Right-wing author and TV commentator Ann Coulter has been called many things, but “subtle” is not one of them.
When she appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Sept. 9, Coulter repeatedly compared President Barack Obama to a “monkey,” giving even Hannity, the show’s staunchly conservative host who devotes most of his program to attacking the president on a nightly basis, cause for concern.
In the interview, Coulter, 51, alleges that the Syrian crisis is the result of a conspiracy orchestrated by Russian leader Vladimir Putin in order to discredit Obama.
“This whole thing was set up by Putin to make Obama look like a monkey,” Coulter said, her second repetition of the word “monkey” in relation to Obama.
Coulter was on Hannity’s show promoting her upcoming book, “Never Trust a Liberal Over 3, Especially a Republican,” on the cover of which the popular pundit poses in a thigh-length, skin-tight blue dress.
“Wow! Look at that blue dress!” Hannity, 51, gushed, ogling the book’s cover on the air. “This may be the best book cover ever!”
But when Coulter employed the “monkey” reference for the third time, saying Putin has “time after time after time, made Obama a monkey,” even Hannity became uneasy.
“Why are you saying that?” Hannity asked her, arms folded. “Because you know people are going to criticize you for using that term against the president. Are you doing that to be provocative?”
Coulter then backtracked somewhat.
“[Putin] is just tossing Obama around — I don’t care what you say — like a rag doll,” she said.
Some conservatives have begun distancing themselves from Coulter, who has made numerous attention-getting, controversial statements in the past.
“Ann Coulter has a long history of making provocative statements as a professional advancement strategy, but statements she makes in service of her personal PR goals should not be confused with the genuine views of the conservative movement,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the conservative National Center For Public Policy Research.
However, in a statement, the Center also said that Coulter’s use of the term “monkey” to describe an African American “in absolutely no way indicates Coulter harbors racist inclinations.”