What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 5, 2009

Hardly Surprising

Media Matters on Ann Coulter's latest:
Media Matters has examined a copy of Ann Coulter's new book, Guilty, and presents a sampling of the book's numerous falsehoods. These falsehoods include her defense of claims made against Sen. John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth; her assertion that "Fox News has never been caught promoting a fraud"; and her claim that President-elect Barack Obama was referring to Gov. Sarah Palin when he said "you know, you can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig."
An example:

On Page 15, Coulter writes, "Fox News has never been caught promoting a fraud -- unlike CBS (Bush National Guard story), ABC (tobacco industry report), NBC (exploding GM trucks), CNN (Tailwind), and MSNBC (Keith Olbermann)." In fact, as Media Matters has documented, on several occasions since 2004, Fox News has issued a retraction and apology for airing a news report that repeated false information, one of which led Fox News' Vice President for News John Moody to reportedly warn staff in January 2007 that "seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC."

On the April 24, 2007, edition of Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade repeated as fact an online parody news report of a school prank that included fabricated quotes attributed to the superintendent. Doocy issued an on-air retraction and apology during the May 16, 2007, edition of Fox & Friends First, but the superintendent brought suit against the Fox News Channel, Doocy, and Kilmeade. In a June 3, 2008, decision dismissing the lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby wrote:

The facts in this case -- a morning cable news show derisively reporting events and statements obtained unwittingly from an online parody -- should provide grist for journalism classes teaching research and professionalism standards in the Internet age. But First Amendment principles developed long before the Internet still provide protection to the gullible news program hosts against this public official's claims for defamation and false light invasion of privacy. Poetic justice would subject the defendants to the same ridicule that they accorded the plaintiff. But in real life, the aggrieved school superintendent must be satisfied with their later retraction and a professional reputation sullied less than theirs.

The lawsuit was filed by Leon Levesque, a school superintendent in Lewiston, Maine. According to The Associated Press, "[t]he case was an outgrowth of an April 2007 prank in which a middle school student tossed a slab of leftover Easter ham onto a table surrounded by Somali Muslim youngsters, knowing the Muslims would be offended." Freelance writer Nicholas Plagman later published a fabricated news report about the incident at Associated Content in which he attributed numerous made-up quotes to Levesque, including one in which Levesque was alleged to have said: "These children have got to learn that ham is not a toy." On the April 24, 2007, edition of Fox & Friends, Doocy and Kilmeade reported on Plagman's story as though it were fact and repeated several of the made-up quotes attributed to Levesque. In discussing the parody report, Doocy repeatedly asserted: "We are not making this up." Indeed, when Kilmeade asserted: "You know, I hope we're not being duped," Doocy replied, "We're not being duped. I've looked it up on a couple of different websites up there."

Does anyone take Ann Coulter seriously?

No really, I'm asking.

Questions? Comments? Remarks? Drop me an email.


Ann Coulter was scheduled to appear on the "Today" show Tuesday morning to promote her new book, "Guilty." But it's now been canceled, according to her website.


"I guess this ends the 'they just want to get ratings' argument about liberal media bias," Coulter wrote underneath.

Media Matters has been picking apart the book, and last week asked the following: "Is NBC going to help Coulter sell this book?" Seems like they're not.

An NBC spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

UPDATE Comment found at Eschaton:
I can't believe NBC is depriving Ann Coulter her first amendment right to appear on their networks any time she wants to.
Those lib'rul media bastards.

UPDATE Comment found at that bastion of truth (80% of the time) Drudge:
Mon Jan 05 2009 17:50:57 ET

The nation's top selling conservative author has been banned from appearing on NBC, insiders tell the DRUDGE REPORT.

Banned for life!

"We are just not going to have her on any more, it's over," a top network source explains.

NBC's TODAY show abruptly cut Ann Coulter from its planned Tuesday broadcast, claiming the schedule was overbooked.

But executives at NBC TODAY replaced Coulter with showbiz reporter Perez Hilton, who recently offered $1,000 to anyone who would throw a pie at Ann Coulter. Hilton is also launching a new book this week, RED CARPET SUICIDE.

Coulter was set to unveil her new book, GUILTY.

But one network insider claims it was the book's theme -- a brutal examination of liberal bias in the new era -- that got executives to dis-invite the controversialist.

"We are just not interested in anyone so highly critical of President-elect Obama, right now," a TODAY insider reveals. "It's such a downer. It's just not the time, and it's not what our audience wants, either."

For the book, Coulter reportedly received the most-lucrative advance ever paid to a conservative author.

The TODAY show eagerly invited the author months ago, for her first network interview on GUILTY.

The exclusive was to air during the show's 7 AM hour. The cut came Monday afternoon.