Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Real Hardball: Elizabeth Edwards v. Ann Coulter

I was half-glancing at the early edition of MSNBC's Hardball yesterday, and Chris Matthews' somewhat fawning interview of Ann Coulter. Matthews was asking her some tough-ish questions, but these were interspersed with big smiles and camaraderie, and the tone was positively cocktail-party in comparison to what Matthews did to Michelle Malkin a few years ago.

Then a call came in from Elizabeth Edwards. John Edwards' wife was calling Ann Coulter to account for her persistent personal attacks on John, ranging, as per Coulter's style, from stupid to vicious. (You've no doubt all heard about the "faggot" comment. Now Coulter has switched to rhetorically wishing John had been "killed in a terrorist assassination plot.")

Predictably, Ann Coulter didn't give an inch, and jumped on her high horse about not being about to stop writing books, or change what she writes, because a Presidential candidate's wife asked her.

But Coulter also made another point, which highlights the value of Elizabeth Edwards' call. Coulter chided Elizabeth for calling, instead of her husband, the Presidential candidate, John Edwards making the call.

Coulter's point would have been better taken if the call had been about a political attack she had levied. But Elizabeth was calling about personal attacks, which have no place in political campaigns, and every moral ground for family members to call out and answer.

So kudos to Elizabeth Edwards for standing up for her husband and decency in dialogue and making this call. Let people like Ann Coulter know, if you attack candidates personally, expect their families to come after you.

As for Chris Matthews and Hardball, good that the show put through Elizabeth Edwards' call. But, next time, show a little more outrage when you're interviewing Ann Coulter. Humor and good spirits have their role on 24/7 all-news stations, but Ann Coulter is far more than a laughing matter.

Here's a videoclip of the call, from YouTube:

See also Hardball II: John Edwards about Ann Coulter and John Edwards' Favorite Book

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