Editor’s note: On his new nationally syndicated radio show, “WorldNetDaily Report,” WND founder and Editor Joseph Farah recently interviewed best-selling author and popular WND columnist Ann Coulter. Ann’s latest book, “Treason,” has burned up the charts since its release June 24. Farah featured Coulter as his first guest on his first show earlier this month.
“Treason,” a follow-up to Coulter’s best-selling “Slander,” contends that liberals have been wrong on every foreign-policy issue from the fight against communism at home in the early Cold War days to the struggle with the Soviet empire to the current war on terrorism.
FARAH: We got a good one for you folks today – one of my heroes. There’s a reason she’s our first guest on our very first WorldNetDaily report. Ann Coulter is with us, the author of “Treason.” Ann, thank you so much; you honor us by spending this hour with us.
COULTER: Thank you. It’s great to be on with you, Joe.
FARAH: I mean it when I say you are one of my heroes, and I know you bring so much excitement to this movement you call the conservative movement. I don’t call it that.
COULTER: What do you call it?
FARAH: I call it a freedom movement.
COULTER: I like that.
FARAH: You like that?
COULTER: I do.
FARAH: Good. We’ve got to work on that, because I think some of us, particularly those of us who work in the media, and I’ve been a journalist all my life, I don’t like those political labels. I’ve avoided political engagements my whole life. I don’t even register Democrat or Republican because I always thought as a journalist you were supposed to play it straight.
COULTER: Tell the truth. Right.
FARAH: So I’ve avoided that conservative label. The liberals like to put it on you, but why do we have to label ourselves? Don’t you think we can talk to a bigger universe if we don’t self-label?
COULTER: Possibly, though I think it’s kind of a niggling point.
FARAH: And you’re not used to niggling points, are you? (laughs)
COULTER: (laughs) I’ll take whatever word they want to use. I mean, what I notice about liberals is they’re the ones who are constantly running away from whatever word they’ve been called. They come up with some attractive word to characterize themselves and then they have to change it 10 minutes later when everyone figures out that what it means is “liberal.” I mean, simply calling themselves liberal, for example, many conservatives are still objecting to that, saying, “These aren’t liberals; these are socialists.”
FARAH: You got it.
COULTER: And so more recently the more common phraseology for liberals was “moderate.” Then I made fun of that in my book “Slander.” The popular one now seems to be “progressive.” It’s the same thing with abortion. They keep changing what the name of it is, hoping people will forget what a hideous procedure they’re describing, just as they hope people will forget what a hideous ideology liberalism is. That’s why I suppose conservative sounds fine to me because I know what it means; and it does mean freedom.
FARAH: Aside from being a best-selling author, and what is “Treason” at right now, is it No. 2 on the New York Times list?
COULTER: Yes. For the first five days of sale I came in No. 2 and the bookstores ran out. Hopefully they’re re-delivering them as we speak.
FARAH: And the last time I checked it was tearing up the charts on Amazon and everywhere else. You got a hot one this time. Is this going to be your biggest seller ever?
COULTER: I hope so. I liked my previous two books and I thought they were important, but I have to say I do think this is the most important book.
FARAH: Tell us in a minute and a half why you wrote this and what the essence of “Treason” is.
COULTER: The principle motivation was in response to the attack on 9-11. After the initial shock had passed, I think, like many Americans, I was sort of scratching my head over why some of our fellow countrymen did not want to fight back after thousands of Americans were slaughtered. Anytime anyone would point out that the Democratic Party as a whole was not really helping with their naysaying and carping objections and demands for more discussion and no pre-emptive attacks and of course Sadaam is despicable, but we must do nothing, they’d turn around and scream, “This is McCarthyism. Don’t you dare challenge my patriotism!” So it was sort of an odd world in which they feel free to burn the American flag and say, “That’s our First Amendment right; you can’t say anything about it,” but if anyone criticizes them that is the one subject that is off the tables for political debate: the relative patriotism of the two parties. Well, why can’t we talk about that? The Democrats claim, lyingly, that they are better on civil rights, that they are better on, quote, “women’s issues.” Why can’t we say that the Republicans are the superior patriots?
FARAH: Was that a result of the whole McCarthy thing? Is that how the liberals were able to change the debate in that way, where patriotism was off the table?
