Right winger calls jersey widows witches
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Massive chip on her Coulter
Ann's vicious screed
BY ADAM LISBERG
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
When their husbands were killed on 9/11, four New Jersey widows tried to find out why - and now no-holds-barred conservative pundit Ann Coulter is mercilessly denouncing them as "witches."
"I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter writes in her new book.
Her brutal words were challenged yesterday on national television by "Today" host Matt Lauer - and she was slammed by the widows she derided as self-absorbed, limelight-seeking "harpies."
"I'd like her to meet my daughter and tell her how anyone could enjoy their father's death," said Kristen Breitweiser, one of four widows known as the "Jersey Girls."
"She sounds like a very disturbed, unraveled person," added Breitweiser.
In "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," the uncompromisingly right-wing Coulter writes the Jersey Girls have no right to criticize President Bush or any of the failures that led to the terror attacks.
"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis," Coulter writes.
"And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy. . .
"These self-obsessed women seemed genuinely unaware that 9/11 was an attack on our nation and acted as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them."
Breitweiser, Lorie Van Auken, Mindy Kleinberg and Patty Casazza bonded after their husbands died on 9/11, leaving them with seven children and a desire for answers.
They pushed to create the 9/11 commission, which put out a scathing report criticizing the Clinton and Bush administrations for not taking the terrorist threat more seriously - and found New York's emergency response system wasn't prepared for a serious attack.
"Our ports have not been secured. Our borders have not been secured. We still haven't caught [Osama] Bin Laden," Van Auken said yesterday. "She's not even talking about what we were talking about. She's just attacking."
The Jersey Girls - or, as Coulter calls them, "the Witches of East Brunswick" - have been criticized before, but never like this. Van Auken told the Daily News she was stunned by the vitriol.
"Having my husband burn alive in a building brought me no joy," she said. "Watching it unfold on national TV and .seeing it repeated endlessly was beyond what I could describe. Telling my children they would never see their father again was not fun. And we had no plans to divorce."
When Lauer grilled Coulter about the book, she yelled at him so harshly that gasps echoed through Rockefeller Center - and then she made a wisecrack about CBS-bound former host Katie Couric.
"If you lose a husband, you no longer have the right to have a political point of view?" Lauer asked.
As the exchange grew tense, Coulter said, "Look, you're getting testy with me."
She later added: "Hey, where's Katie? Did she leave or something?"
Last night, Coulter didn't back down from bashing the 9/11 widows. "These women got paid. They ought to take their money and shut up about it," Coulter said on MSNBC's "The Situation with Tucker Carlson."
Coulter made headlines in the past when she called for blowing up The New York Times Building, advocated forcing Muslims to become Christians and wrote an entire book that said every American liberal is guilty of treason.
Her controversial writings have made her a best-selling .author and syndicated columnist and put her on the cover of Time magazine. She's made big bucks in the process, buying a $1.5 million condo on the upper East Side.
Politicians of both parties denounced Coulter's comments.
"It's totally inhumane to be saying things like this about people who went through such agony," said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.).
"It seems that she's just full of anger and hate," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), who held a news conference yesterday with relatives of 9/11 victims on the country's failure to improve security.
"Like an insecure child, it's always been clear that Ann Coulter is prepared to do anything to get attention," added Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn, Queens). "This is a new low."
With Michael McAuliff in Washington
and Derek Rose
Originally published on June 6, 2006