But Some in Attendance Feel She 'Hurts' the Conservative Movement with 'Blatant' Attacks
BRAD BLOG's Special CPAC Correspondent on the 'Conservative' Darling's Most Hostile Address To Date...Including AUDIO Interviews, VIDEO of Protests and Coulter Dissing BRAD BLOG!
Guest Blogged by Special BRAD BLOG CPAC Correspondent Daniel Borchers
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've asked Dan Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Brother Watch & Coulter Watch, to cover the "Conservative Political Action Conference" (CPAC) in D.C. this weekend as our Special BRAD BLOG correspondent. We've written about Borchers --- who was escorted out of CPAC in 2002 for distributing material critical of CPAC darling Ann Coulter and disallowed media credentials in the years following --- in several previous articles here, here, both of which include videos he's compiled showing Coulter to be a detriment to the Conservative Movement. As well, we wrote about Borchers in an article for the February issue of Mother Jones. He previous dispatch from "Bloggers Row" at CPAC on DAY 1 is here.
Anticipation for Ann Coulter's performance was high. Throughout the afternoon, the emcee repeatedly announced that the first four rows of seats were specifically reserved for gold club members. The panel preceding Coulter's speech was cut short to prepare for hers. Coulter's personal bodyguard ensured the stage was secure.
Coulter entered as if she owned that stage.
The audience gave Coulter a standing ovation as she graced the mesmerized crowd with her welcoming smile. The enthralled throng was jubilant. Audience members standing along the walls on the sides and back of the packed auditorium jockeyed for better viewing positions. Cameras flashed. And the audience cheered as she began to speak.
Coulter held the audience in the grip of her words, her voice, her message. A burst of applause and cheers greeted her "Raghead" joke: "I think our motto should be post-9-11, 'raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'"
But just moments later, a deathly silence filled the room as people grasped the full import of Coulter's express wish that liberal Supreme Court Justices be targeted for assassination. But Coulter quickly lured back her audience.
During Q&A, one student asked Coulter what her greatest ethical dilemma was. Coulter toyed with the audience as the hushed auditorium awaited her answer to this personal question. Then Coulter replied, "One time I had a shot at Clinton. I thought, 'Ann, that's not going to help your career.'"
The audience went wild in appreciation, suggesting hatred of the former president remains high among conservatives.
Another student (a Muslim) suggested Coulter stop denigrating all Muslims for the actions of a few, while a third student criticized her for her racist rhetoric. Coulter's responses were lackluster and non-responsive. Afterwards, one student noted, "She can dish it out, but she can't take it."
Coulter left the stage to another standing ovation and the emcee begged the audience to remain for the next panel. Many left to follow Coulter to a book signing at the Claire Boothe Luce Policy Institute booth. (Complete Audio of Coulter Speech posted previously here.)
But not everyone at CPAC was thrilled about Coulter's presence. Prior to the speech, I spoke with Mohammed Ali Hasan, a spokesman for "Muslims for Bush" and "Muslims for America" who feels that Coulter is "completely inappropriate" and that she "hurts" the Conservative movement. Hasan unapologetically denounced Coulter as a poor representative for Conservatism. "Ann Coulter spends more time being a racist and bigot, and we don't welcome her at this conference."
"Right now," Hasan went on, "I'd advise the leadership of CPAC to re-think who should be there speaker for next year." (Listen to my short interview with Hasan [MP3].)
After the speech, I spoke with one student, a Christian, who had deliberately gone down to the exhibit hall to apologize to the Muslim student for Coulter's objectionable "raghead" comments and others. Many other students were unnerved by portions of Coulter's speech and her "blatantly beating up on Muslims." (Listen to my short interview with several of the Students [MP3].)
Perhaps the weirdest recurrence at CPAC is Coulter-mania ? Ann Coulter has spoken at nine consecutive CPAC conferences ? and each year is more manic than the last. The longest lines are always for her book signings. Coulter-abilia is everywhere.
One remarkable aspect of Coulter's annual CPAC speeches is this startling fact: rarely is the subject known in advance. She is given free rein to speak on whatever she wants.
1998. Speech and panel debate.
1999. Panel debate. Coulter was in tears because of being yanked off the stage.
2000. Coulter was lauded the Conservative Journalist of the Year.
2001. Coulter answered one fan's question about the authorship of her first book, claiming the failure to credit Michael Chapman was an "editorial oversight." Neither Coulter nor Regnery have ever given official credit to Chapman for his literary and research contributions to that book.
2002. Coulter infamously threatened liberals with death ? to conservative applause.
2003. Coulter was acclaimed the Conservative Woman of the Year.
2004. Coulter played the Anti-Semitism card in denouncing liberals.
2005. Coulter proclaimed the need for a New McCarthyism to a wildly-cheering standing-room-only audience.
2006. Coulter advocated the killing of liberal Supreme Court Justices.
It is shocking how complacent conservatives have become despite Coulter's most extreme rhetoric. Indeed, many come to CPAC to see her because of her extreme rhetoric.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Later that evening, Coulter gave another address at George Washington University. A BRAD BLOG fan was on hand with a video recorder, but not allowed to tape the address despite prior permission granted.
Instead, he was able to tape some of the student protests of Coulter's appearance outside the auditorium as well as catching Coulter greeting fans...but dissing The BRAD BLOG...on her way home from the event!
Why does Ann Coulter hate us so?
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