Deutsch on Coulter’s ‘Big Idea’ Comments

NEW YORK Appearing on Donny Deutsch’s CNBC show The Big Idea on Monday, columnist and author Ann Coulter suggested that the U.S. would be a better place if there weren’t any Jewish people—and that they should “perfect” themselves into Christians.

This led Deutsch to suggest that surely she couldn’t mean that, and when she insisted she did, he said it sounded “anti-Semitic.”

Adweek spoke to the talk show host and agency exec today about the controversy.

“Candidly, I had her on not to talk about politics but to talk about her brand strategy,” Deutsch said. “Whether you like her or not, her strategy is to be extreme and that’s a way to make money. But because it’s her, it drifted into politics.

“I simply asked her a question, something like, ‘If the world was her way, what would it look like?’ And she said something to the effect that everybody would be Christians. I was somewhat baffled and asked if that meant there would be no Buddhists or Jews and I think her words were, ‘perfected’ Jews [would be OK].

“I was offended. And then, and this was interesting, she started to back off and seemed a little upset.”

Asked to gauge her reaction, Deutsch said, “I think she got frightened that maybe she had crossed a line, that this was maybe a faux pas of great proportions. I mean, did it show ignorance? Anti-Semitism? It wasn’t just one of those silly things.

“But I didn’t really service it. It’s not the show I’m doing now. I think I handled it well, but it’s started to circulate and take on a life of its own.

“I didn’t want to go there because my whole show is about being positive and I was disappointed it went that way.”

Click here to read a transcript and view video of the exchange.