Media personality Ann Coulter appeared on Bill O'Reilly's television program this week to discuss the murder of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. Never one to shy away from controversy, Coulter offered the following ethical assessment of the crime:
"I don't really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester."
When pressed by O'Reilly on this statement, Coulter replied,
"I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don't want to impose my moral values on others."
Here's the clip in context. The salient portion occurs at the 3:35 mark.
Setting aside Coulter's tongue-in-cheek, rhetorical gamesmanship, the likening of Tiller's murder to a late-term abortion is an interesting tact. Her point seems to be: What really distinguishes the killing of a fetus from an out-of-the-womb homicide? Shouldn't we view them as one and the same?
That seems like a fair enough argument for those who would deny moral shades of gray. Either you're for a "culture of death" or you're against it. But, as O'Reilly points out, that metaphor seems to fall flat when Coulter playfully claims that she doesn't want to lay an ethical guilt trip on those who would shoot abortion providers (even while celebrating the idea of a "Hooray-George-Tiller-is-dead party").
The point is, of course Coulter wants to impose her values on America. She, like O'Reilly, has made a nice career out of doing just that. And that career is built upon headline-grabbing remarks like the one above, for better or for worse.
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