COULTER: Yes, I think that’s right. That is why I take the trouble to discuss and, I think, deconstruct the myth of McCarthyism. The Democratic Party became a refuge for traitors in the ’50s. There is no question about that. They defended Soviet spies. They sheltered Soviet spies, and it was the entire liberal elite – this wasn’t just a few nutty Hollywood actors. These were presidents, Supreme Court justices, first ladies, former first ladies that ferociously defended people like Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs. President Truman promoted Harry Dexter White. And despite this shameful history, it would be as if Republicans had been caught in bed with Hitler. That, of course, never happened. How could a party survive that? Well, they survived it. They did not go the way of the Whigs by brushing it under the rug and by switching the issue; and the issue became McCarthyism, which is a myth of their own creation, but they’re just so hysterical about it most people don’t want to argue with them, so Republicans basically wash their hands of it. “Fine, Fine. If it means that much to you, McCarthy crushed the human spirit.” On the basis of conceding that first lie, liberals have now constructed an enormous edifice that prevents us from ever challenging their patriotism.
FARAH: I was a student of the Hollywood Left when I was a reporter back in Los Angeles. That era, the blacklist era in Hollywood, led up to the McCarthy era. A lot of people confuse the two and think that McCarthy had something to do with Hollywood, and, of course, that’s not true.
FARAH: But one of the things I recognized in studying that era and the McCarthy era, was that what the left did was they succeeded in creating this idea of McCarthyism: To be a McCarthyite was worse than being a communist. That’s the amazing thing to me. Now how do you do that, and what lesson can we learn from the left so we can be successful? I think that’s what you do so beautifully, Ann. You recognize the tactics of the left and you turn them on their head.
COULTER: Yeah, not as well as they do. I think we would no longer be conservative, as it were, the freedom party, if we used all of the tactics of the left. I mean, one thing to learn not only from McCarthy but from a few other examples I give is that you must always stand up for the truth, no matter how hysterical liberals get, no matter how annoying it may be to have them screaming at you. You concede one lie and they go to work building lie on top of lie on top of lie. For example, the U.N., as I say, Republicans sort of opposed it at the time, but said, “Well, it won’t end war, but how much harm could it do?” And now, suddenly when the nation needs to go to war we have one entire party saying, “Oh no, no, no; we must check with the leaders of these cannibalistic nations. They have final approval over America’s capacity to defend itself.” It really is craziness, and I think the most stunning example of how the first lie leads to more and more lies until you get into an utter atrocity was the “privacy right” invented by the Supreme Court in the Griswold case.
FARAH: I’m so glad you brought that up because we’ve been talking for two hours about the Supreme Court, and I want to spend some time with you on that subject, but go ahead, I’m sorry to interrupt your thought.
COULTER: I would love to. They start with Griswold, about which a few cranky old conservatives at the time said, “There is no privacy right,” but most people thought, “Come on, don’t be so hyper-technical about the Constitution. All they’re doing is saying that states can’t pass laws prohibiting married couples from using contraception. Surely [we should respect] the sanctity of the marital bedroom.” That was the grounds on which the majority opinion was written: the great sacredness of the marital bedroom. Then the next thing you know, three decades later, that non-existent privacy right is used to discover a constitutional right to stick a fork in a baby’s head. This is how it always works, so I think one lesson is you have to always fight for the truth.
FARAH: We’re talking with Ann Coulter. This is the woman, when asked by ABC’s “The View” if she had ever seen two women having sex her response was, “Not since Katie Couric interviewed Hillary Clinton. That was the last time.” Ann, if you never did anything else in your life that response would distinguish you among men. By the way, you can get Ann’s autographed copies of “Treason” at WorldNetDaily. You can read her column first at WorldNetDaily, almost a full day early at WorldNetDaily.
COULTER: That’s right, Wednesday evenings.
FARAH: We kind of interrupted your thought. Had you completed your thought?
COULTER: Yeah, I think I had. It was the thing we have to learn from the myth of McCarthyism. The lesson to learn from that is not to create our own myth, but rather not to let liberals create these myths in the first place, because as inconsequential as it may seem at the time ultimately the truth shall set you free.
FARAH: And I think this is a very important era for people to understand. A lot of people might think, “Well what do I want to hear about McCarthy for. I mean, we’re talking 50 years ago.” Why is that relevant today?
