During her Fox News show on Tuesday, Megyn Kelly and guest pundit Howard Kurtz defended Ann Coulter against blog commenters who criticized the conservative author for a recent media blitz of anti-immigrant bigotry, Media Matters reports.
In promoting her new book, “Adios America,” Coulter appeared in an interview with news anchor Jorge Ramos. A U.S. citizen born in Mexico, Ramos is outspokenly in favor of immigration reform. Politico once dubbed Ramos an “anchor with attitude” because of his “heated” approach to interviewing politicians about immigration policy.
Coulter’s book, meanwhile, is a critique of the Democratic party, “a media determined to cover up immigrants’ crimes,” the National Council of La Raza, the U.S. Government, and churches who she says are complicit in a policy of “mass immigration that’s tearing the country apart.”
During the taping of Coulter’s interview, a woman in Ramos’ audience, holding a microphone, asks Coulter a question: “Can I give you a hug?”
Coulter chuckles awkwardly and says, “I wouldn’t today. I’m recovering from the worst flu I’ve ever had.” Coulter then coughs several times.
The questioner clarifies that she is an immigrant who has been living in the United States for nearly 22 years without federally recognized documentation. As “a sign of my humanity and yours,” the woman tells Coulter she’d like to “recognize” the bestselling author, and asks again, “Can I give you a hug?”
“No,” Coulter replies tersely. “Let’s get on with the question.”
After airing a clip of Coulter’s conversation with an apparent immigrant reform advocate, Kelly laments on her program that people leaving comments on left-wing blogs are saying mean things. Kelly says these commenters believe Coulter’s appearance on Ramos’ show is a “moment in the immigration debate because [Coulter] refused to hug this woman.”
Kurtz points out that liberal Internet users “love to portray Ann Coulter as a cold-hearted creep.” Coulter was “smart,” he says, to avoid being baited by an activist. Coulter was “even being diplomatic,” Kurtz says, “by saying, (cough, cough) I have the flu.”
Opining that Coulter’s “defiant anti-hug stance was the right one,” Kurtz suggests her publicity from the Ramos show might help the author sell more books.
Kelly wonders if Coulter’s aversion to hugging TV studio audience members may correlate with trauma from having had “a pie thrown at her head unexpectedly” during a prior public appearance. Kelly shows footage of two men running across a stage, with pies, toward a talking Coulter at the podium. The pie incident Kelly referenced on this week’s show occurred at the University of Arizona in 2004; Coulter was uninjured, but one of the custard pies did hit her in the shoulder, according to the Associated Press.
“Wow,” Kurtz remarks after watching the tape. “Who knew public speaking could be so dangerous?”
Kelly then airs another recent clip of Coulter talking about immigration. This one, she warns viewers, is particularly controversial.
“If you don’t want to be killed by ISIS,” Coulter says, “don’t go to Syria. If you don’t want to be killed by a Mexican, there’s nothing I can tell you.”
Kelly pauses the film and asks Kurtz for his reaction.
“Yeah, you know,” Kurtz begins hesitantly, “I could see where certainly lots of Mexicans would be insulted by that sort of thing. But,” he continues, Coulter often “kind of walks up to the line, sometimes crosses it, makes the comparison to ISIS, knowing that will generate headlines. But look, that’s part of the debate. That’s [Coulter’s] debating style.” He says that even negative media publicity has a positive impact on Coulter’s book sales.
Sure, some bloggers might make fun of Coulter sometimes, Kurtz concedes, “but then again she knows how to be in the public eye.”
“She certainly does,” affirms Kelly.
Watch Fox News pundits defend conservative author Ann Coulter against critical comments on the Internet: