Yesterday on Imus, Mary Matlin — a former counselor to Vice President Cheney and an influential strategist for the White House — defended Ann Coulter’s vicious attack on the 9/11 widows. (In a new book, Coulter says the widows are “enjoying their husband’s deaths.”)
Matalin passed on multiple opportunities from Imus to condemn or distance herself from Coulter’s comments. (Instead, Matalin said she agreed with Coulter’s “larger point.”) She also argued the outrage against Coulter was misplaced, saying “She calls somebody a harpy and you’d think that the world was on fire.” Watch it:
IMUS: What did you make of the Ann Counter deal?
MATLIN: I take her larger point that in the absence of being able to make persuasive arguments you throw out messengers that — can’t be — it’s politically incorrection to argue with, you know the verbiage is a little, a little stressful.
IMUS: So you thought her comments about these women…
MATLIN: I take her larger point, which is —
IMUS: Why can’t you comment on her calling these women harpies.
MATLIN: Because that’s not her point. That’s completely not her point.
IMUS: Well no, but saying that they were happy their husbands got killed and were going to divorce them. And yeah, that they’re getting long in the tooth. Maybe they ought to think about appearing in Playboy, which is an option.
MATLIN: What do you think about her point? Her point that you can’t — you know Cindy Sheehan — if you throw yourself in the political arena, then you should be able to address political issues, and people should be able to speak back to you.
IMUS: I agree with her point.
MATLIN: Well, then that’s what I agree with.
IMUS: But i think it’s repugnant and repulsive and gutless to, and cheap and cheesey to call these women all these names. I mean, whether it’s right or not, it’s just something there’s just. You don’t go there.
MATLIN: That’s her stock and trade.
IMUS: But i’m surprised that you won’t condemn her for these repugnant remarks.
MATLIN: I don’t know her. I haven’t read the book.
IMUS: You don’t have to know her. You know what Hitler did. Did you you him? You condemn what he did.
MATLIN: Are you comparing her to Hitler?
IMUS: No, I’m not. Of course not.
MATLIN: This is the point. This is complete the point she’s making. These lefty crazy people go around calling us [unintelligible] and Hitlers and Nazis and everything and nobody say anything. She calls somebody a harpy and you’d think that the whole world was on fire.