COULTER: I think few people would react that way since 9-11, since we hear McCarthy’s name invoked about every day since 9-11. You could run a Lexis-Nexis search with liberals claiming a new reign of terror, the new McCarthyism. As I write in my book, it’s a reasonable response to a domestic threat. Let’s just redefine what McCarthyism is, and you’re right.
FARAH: And you know the information about McCarthy, still – I’m sure you read Stan Evans’ piece in Human Events a month or so ago about the Senate archivist.
COULTER: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
FARAH: This is incredible because this is official data coming from the Senate of the United States under the control of a Republican majority, and they’re releasing information about McCarthy with a totally Democratic, liberal spin.
COULTER: The strangest thing about it was it appeared that no one had read the hearings they were releasing. It was just the same old nonsense about McCarthy. Again, whenever you see the truth about McCarthy it does not jog with the image. It tends to be the opposite of the truth. One interesting thing about the hearings – the hearings were released when my book was already in print – is they refer to something I describe in my book. I suppose I should say first the main pillar of McCarthyism is that McCarthy had imagined some crazy Communist conspiracy to infiltrate the government. We now know he was right about that, so in the main charge against McCarthy he was right, they were wrong. … I go through the main indictments against McCarthy, not his whole life, not everything he’s ever done. Perhaps he kicked a dog once. About a half dozen of the major points that are intended to demonstrate what a demagogue and a brute Joe McCarthy was. One is the suicide of Ray Kaplan, which is the one suicide absurdly and always attributed to Joe McCarthy’s brute tactics. In fact, Ray Kaplan (I won’t go through the whole story here on radio, it’s in the book) but his cause was being championed by McCarthy. McCarthy was not his enemy. McCarthy had taken up his cause, and it’s just absurd to think that it was McCarthy that drove this fellow to suicide who was in the middle of a rancorous battle in the middle of Voice of America. It would be as if Linda Tripp had ended up or Monica Lewinsky had ended up dead during the Clinton impeachment and liberals decided to blame Ken Starr for driving her to suicide.
FARAH: They would have.
COULTER: (laughs) Yes, they would have and it would make no sense. I mean, who would benefit here if Ray Kaplan were to commit suicide? Not McCarthy; they were on the same team on this particular issue about Voice of America. Now interestingly, in these hearings that were just released, which the Senate historian apparently did not read before characterizing them, one of Ray Kaplan’s colleagues, I think her name is Dorothy Freid, testifies using almost the same words I use in my description of what was going on with Ray Kaplan. There was some concern that he may have been “suicided,” as the expression went, within the Voice of America and his colleagues and friends, but no one thought McCarthy was to blame.
FARAH: The rap against McCarthy I think that most people hear is that he unfairly maligned people as Communists who were not Communists. Now, I haven’t studied the McCarthy era like you have, but again, I studied the Hollywood Left blacklist era, which was exactly the same story. In other words, people were accused of being Communists who weren’t. I could not find one single person who was accused by the House committee of being a Communist that wasn’t. The FBI produced all the evidence. They produced their Communist identification cards. But what about McCarthy? Did he unfairly malign anyone as a Communist who was not?
COULTER: Not that I know of, though the question is slightly different. He wasn’t going around accusing people randomly of being Communists. Most of the time he was saying these people were security risks and should not have jobs with the federal government. Part of the reason it’s crazy to attribute the Hollywood blacklisting to McCarthy is that he was not interested in people in private practice. His focus was on people who worked for the government in some capacity.
FARAH: And specifically in the national security area, wasn’t it? It was specifically to the Army and the State Department.
COULTER: And the propaganda arms of the government. That’s right.
FARAH: Right, very sensitive areas. Would you say he had a good batting average?
