Conservative columnist and best-selling author Ann Coulter gave Bill O’Reilly no quarter last night on his show, the O’Reilly Factor, as she promoted her book, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America. After her contentious interview earlier in the day with Matt Lauer on the Today show (which had been “rescheduled” after Matt Drudge indicated that Coulter had been cancelled and had been “banned for life”*), she was in no mood to be lectured by O’Reilly. After asking her if she were an intentional bomb thrower and saying that she was sometimes shrill, Coulter countered, “You are…overbearing, chauvinistic, humorless.” O’Reilly drily replied, “I agree with all of those things.”
At the end of the interview, O’Reilly riled Coulter further when he said, “Bernie Goldberg has some advice for you.” Coulter laughed and sniped, “My general policy is to take advice from people who sell more books than I do not fewer books than I do.” O’Reilly cockily riposted, “Then you would take advice from me then?” Coulter quickly answered, “No, no. I said more books.” O’Reilly declared, “Yeah, I sell more books than you.” Uncowed, Coulter responded, “No, you don’t.” Then in almost a school playground exchange, O’Reilly said, “Yes, I do” and Coulter retorted, “No, you don’t.”
As O’Reilly concluded the segment, he said that he liked her book but that he thought that she had made it provocative on purpose to sell books. When he closed the show, he remarked, “No mail this evening because we gave Ann Coulter a little extra time. Do you think that she appreciates that?”
Reciprocal respect, maybe: mutual fondness, perhaps, not.