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Why Is Fox News Holding Up Ann Coulter As An Expert On McChrystal, Petraeus And Afghanistan?

Reported by Ellen - June 24, 2010 -

Why on earth was Ann Coulter the top expert on Hannity last night (6/23/10), discussing not just the Gen. McChrystal firing but his replacement by Gen. Petraeus and the situation in Afghanistan, as a whole? Coulter has no military experience, no foreign policy experience and no particular expertise as a pundit in those areas – other than her sophomoric jibes. But there she was, blonde hair a-tussle, girlishly giggly for a woman nearing 50 and speaking authoritatively, treated as an authority, and once again getting a pass on her two-time record as a voter fraud suspect (not counting the questions about her conflicting birth dates).

As the opening for the discussion, Sean Hannity asked, “Will making Petraeus top dog in Afghanistan solve the administration’s national security problems?”

It's a serious question that deserves a serious answer. But here's what we got from Coulter: “This is the problem with having a Democrat president who chooses his foreign policy based on chance from MoveOn.org.”

Coulter went on to complain that Obama’s decision to move the “focus of the war on terrorism from Iraq, a fantastic country for America’s military power, where the military can do what they’re trained to do and which has a population that is more than susceptible to regime change. They’re highly educated. To switch it from there, to this backwoods country, um, with illiterate peasants living in caves. That is not good for regime change. It is not good for the United States military. But the whole reason for doing that was because MoveOn.org enjoyed the chance that um, um, we needed to fight the war of necessity, not the war of convenience.”

She also repeatedly criticized Obama for being thin-skinned. This from the woman who lists on her website the names of reporters who are "allowed" to interview her.

And maybe Coulter has forgotten - but we haven’t - how emphatic she was just a few years ago that the war in Afghanistan was going so “swimmingly” that Osama bin Laden is no longer relevant. But when she was challenged on that assessment, Coulter walked off the set. I'd call that thin-skinned, wouldn't you?

Last week, Paul Waldman wrote on Tapped, the American Prospect’s blog, that Coulter is now a has-been. And funny, since then, she’s been on a spate of Fox News shows.

Is Fox doing their part to help make Coulter relevant again? If so, I don't think it's going to work.

There's also the very real possibility that Hannity considers a qualified pundit anyone willing to caustically criticize Obama. It's not as though he has much regard for truth, himself. During this very discussion, he excitedly played a clip of Obama grilling Gen. Petraeus about the Iraq surge, as some kind of proof that Obama has no real regard for Petraeus. I thought it was clear from the clip that Obama was attacking the Iraq strategy, not Petraeus. But Media Matters has found that the clip was deceptively edited. It turns out that Hannity and "fair and balanced" Fox News left out the part where Obama explicitly says he is not criticizing Petraeus but President Bush.

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