Coulter uses bad math to defend Confederate flag
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday January 22, 2008 |
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Ann Coulter appeared recently on Fox's Hannity & Colmes to defend the displaying of the Confederate flag in South Carolina, but she appeared to be straining even harder than usual to make her point.

"This really isnít a liberal/conservative thing tonight. Itís a Northern/Southern thing," Coulter insisted, arguing that charges that the Confederate flag symbolizes slavery and racism are "preposterous."

When challenged to say what the Confederate flag does represent, Coulter declared, "The majority of military bases in this country are named after Confederate officers. Eisenhower, Nimitz, ummmmm, the list of southerners in our military is legion. That is what it stands for."

Keith Olbermann later tore into Colter's statement on his own program, using it to dub her "Worst Person of the Week." He pointed out that even if Coulter didn't actually mean to imply Eisenhower and Nimitz were Confederate officers, they were hardly typical southerners either. Both were born in Texas, but Eisenhower's family moved to Kansas before he was two, while Nimitz came from a pro-Union, anti-slavery community.

"And there are no bases named for either of them," Olbermann continued. "And while there are bases named for Generals Beauregard and Bragg and Hill and Hood and Lee from the Confederacy, that's five. It's a long way from a majority of the hundreds of military bases in this country. So, fact-wise, Coulter did exceptionally well today."

Olbermann's own facts may not be entirely secure. According to one website, there are ten forts in the United States named for Confederate officers who had served meritoriously in the Union Army prior to the Civil War, as well as three military camps. However, those still form a tiny minority of the total number of military bases in the United States.

It does appear that at least 26 out of the total of 43 military forts are located in areas that were once part of the Confederacy, and that could possibly be the source of Coulter's confusion.

This video is from MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast January 21, 2008.