That was in March. But here in June, we see that the Edwards campaign is refusing to allow the feud to drop. Why? Because her comment was effectively used as a fund raising tool, for a campaign that has little chance to walk on its own. In short the campaign is in trouble without the controversy.
After the initial installment of this political soap opera, the Edwards campaign attempted to cash in on the whole sordid affair, and did. But one must now wonder if that cash flow has dried up, based on the latest incident where Elizabeth Edwards called into a Hardball segment and attempted to fuel a new flow of campaign dollars, by attacking Coulter for something else she said recently.
Mrs. Edwards called on Coulter to stop personally attacking her husband. Here is an article that reports this, but let's highlight something, shall we?
From the article:
On ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday, Coulter was asked about a March speech in which she used a gay slur to refer to Edwards.
"If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot," Coulter said Monday, picking up on remarks made by HBO's Bill Maher. Maher suggested in March that "people wouldn't be dying needlessly" if Vice President Dick Cheney had been killed in an insurgent attack in Afghanistan.
Most people that are getting up in arms about this latest Coulter statement are not going to tell you about the context in which her statement was made. And from the Edwards campaign site we see just that. Note the statement made by Coulter has not been assigned the slightest amount of context (please note that the emphasis is placed by the Edwards staff):
This Monday, Ann Coulter took her pattern of personal attacks to a new level. On national television she said that rather than hurling more homophobic slurs, "If I'm gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."
On the very same web page this is highlighted, you will note a plea for donations based on this deliberate deception (emphasis is by the Edwards staff here, as well):
It's up to us to raise the dialogue by taking our message straight to voters. Let's show that Ann Coulter style politics will never carry the day. We have 4 days to reach $9 million. Please donate today
Now, if you hate Republicans and think that the end justifies the means, you will see nothing particularly wrong with this. You might even think this is a brilliant strategy. You may even want to invoke the names of Bush, Cheney, and Rove in your critique, and maybe even Halliburton just for good measure. But if you are guilty of this kind of thing, you may also want to listen this.
But left-wing talking points aside, what we see here is a campaign that has no chance, trying to keep the Coulter feud going for the sole purpose of raising money. Ann isn't helping herself, mind you. In fact, she should stop giving them ammunition by opening her big mouth. But Edwards (being the former ambulance chasing lawyer that he once was) knows a marketing ploy when he sees it. And of course his wife does too, which is why she called the show.
The Edwards campaign is not the only one guilty here, because we know the call was planned. Matthews had prior knowledge of it. John Edwards said that this was his wife's idea, she did on her own. But, I don't buy it. It has all the makings of a calculated strategy.
Matthews has the lowest rated of all the cable news shows, because most objective people see his bias for what it truly is. He is a partisan hack that has very little journalistic talent. (Here is one clip that you won't see in an MSNBC promo, the man in it illustrates my point quite well.) In fact if you notice the ratings week after week, you will see the majority of the MSNBC line-up consistently at the bottom.
NBC, in general, has a credibility problem (as is evidenced by their plummeting ratings on the evening newscast). Brian Williams continues to lose more viewers than Katie Couric. But Matthews never had many viewers to begin with, so his base viewership of Democratic attack dogs is remaining constant at a level we can term, very damned few. MSNBC is a loss leader for NBC's news division, but that is now starting to carry over to the nightly news. How long will it be before we see some changes, is anyone's guess. But if you own stock in GE, never fear. I hear Days Of Our Lives is still pretty popular.