Ann Coulter 'Raghead' Comments Spark Blogger Backlash

July 7, 2008 - 8:31 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Conservative columnist Ann Coulter received a rock star welcome at the Conservative Action Political Conference (CPAC) Friday, but when she used the term "ragheads" twice in a speech before a crowd of college students, bloggers accused her of "racism" and "hate speech."

Referring to Iran, Coulter said, "What if they start having one of these bipolar episodes with nuclear weapons? I think our motto should be, post-9/11, 'Raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'"

"Ann Coulter Hate Speech Gone Wild" quickly became the headline story on BradBlog.com. The story then spread to the rest of the blogosphere.

The owner of BradBlog.com was one of a select group of bloggers "credentialed" by CPAC to report live on the conference. Brad Friedman, owner of BradBlog, had turned his CPAC blogger duties over to Dan Borchers, founder of the Citizens for Principled Conservatism website and CoulterWatch.com.

Borchers reportedly was ejected from CPAC in 2002 for disseminating negative information about Coulter, including claims that she was an "extremist" and had experienced a post-9/11 "descent into madness."

One week before CPAC, a video montage that Borchers created of Coulter, juxtaposing slaughtered bodies at the Vietnamese village of My Lai with previous comments she had made, gained coverage in the media trade journal Editor & Publisher.

At CPAC, Borchers reported that Coulter "rules the far right roost with racist speech death threat 'jokes.'"

Coulter's "raghead" comments spread from BradBlog.com and RawStory.com to the rest of the blogosphere over the weekend. Bloggers called the comments "a bigot eruption" and "beyond the pale," adding that Coulter was everyone's favorite "Muslim-hater."

Conservatives also weighed in on the flap. Tim Chapman of TownHall.com said the remark was "beneath" Coulter. "Sister Toldjah" said she stopped defending Ann Coulter three years ago when a "fellow conservative helped me realize that I couldn't defend [her] increasingly inflammatory remarks while calling liberals to the carpet for similar remarks ..."

Conservative author Michelle Malkin said she wanted young conservatives, including Muslims who attended CPAC, to know that "not everyone uses that kind of epithet.

"I don't," Malkin said. "Not in public. Not at home. I have no ill will towards peaceful people who happen to cover their heads for their faith."

Malkin accused liberals of hypocrisy over the matter, however. "I'll show you 100 liberal hate mails and blog posts referring to me as a 'gook' or a 'chink' or a 'filipina whore' for every one 'raghead' controversy on the right."

CPAC blogger LaShawn Barber wrote it was "much ado about nothing."

Some people commenting on the blogs supported Coulter. One said Coulter might get her "head cut off" for making the comments. "Don't get the vapors, just take a deep breath and ... they might spare you."

In her speech to CPAC attendees, Coulter also mentioned "documents proving that the Democrats were opposing Bush's Hispanic nominees to the court for the sole reason they were Hispanic.

"What do you suppose the Democrats would've done if they had found memos from the Republicans opposing [Supreme Court Justice] Ruth Bader Ginsburg solely because she was Jewish?" Coulter asked the audience.

Coulter also spoke of "openly anti-Semitic" Democrats "like Cynthia McKinney, Cindy Sheehan, Noam Chomsky" and Democratic "anti-Semites" who "are still in the closet."

Speaking about widespread conservative dissent over the Harriet Meirs nomination to the Supreme Court, Coulter said the dissent was unusual. "There was more dissent on a slave plantation than in the modern Republican Party, and you know what I'm talkin' about, girlfriend. Uh-huh. I can say that, by the way, because my party freed the slaves."

The comment generated loud applause.

When Coulter left CPAC to appear at George Washington University, BradBlog.com was already there to film what appeared to be about a dozen student protestors.

"Right-wing bigot, go away. Racist, sexist, anti-gay," chanted protestors. "That's bull****. Get off it. This b**** is for profit."

The BradBlog.com videographer managed to approach Coulter as she departed in a black SUV with the window rolled down. "Hello," Coulter said.

"Hi, I'm from BradBlog," he responded. "Brad Friedman says 'Hi.'"

Friedman is the brains behind the 'Impeachmobile.' Its operators staked out the conservative event throughout the weekend and drove by the Omni Shoreham Hotel just as Vice President Dick Cheney was scheduled to arrive to address conference-goers Thursday night.

The large mobile A-frame billboard shows President Bush in prison stripes and chains, and it displays slogans accusing Bush and Cheney of crimes. The rolling billboard is sponsored by Friedman's umbrella group VelvetRevolution.us and AfterDowningStreet.org, a group critical of the Bush administration's planning prior to the invasion of Iraq.

In a telephone interview from California, Friedman told Cybercast News Service that as an "investigative blogger," his primary focus is on issues of ethics and illegality, not partisanship.

"I didn't vote for Kerry," said Friedman. "I work with a lot of conservatives and libertarians," he said. "I welcome Republicans too, as long as they're honest."

Students attending the conference told Cybercast News Service that they supported dissenting bloggers like Friedman being credentialed to cover CPAC.

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