Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ann Coulter Lies About Measure 36 on Today Show

I think the record on the boorishness, mean streak and overall impeachability of Ann Coulter is ample enough to leave alone here without a rehash. And recently we also discovered she apparently lied about where her residence was in Florida, causing what Stefan Sharkansky and the gang at SoundPolitics.com called "distributed voter fraud" back during the WA goobernor's contest. So it's not exactly an earth-shattering surprise I am about to reveal to you: this morning on the Couricless NBC Today Show, while ostensibly there to ridicule and insult 9/11 widows, Coulter tossed off a total fabrication in reference to Oregon's gay marriage ban, Measure 36, and of course the uberclueless Matt Lauer didn't have the resources to call her on it.

For a link to what Coulter said, here's the video from Crooks and Liars {wmv file}. Lauer was in the midst of asking Coulter about why Congress and the President would spend a week on a DOMA amendment, when everyone knows it won't pass. Her response was to exclaim that they're trying to do the will of the people, because everywhere it's been tried, gay marriage bans have won. Putting aside for the fact that none of them attempted to alter the US Constitution and thus her comparison is well, irrelevant--she then went on to say this:
Even in Oregon--and that was the state that the groups supporting gay marriage fixated on; they outspent their opponents by like, 40 to 1--it passed even there!
How does one say this elegantly? Hmmm....how about, BULLSHIT? Forty to one? That sure would be pretty impressive if it were true, but it's not, and thanks to the Secretary of State we can prove it's not. Go to their website database for campaign and expenditure reports, and enter "2004"--"General Election"--"State Measure 36" in the appropriate boxes. You'll get a list of all the committees that worked on M36, both for and against. Many of them, like the hilariously named Beaver State Defense of Beaver Coalition and the Traditional Prejudices Coalition (spoof committees put together by clever critic Dennis Moore to make a statement of opposition to the Measure), had no contributions, but seven did--four on the NO side, three on the YES. You can see the groups and their contributions and expenditures that I've compiled on this page.

Since Coulter said "outspent," let's look at the expenditures columns for each side. Led by Defense of Marriage's $2.22 million in spending, the total for YES is $2.26 million. On the NO side, the big spender was NO on 36, who ponied up $2.93 million of the total $2.97 million spent to defeat the measure.

Those last two numbers on the page represent the NO total, divided by the YES total in each column. As is painfully evident, the NO folks didn't outspend the YES people by 40 to 1. Or 20 to 1. Or 10. Or 5. Or even 2 to 1. That's right, the forces for keeping discrimination out of Oregon raised just 31% more than those who sought it.

Is this a relatively minor point, given the fact that Coulter's trying to show that banning gay marriage is still a majority opinion? Perhaps in the grand scheme, yes. But part of the reason that it's a majority opinion is that people like Coulter continue to lie and distort the aims and mechanics of those who seek to discriminate against gays, and spread "virtuous vs heathens" ideology in general in order to fulfill their desires born of fear. Which is why it's another disappointing nail in the coffin for NBC Today that they must turn to Coulter and others for entertainment, when all they really offer is hate on a plate. And lie about it in the process.