COULTER: Oh, yes, absolutely in what he said. The reason I hesitate is that not everyone that he mentioned or raised as a security risk did he claim was a Communist. To the contrary, he went out of his way to say, in fact, he didn’t want to release the names. Senate Democrats in their hatefulness literally forced McCarthy to name the names publicly. When he first went to the Senate floor to list, I think it was 81 cases, he described it as case No. 1, case No. 2, case No. 3, and he would describe the person’s history working within the State Department. His point was, as he said, some of these people may get a clean bill of health, but my point is these loyalty boards aren’t doing their jobs. These are people who should be reviewed and possibly should not be working for the federal government handling sensitive documents. In fact, in another famous case I discuss briefly in my book, the Annie Lee Moss case, which has gone down in history – there are actually Broadway plays about this – about Annie Lee Moss being this poor, innocent, black washwoman, dragged before the committee. In fact, it was just a case of mistaken identity – no! She was exactly who McCarthy said she was. She kept getting the “Daily Worker” delivered to her home wherever she lived. She’d been identified as a Communist Party member by more than one informant. She puts on a big act before the committee and the press and the peanut gallery who were ready to exonerate her no matter what the evidence. So when she said, “Oh, no, there are three other Annie Lee Mosses in the Washington, D.C., area,” the press simply accepted that explanation without going through the laborious task of looking in a phone book. And it’s gone down in history as one of McCarthy’s biggest mistakes.
FARAH: Ann, before I turn it over to some callers – we’ve got them backed up here; they are eager to talk to the author of “Treason” – I want to ask you your opinion of what we’ve been talking about for the previous two hours, which is the recent Supreme Court decision overturning the sodomy statute in Texas. Of course, that was preceded by their affirmative-action ruling, and then it was succeeded by a ruling overturning a law in California that ended up freeing hundreds if not thousands of convicted child molesters. What is your general opinion about our Supreme Court?
COULTER: Well, I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating because I think all too many people decide whether they like a particular decision or don’t like it as a policy matter, rather than as a constitutional matter. Whether you like today’s decision or yesterday’s decision or even the next several tomorrow’s decisions, your freedom is being taken away when the Supreme Court acts as philosopher kings who decide all of these issues for their subjects, we the people. Unless it is in the Constitution or is delegated to the United States Congress, to the federal government somehow to write laws on a particular subject, it is none of the Supreme Court’s business.
We’re supposed to be deciding these issues in a process known as democracy. Unfortunately, with a lot of these decisions people decide whether they like or dislike the Supreme Court solely on the basis of whether that is how they would have voted in their particular legislature, or that’s the law they would like for their state, their county, their city. The larger issue is: All of our freedom is being taken away. What is so brilliant about our Constitution and the concept of federalism is that it promotes the maximum amount of freedom for everyone. You have a whole mix of laws state to state, city to city, county to county, and if you don’t like the particular environments, the panoply of laws in your state or your city you can move or vote for new laws that are more appealing to you. If you want pornography at the corner store, you can move to a place where that is permitted. If you don’t want pornography at the corner store, you can move to a place where that is forbidden. That’s a lot easier than founding your own country all the time. The Supreme Court has decided it’s more fun to play philosopher king than to interpret laws, and that is a loss to all of us.
FARAH: We’re going to go to our first call. Mary in Houston, what do you have to ask Ann Coulter?
Caller: Hi. Well, Ann, I’m so glad you wrote this book because it reminds me of an incident that happened when I was studying history at Oklahoma State University. I was assigned to write a paper on Joseph McCarthy, and a fellow student, who was a member of the John Birch Society and was trying to court me at the time, gave me some information to read. I never joined the Birch Society, but I did read the information, and much of it convinced me that McCarthy was right. So I wrote the paper and, of course, I got a D. But it led me to read Whitaker Chambers’ book, and it forever changed my worldview. Now, I guess my question is how much documentation in your book starts with what you found out when the wall fell, and how much of it goes back to the documentation I read 30 years ago?
COULTER: That’s a good question. We do have all new information not only from the Soviet Union, from Hoover’s FBI files, but most stunningly from the VENONA Project, declassified in 1995. It turns out the federal government had been reading Soviet cables since the ’40s. They knew who the Soviet spies were. The whole myth of paranoia seizing America, the red scare – innocent victims weren’t so innocent after all. Now we know. Here was incontrovertible proof. Really, it’s sort of comical. Some of the things I cite in my book were the long testimonials, documentaries, movies of victims of the red scare being put out right up until the VENONA Project was declassified. Liberals still act as if they maybe missed that day’s newspaper when they trot out that theory that who’s to say about the Rosenbergs or Alger Hiss. It’s still a controversial issue; as long as liberals don’t concede a point it’s still controversial. But one thing you do notice in the Lexis-Nexis archives is the long, lachrymose tales of the victims of the red scare did start to disappear after July 11, 1995, when the VENONA Project was declassified. That really is as close as people get to judgment day for liberals in this life.
