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In the Crossfire

Conservative author defends 'Slander' book

(CNN) -- Conservative author Ann Coulter takes on the media and liberals in her new book, "Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right" (Crown Publishers).

Are Democrats given a free ride by the mainstream press, as Coulter contends? The author goes head to head with "Crossfire" hosts James Carville and Tucker Carlson to defend her book's thesis.

CARLSON: Let me address one of the ideas in your book. I want to read you a quote, you wrote -- a pretty amusing quote. ...

COULTER: Thank you.

CARLSON: Here it is. "George Bush doesn't actually have to be a penis head for some portion of voters to believe absolutely without hesitation that he is a penis head. That's the beauty of controlling all major sources of news dissemination in America. It ensures that liberals will never have to learn how to argue beyond the level of a 6-year-old."

Now obviously I agree with the last point. I work on "Crossfire." I know. But the first point, that there's this conspiracy, this liberal conspiracy ...

COULTER: Conspiracy is your word, I believe, Tucker.

CARLSON: Well no, but I'm just -- that's what -- that's the implication, that the press is really sort of in a league with its various parts and that they're aligned against the right. That's a conspiracy. Is that what ...

COULTER: This is why conservatives have to write books. I put things in my own words, which interestingly enough, I find the better words ...


COULTER: ... and the point of that is that, as James just demonstrated, we'll be able to use it as a clip for the MTV version of my book. This is how Democrats argue. Instead of engaging ideas, generally you're either an idiot or a fool, as he just called me, or you're crazy ...

CARLSON: Well, wait a second ...

COULTER: ... it's either scarily weird or dumb, and so you can never engage in ideas. That is ...

CARLSON: Hold on. Slow down. ... No, Ann, I'm not accusing you of any of those things -- being dumb or ...

COULTER: No, I'm explaining the quote you just ran. ... You asked ...

CARLSON: OK, the bottom-line question I have is you're obviously on the right -- so am I. Good for you. But you've done well in spite of that. Doesn't that say something, that if they're -- you know, if the liberals do control the media and I think generally they do. They're -- conservatives can still vanquish them or rise above or whatever. Isn't that -- aren't you a demonstration that that's true?

COULTER: It does say something. What it -- what it says something about, and this is an important point, is the great common sense of the American people despite the constant browbeating 24 hours a day on the major networks, on all major newspapers and magazines.

The American people really have shown an enormous capacity to withstand the propaganda, especially in those media ... where they are allowed to choose.

That is the Internet, radio and books, where conservatives absolutely dominate the list, dominate the top Internet sites, dominate talk radio. When Americans are given a choice, they choose conservatives. They're not given a choice on ABC, NBC and CBS.

CARVILLE: Well let's -- first of all, I want to -- no liberal thinks that President Bush is a penis head. We think he's actually an airhead, but there's a difference between the two.

Let's go to your book and let's take a quote out of the book here.

"Like Catholic schoolgirls engaging in wild promiscuity to prove they aren't fanatics about their religion, Robertson" -- that is Pat Robertson -- "consistently takes the most pathetically moderate, establishment positions within the Republican Party."

Do you think Robertson is a real liberal?

COULTER: That is so preposterous to take that quote and suggest -- what I wrote -- that I was suggesting that he was a liberal. I was saying nothing of the sort. That is not the point ...

CARVILLE: ... Is he a pathetic moderate?

COULTER: I'm sorry, I thought you were done with your question.


COULTER: What's your question?

CARVILLE: I've rephrased my question. You're right, you didn't say I want to be accurate, that Pat Robertson is a pathetic moderate.

COULTER: Are you done with your question now?

CARVILLE: Yes, I'm done.

COULTER: Because you know what? Another way liberals avoid engaging in ideas [is] to constantly, constantly interrupt conservatives on air, to talk over them, to filibuster them. It's as if liberals are afraid if -- an articulate conservative position ever escapes into the world, it will put a religious hex on them.

What are you so afraid of? Let me talk. Let me answer your question. Both of the quotes that you have both just put up really are sort of odd quotes to be using to take them completely out of context. ...




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