While Ann Coulter's "f---ing Jews" Twitter tirade has received much deserved condemnation, forceful criticism is lacking in some sectors of the right-wing media -- perhaps because they helped put her into a position to say such offensive things by encouraging her to be provocative.
The Media Research Center, for example, is a longtime friend of Coulter, who has served served as a judge and/or presenter for its annual "dishonors awards" several times. And in the last year alone:
- MRC leaders Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devoted an entire column to promoting Coulter's new anti-immigration book, touting how she bashes the media and "Lord knows Coulter understands they deserve the hectoring."
The MRC has also been a vociferous defender of Coulter, unable to identify anything she says that might be offensive. We've detailed how the MRC rushed to aggressively defend Coulter after she called John Edwards a "faggot" in 2007 -- so aggressive that we wondered if Coulter had some blackmail thing going against MRC chief Brent Bozell.
So how is the MRC reacting to Coulter's "f---ing Jews" tirade? The answer so far is: not at all. Stone silence at CNSNews and MRCTV, and no mention at all on the Twitter feeds of either Bozell or the MRC. An "Editor's Picks" box at NewsBusters does link to a Mediaite article on Coulter under the headline "Coulter unleashes anti-Semitic bile on Twitter," but no NewsBusters writer mentions it in a blog post, let alone passes judgment on it.
The problem with the MRC's silence is that because it's been so close to Coulter in the past, they have ownership in her anti-Semitic remarks. In this case, silence can only be interpreted as assent.
Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah devoted his Sept. 17 column to criticizing Coulter's tirade, calling it "a staggeringly inappropriate and ugly comment" that's likely anti-Semitic and puts her in league with Iranian mullahs. What Farah didn't do is admit his role in perpetuating her work as a right-wing bombthrower.
Farah rather laughably laments that "It's sad to see Coulter degenerate into a slur machine, one who seems so desperate for fame at any cost that she will say anything and possibly do anything to maintain a career as, frankly, a thuggish commentator." But thuggish commentary is what WND is all about -- from Mychal Massie to Jesse Lee Peterson to Farah himself.
Besides, Farah is on record as encouraging Coulter's thuggishness and her transformation into the "slur machine" he now purportedly despises. In 2005, WND proudly re-edited a Coulter column to restore a description of Helen Thomas as an "old Arab" that her syndicate had removed.
It wasn't until 2010 that Farah took offense to anything Coulter had done -- and that was only because she wasn't being extreme enough. Farah dropped Coulter as a keynote speaker for WND's "Taking America Back National Conference" that year because she spoke to a gay-Republican group, sparking a war of words between Farah and Coulter.
But if Farah was really mad about Coulter, he could have canceled her column, thus depriving her of income that would have served as a tangible message that she had crossed a line. But he didn't, presumably because it's reportedly a driver of traffic to WND's website.
And for all of his complaints about Coulter as a "slur machine," Farah again has not indicated he would do the one thing that would send a message to her by canceling her column.
The right-wing media's longtime defense of Coulter and embrace of her as a mainstream conservative is a major reason why she is in a position today to make such an offensive statement.