FARAH: Ann, the next call we’re going to take here is from Lee in Portland, and he wants to ask you about a Wall Street Journal article. What’s that about Lee?
Caller: Yeah. Hi, Ann. How are you?
COULTER: Hi there.
Caller: I was just wondering if you had a response to that editorial in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. I think it was by Dorothy Rabinowitz, and she in several places alluded to your, what she called, revisionist history.
COULTER: Yes. It was quite a vicious and personal piece. We’ll see. Maybe we could set up a debate. Most of it didn’t deal with things in my book, or she hadn’t read my book. It’s the standard clich?s about McCarthyism, which is what I have set out to deconstruct. As I suspected, they create myth, make a man’s name a malediction. McCarthyism is associated with reckless charges against the innocent. They cite facts A through G to support their myth. I go through and dispute and tell the truth about facts A through G, and their response is, “Aha! But what about fact Z!? We have an all new attack on McCarthy!” Well, it’s not related to the myth of McCarthy. One of the claims she raises here is that he was defending Nazis. The myth of McCarthyism is what I’m talking about. It is not a biography of McCarthy. The myth of McCarthyism means accusing the innocent, not defending the guilty. So, if it were true, and it is not, that McCarthy defended Nazis and the liberals created a myth around McCarthy based on his accusing Communists, then that says more about how desperate liberals were to defend Communists than anything I’ve ever written.
FARAH: So, Ann, if we get Dorothy Rabinowitz on you’ll come back and talk to us for another hour with her.
COULTER: Sure. I’d love to.
FARAH: Alright. We’ll try to do that.
COULTER: She has to read my book next time.
FARAH: (laughs) I don’t blame you. Lee, thanks for the call. Let’s go to James in St. Louis. Your question for Ann Coulter.
Caller: It’s truly an honor to speak with both of you. This is great. You guys are doing a great job, and I really love being a paid member, or fan of WND.
FARAH: Thank you.
Caller: As long as I’m on the line, it’s not every day I get to talk to Ann Coulter. I just wanted to know …
FARAH: Make it fast because we have a lot of callers lined up.
Caller: Yeah, when you talked to Alan Colmes, and he wanted to pin you down and asked for a specific individual who was treasonous …
COULTER: Uh huh.
FARAH: Oh, the mental image that just came to my mind. Alan Colmes pinning down Ann Coulter. I don’t even want to think about it.
Caller: Sorry, I didn’t even think about it, but he really missed the point didn’t he, because you were talking about the whole group that wants to be associated with treason.
COULTER: Yeah. It’s very funny. I think I’m going to answer that question more times than I answer whether I still think we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. Yes, I do. (laughs)
COULTER: But it’s the same thing. How many times can you answer the same question? Would that it were so simple as naming a few traitors who could be tried for treason and done away with. My indictment is of the entire Democratic Party, all of liberalism. This is a party that has become functionally treasonable. It used to be that it took a while for them to work up the anti-war protests. Now we have an instant sedition lobby. You cannot imagine this sort of behavior from the Republicans in WWII. Republicans were, admittedly, slow to respond to the threat of Hitler, but when we were hit at Pearl Harbor both parties came together. As much as the Republicans didn’t like FDR, they weren’t taunting FDR about, “Well, it wasn’t Hitler that hit us at Pearl Harbor. You haven’t gotten Hitler yet. Where’s Hitler? Where’s Hitler?” You just can’t imagine that, and now it’s just accepted that this is what we had from the Democratic Party.
FARAH: Thank you so much for your call. Let’s go to Jack from Oregon. Jack are you there?
Caller: Hi there. Ann, I’ve got three quick questions for you. Can McCarthy be uncensored for us? No. 2, the liberal media of the time: I saw Edward R. Murrow on the Communist Broadcasting System and I could see right through the bias of that man at the time. It seemed to have an agenda that was behind that. And also, you’re tying the Hollywood blacklist into the McCarthy era. Wasn’t Watergate really a payback by the left on Richard Nixon? They were out to get him for everything that he did in 1946 and 1947.
