Offender: Ann Coulter on the O’Reilly Factor
Media Outlet: Aired on FOX 6/22/09
The Offense: Vocal far-right conservative Ann Coulter took anti-choice hate speech to a level even Bill O’Reilly couldn’t support while discussing Dr. George Tiller’s murder: “I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester,” said Coulter.
NOW’s Analysis: For the past six years O’Reilly’s loathsome “coverage” of Dr. Tiller’s work as one of the four OB/GYNs in the country who perform late-term abortions for desperate women has ranged from calling him “Tiller the baby killer” to deeming his healthcare services “Nazi stuff” to stopping himself short of threatening vigilante justice against Tiller.
Even the right-wing O’Reilly pushed Coulter to retract her statement, to which she responded, “I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don’t want to impose my moral values on others.” This all but sarcastic lip service is lost in the slew of radical, hateful ideas thrown around during this conversation: Coulter theorizes people aren’t talking about Tiller “because they’re all hungover from the Hooray-George-Tiller’s-Dead party;” she claims Tiller, who she qualifies as “a man responsible for killing 60,000 babies,” was just “doing it for the money;” and finally, she undoes her retraction with this comment:
“OK, their logic is, if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t get an abortion. Well, if you don’t believe in shooting abortionists, don’t shoot an abortionist.”
Coulter continues to belittle and downplay Tiller’s heinous murder by contradicting O’Reilly’s admission that the killing was an act of domestic terrorism, saying, “I think it was just a random nut.” She goes on to misquote statistics about the size of the anti-choice population, which she claims is overwhelming peaceful, having killed “only five abortion doctors” in the past 35 years (the number of murders is actually eight). Apparently, pro-choicers are lucky more haven’t been killed at the hands of right-wing hate mongers for the healthcare service they provide women.
This is just another example of how radical right-wing pundits like Coulter are leading us toward a hateful, distorted reality in which murdering a healthcare provider who provides a rare, safe, and completely legal service to women in need is not only accepted, but celebrated.
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Jess Hobbs, NOW Communications Team