn't send troops to Vietnam." Coulter and McKeown then contradicted each other repeatedly before Coulter finally concluded, "Well, I'll get back to you on that." 
Later in the show, McKeown stated that Coulter never did get back in touch with The Fifth Estate, and reiterated the filmmakers' position that Canada had not sent troops to Vietnam. 
Canada remained officially neutral for the duration of the War, and no troops were sent to fight under the Canadian flag. In a subsequent interview on C-SPAN, Coulter admitted that she had erred, but also stated that thousands of Canadian-born Americans had gone to battle:
- "Yes, 10,000 Canadian troops, at least. [...] The Canadian Government didn't send troops [ ... ] [ but ] they came and fought with the Americans. So I was wrong. It turns out there were 10,000 Americans who happened to be born in Canada." 
Later in the interview, when asked about the taping of the CBC show, she added:
- "I talked to him Bob McKeown for three hours and the topic was not Canada's war history. It was an incidental point that he challenged me on and I didn't believe him because I had read about Canadian troops in Vietnam. I was right. People keep saying 'well, he didn't tell you that they - 10,000 troops - ran across to sign up with the Americans' because I don't think he knew." ibid
The following quotes are examples of Coulter's flamboyant and polemical style, for which she is well-known. They cover a wide variety of topics, but each demonstrates Coulter's unwillingness to compromise her strong views for political correctness or media palatability. Many view these quotes as examples of a tongue-in-cheek use of hyperbole or satire, while others take them more seriously. Coulter herself once stated, "Liberals love to pretend they don't understand hyperbole." However, she has also stated, "I believe everything I say." 
On the 9/11 attacks
- Two days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, her syndicated column included discussion of her close friend Barbara K. Olson, who was killed on American Airlines Flight 77 when terrorists crashed it into the Pentagon. She closed by saying: "We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now.
- "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war." - National Review "We should invade their countries." September 13,2001
- A week later, she detailed a five-point plan guided by an "all-new standard for airline safety procedures:...procedures that [actually] make the airplane safer" of which point 3 proposed requiring "passports to fly domestically". "Passports can be forged", she continued, "but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males". Point 4 observed, "All 19 hijackers in last week's attack appear to have been aliens.... [Legally,] Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave." 
On law and order
- "I have to say I'm all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with are the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the 'hood to be flogged publicly." - MSNBC March 22, 1997.
- "I think we had enough laws about the turn-of-the-century. We don't need any more." Asked how far back in time would she go to repeal laws, she replied, "Well, before the New Deal....[After someone suggests the time when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued] That would be a good start." - Politically Incorrect May 7, 1997.
- "If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [teenage] gunman [who opened fire on a prayer meeting, killing three]." [Presumably she was asked what she would tell those who pray in school] "Don't pray. Learn to use guns." - Politically Incorrect, December 18, 1997.
- "The presumption of innocence only means you don't go right to jail." - Fox News, Hannity & Colmes August 24, 2001.
On the environment
- "The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man's dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet -- it's yours. That's our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars -- that's the Biblical view." - from her column "Oil Good; Democrats bad" October 12 2000
On public "safety nets"
- "Then there are the 22 million Americans on food stamps. And of course there are the 39 million greedy geezers collecting Social Security. The greatest generation rewarded itself with a pretty big meal." - WorldNetDaily, December 2, 2003.
- "When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors." - at the Conservative Political Action Conference February 26, 2002.
- "Liberals hate America, they hate flag-wavers, they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam, post 9/11. Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now." - (from Slander, pp. 5-6; published June 2002).
On the media
- "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building." - in a New York Observer interview August 26, 2002.
- "Of course I regret [the previous quote]. I should have added 'after everyone had left the building except the editors and the reporters.'" - in a rightwingnews.com interview June 26, 2003.
- "The only standard journalists respect is: Will this story promote the left-wing agenda?" How to Talk to a Liberal, 2004.
- "It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950 - except Goldwater in '64 - the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted." -  May 17, 2003.
- "I think [women] should be armed but should not vote ... women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it ... it's always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care." - Politically Incorrect, February 26, 2001.