COULTER: You’re going to have to read my book, and I hate to say that, but your last point is exactly the point I make in my book. Yeah, it was revenge for Alger Hiss. I think that is true, which I describe in more detail in my book. But on domestic and foreign policy Nixon, as president, was the sort of Republican liberals normally like. But oh, they hated Nixon. They hated him so much. He just would not give Communists a break.
Caller: Do you think they may have tried to do this to him in 1960?
COULTER: They certainly hated him. They hated him passionately. Like the story of McCarthyism, this is not something that can be answered in a sound bite, which is why I write books. That is one of the frustrating things about going on TV.
Caller: A lot of people don’t know FDR’s vice president, I believe it was either the first one or second … was an out and out Communist.
COULTER: Henry Wallace, that’s right. He’s described in my book.
Caller: You know, my parents were even talking about people during the depression were actually heading toward the Soviet Union, and they thought that was prosperity. They literally got caught up. You know, the United States has been teetering on Communism for so long and they haven’t totally figured out …
COULTER: Right, I’m glad you mention that because it’s something I have not mentioned, though I do in the book, about McCarthy’s great success. His triumph was to make it an embarrassment to be a Communist. His victory survives him though his name is a malediction. It’s a striking fact about the United States that, unlike European countries, we don’t have a serious Communist Party; we don’t have a serious left wing as a major party. Normally the liberals, the Communists, they claim to speak for the working class. They will rally the proletariat. Yeah, well, the proletariat loves Joe McCarthy.
FARAH: Thank you, Jack. Great call. Ann Coulter, thank you so much for being a part of my first day in the major leagues of talk radio. I really appreciate you being here.
COULTER: It’s great to be here. Thank you for having me.
FARAH: I want to urge everybody out there to buy “Treason.” We have to make it the No. 1 book in the nation, because we all know what the No. 1 book is right now, don’t we? Let’s show ’em, folks. Let’s go to the phones one more time. We have Joshua in Pennsylvania. You there Joshua?
FARAH: What’s your question for Ann Coulter?
Caller: I was wondering what she thought the Salem witch trials had to do with McCarthyism in the ’50s.
COULTER: Nothing, why do you ask?
Caller: Well, there’s a guy named Paul Johnson, he wrote a book called “The History of the American People.” He made a connection there, and I was wondering if you thought there was any connection.
COULTER: Uh, no.
FARAH: The whole scarlet letter thing. There were a number of books written after the McCarthy era about the witch trial era, if you want to call it that, that did try to make that connection. Ann, I’m sure you know Paul Johnson is a pretty good historian. I don’t recall specifically what Joshua is talking about, but you’ve seen that allusion to witch hunts and McCarthyism, right?
COULTER: Yes, but of course I say that’s nonsense. If anyone was being hunted it was Joe McCarthy.
FARAH: Indeed he was.
COULTER: The Senate investigated him four times. There are Soviet spies, Stalin’s agents crawling through the federal government and Senate Democrats were hot on the case of what the precise phraseology was in Joe McCarthy’s speech to a group of Republican women in West Virginia. This is the sort of help we were getting from the Democratic Party as the country was being invaded by a fifth column.
FARAH: Do you see anybody else in recent American history who’s being demonized the way McCarthy was back in the ’50s and ever since?
COULTER: Oh, absolutely. Ken Starr comes to mind, but fortunately this time we had the Internet, talk radio and Fox News to fight back. Imagine a world, imagine how Ken Starr and Linda Tripp would look to a world with only ABC, NBC, CBS, with only the liberal media. This is what McCarthy was up against. If the history of McCarthy is indicative of the way history is written, in 50 years schoolchildren will be reading about the reign of terror under Ken Starr and how he was breaking down bedroom doors demanding of random, innocent people, “Are you now, or have you ever been an adulterer?” I mean, they said things like that when we were alive, when we were watching it. I’d also recommend for anyone still skeptical about the truth about McCarthy to look at history books and what they’re already starting to say about Ronald Reagan. You would think the victor of the Cold War did nothing but run up huge bills, throw women and children off welfare, perhaps go out and strangle them with his own bare hands, if you want to know how history is written.
FARAH: Ann Coulter, thank you so much for setting the record straight. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to many more best sellers from you.
COULTER: Thank you.