CNN Contributor Who Linked Pro-Lifers to Violence Had a 'Crush' on President of Iran

Ben Johnson | February 2, 2014 | 2:54pm EST
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To coincide with the annual March for Life, CNN contributor Sally Kohn wrote a column linking pro-life activism to a rise in the abuse of women. Kohn's factually absurd article contrasts with her previous work, in which she stated that she had a "crush" on Iranian President and misogynist-in-chief Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Kohn wrote in The Daily Beast that 1973 saw two landmarks "in the struggle for women's equality and self-determination": Roe v. Wade and the opening of "the first battered women's shelter in the United States, Women's Advocates in St. Paul, Minnesota."

"Now, as women's reproductive freedom faces an unprecedented onslaught of political and legislative threats, domestic violence is suddenly on the rise," she wrote.

She acknowledged there is "probably not" a "causal link" between the two, and the "Republican 'War on Women' likely didn't cause the increase in domestic violence." But the uptick in battery when states have passed a record number of pro-life laws is "more than just a coincidence."

Her column is built around the sophistry of tying together two unrelated phenomena, which is as intellectually sloppy and self-indulgent as it is fun. I could as easily make a case that the national debt has steadily climbed every single year since the Cincinnati Reds last played in the World Series, provided I admit there is "probably" not a "causal link."

Sally's word salad of unsubstantiated and discredited allegations says one thing: I desperately want to accuse conservatives of beating women, the facts be damned.

I hardly need to refute an argument Kohn herself does not believe, but the facts deserve to make a cameo appearance in one of our articles. Actually, the first women's shelter, Haven House, opened in 1964, when no one advocated for full-term, government-funded abortion. And as I reported for, a meta-analysis published in the peer-reviewed PLOS Medicine found that one out of every four women who seeks an abortion worldwide has been abused. In fact, abortionists have been caught repeatedly covering up cases of violence and statutory rape. Kohn's column turned reality on its head.

Kohn concluded that seeing "patriarchy...finally put to rest" is "a cause that all women should rally behind."

But Kohn has not always rallied to this cause herself. In 2007, she wrote an article entitled, "Why I Have a Little Crush on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." (The Daily Kos diary entry has since been deleted. It is, however, preserved here.)

"I know I'm a Jewish lesbian and he'd probably have me killed," she wrote. But Ahmadinejad "just looks cuddly."

Sure, he executes gays and adheres to a radical brand of apocalyptic Islam that mixes unhappily with the nation's nuclear ambitions. "Even still, I can't help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of U.S. foreign policy," she wrote.

Given a chance to criticize a nation where women are forced to wear a veil, barred from dozens of university courses, and stoned to death for adultery - she opted to malign the president of the United States.

Of course, Ahmadinejad's violence was indiscriminate, especially during the low-level revolution brought on by his 2009 election fraud. Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami described the prisons: "Murders have been committed, lives have been lost, blood has been spilt. Our youth, men and women have been treated in such a way that had it been committed in prisons controlled by foreigners everyone here would be shouting and denouncing it."

But since Iranians rather than Republicans perpetrated the atrocities, Kohn did not mind snuggling up to them.

"Ahmadinejad, it would appear, cares more about American troops than President Bush," she wrote. That is rather difficult to affirm, since Iran's Revolutionary Guard has trained and equipped Iraqi militias to kill American troops.

Kohn has steadily failed upward in the media world.

She worked for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task before dispensing $15 million in Ford Foundation grants.

When the Obama administration invited her to attend a 2009 "Cultural Policy Summit," Kohn was senior campaign strategist at the Center for Community Change, an Alinskyite "community organizing" group. Kohn spent the summit focusing on how to support the president's plan to grant amnesty to 12-20 million illegal immigrants.

She later confirmed the Obama administration held weekly "Common Purpose" meetings with "progressive" organizations, where the administration "dictated its agenda and appealed to the professional left for back-up." She spoke out, because she felt Obama was too moderate.

Somehow, she was hired as a Fox News Channel commentator in 2012 - a fact only Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media has dared to criticize. She gave a TED Talk about leaving Fox News last December. ("Fox News and I parted ways amicably," she told an interviewer.)

Weeks later, she became a CNN contributor. Although CNN has only a fraction of FNC's audience, she has already moved from occasional talking head to guest host of the network's Crossfire reboot. She now represents the (far-) Left alongside Maoist radical Van Jones and confirmed liar Stephanie Cutter. Most recently, Lila Rose made Kohn eat her hat over the issue of abortion.

Kohn, Jones, and Cutter have something else in common: Every one of them had been ushered into the White House in one capacity or another by Valerie Jarrett, Obama's closest adviser. Obama says he trusts her judgment "completely," and Jarrett admits, "We have kind of a mind-meld."

Kohn's friend Rachel Sklar told the New York Times that Kohn has succeeded, because "she deals with people as people and respects their viewpoint even if she disagrees with them."

She doesn't. She demonizes them in the worst terms imaginable.

So does the president.

Editor's Note: Ben Johnson is U.S. Bureau Chief of and guest host of "Nothing But Truth with Crane Durham" on AFR Talk. The author of three books, he was managing editor of for seven years. His personal website is

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