- "Women like Pamela Harriman and Patricia Duff are basically Anna Nicole Smith from the waist down. Let's just call it for what it is. They're whores." - Salon.com November 16, 2000
- "Like the Democrats, Playboy just wants to liberate women to behave like pigs, have sex without consequences, prance about naked, and abort children." - How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must), 2004
- "How many people have to die before the country stops humoring feminists? Last week, a defendant in a rape case, Brian Nichols, wrested a gun from a female deputy in an Atlanta courthouse and went on a murderous rampage. Liberals have proffered every possible explanation for this breakdown in security except the giant elephant in the room -- who undoubtedly has an eating disorder and would appreciate a little support vis-a-vis her negative body image." - "Freeze! I Just Had my Nails Done!" WorldNetDaily March 16, 2005.
- "I think there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote." Fox News, Hannity & Colmes, August 17, 1997.
- "My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism." - MSNBC February 8, 1997.
- "The Episcopals (sic) don't demand much in the way of actual religious belief. They have girl priests, gay priests, gay bishops, gay marriages -- it's much like The New York Times editorial board. They acknowledge the Ten Commandments -- or "Moses' talking points" -- but hasten to add that they're not exactly "carved in stone." - from column "The Jesus Thing" January 7, 2004.
- "Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity (as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of 'kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed')". - from her column (at townhall.com)March 4, 2004.
- "The Times was rushing to assure its readers that 'prominent Islamic scholars and theologians in the West say unequivocally that nothing in Islam countenances the Sept. 11 actions.' (That's if you set aside Muhammad's many specific instructions to kill nonbelievers whenever possible)" - How to Talk to a Liberal, 2004.
- Coulter, Ann (August 17, 1999). Hannity & Colmes. Fox News Channel.
- Coulter, Ann (October 30, 2000). Clinton sure can pick 'em Jewish World Review.
- Coulter, Ann (July 18, 2002). Donahue Transcipt July 18....Ann Coulter mops the floor with Phil. Interview with Phil Donahue. Free Republic. posted by Pistolshot, July 19, 2002.
- Coulter, Ann (August 26, 2002). Coultergeist. Interview with George Gurley. New York Observer reprinted at AntiAuthority
- Goldberg, Jonah (October 3, 2001). L'affaire Coulter. National Review Online.
- Memmot, Mark (July 26, 2004). Coulter column canceled after editing dispute. USAToday.com. Updated July 27, 2004.
- "Oh, Paula!" (.pdf file) (2002). Coulterwatch.com. Retrieved March 17, 2005.
- West, Nigel (2000). Venona: The Greatest Secret of the Cold War. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0006530710
Books by Ann Coulter
- How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (Crown Forum, 2004) ISBN 1400054184
- Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism (Crown Forum, 2003) ISBN 1400050308
- Feminist Fantasies by Phyllis Schlafly, foreword by Ann Coulter (Spence Publishing, 2003) ISBN 1890626465
- Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right (Crown Forum, 2002) ISBN 1400046610
- High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton (Regnery Publishing, 1998) ISBN 0895261138
- Ann Coulter's official website
- The Best Quotes From Ann Coulter's Treason
- The Jewish World Review
- Coulter Watch "Watch site" for Ann Coulter
- StopAnnCoulter.com Organization in opposition to Ann Coulter's exploits
- Buckley, William F. (Winter 2003). Tailgunner Ann. Claremont Review of Books [on-line edition]. Biographer of Joseph McCarthy reviews Treason.
- Horowitz, David (July 8, 2003). The trouble with Treason. Frontpagemag.com. Article by a conservative both critical and praising of Treason.
- Ann Coulter profile, NNDB.
- Matthews-Coulter transcript
- Fact-checking Ann Coulter
- Analysis of Ann Coulter Statements
- Wisdom of Ann Coulter
- Criticism of Some of Coulter's views
- Guide to Reading Ann Coulter
- Analysis of Ann Coulter
- Criticism of Ann Coulter by The Nation
- Criticism of Ann Coulter
- Criticism from Center for Media and Democracy
- Ann Coulter articles from Media Matters for America
- Ann Coulter and the Title Fight - By Richard Leiby
- Washington Post article on Coulter's age
- Commentary from The Rude Pundit
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