Inside the Beltway: Coulter seeks liberal challenger

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It’s all a matter of Ann Coulter vs ? The cool blonde with the brilliant mind and unflappable mien seeks a liberal debating partner for an event that is the equivalent of New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and maybe Thanksgiving Day for conservatives. That’s the Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC — now just nine days off.

Organizers at the American Conservative Union have issued a serious challenge to “polemicists of the left” who are ready, willing and able to, they say, “defend the creeping socialism of Obama’s America.”

Indeed. The prospective combatant would face Miss Coulter right there on the expansive CPAC stage, before the largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists in the nation. There is some history to this, though. Back in the day, conservative columnist Robert Novak and veteran TV correspondent Sam Donaldson would square off and fling rhetoric.

“We’d welcome the chance to watch this kind of debate over the fundamentals of the American experiment again,” says executive director Dan Schneider. We’re confident in Ann. Is there a champion of the Left that is unapologetically supportive of their worldview?”

The man is serious now. Bill Maher? Rachel Maddow? Chris Matthews? Anyone?

Interested challengers should contact organizers via Twitter, using the hashtag #CPAC2014, or on Facebook.com/CPACNews. In the case of multiple hopefuls, Miss Coulter and Mr. Schneider will select an opponent.

A SALVO FOR PIERS

“We’re offering a 21-gun salute toPiers Morgan for admitting that his push for gun control killed his ratings and his show,” declares Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Indeed, Mr. Morgan’s nightly prime-time talk show has been canceled by CNN for flagging ratings, a phenomenon that the British host himself attributed to viewers fatigued by polarizing issues — including gun control. His obsession with cricket didn’t help either. But no matter.

“He’s been more like a bull in a china shop when it comes to having a rational, reasonable discussion about firearms civil rights in the United States,” Mr. Gottlieb points out. “The guy just can’t control his nasty temperament toward the right to keep and bear arms. He made a habit of demonizing and insulting American gun owners. When you are a guest in another country, you really shouldn’t spit on their constitutional rights or their traditions.”

Mr. Morgan, however, appears armed and ready himself, now that the news of his cancellation has gone public.

“I wouldn’t get too excited @NRA — I’m not done with you yet,” the host tweeted Monday.

The show, which initially attracted 2 million viewers, is now down to a nightly audience of 270,000. The last show airs next month.

“If I were CNN head Jeff Zucker and had that 9 p.m. time slot to fill now, I would not do what is expected of CNN. What he should do is learn from the network that is dominating right now. Fox is succeeding not necessarily because it is conservative. Fox succeeds by mixing a few elements together that work,” points out PJ Media columnist Bryan Preston.

“People talk about Fox’s eye-candy factor, and there’s no getting around the fact that many of Fox’s talent are easy on the eyes. They are also sharp and in command of their air. Fox is far less predictable than either CNN or MSNBC,” Mr. Preston adds.

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