Journalists don’t typically avoid interviewing people with whom they heatedly disagree.
Not so with Politico‘s Glenn Thrush.
Before “having a blast” with bestselling conservative commentator Ann Coulter in a new interview on his Off Message podcast, about six months ago he abruptly nixed an interview with her because he didn’t like some of what she was saying.
“Ann Coulter delights in alienating a substantial swath of the American public — Hispanics, Muslims, Jews (in one ill-advised tweet), leftists, fact-checkers, me (until I actually hung out with her),” Thrush wrote in Politico.
On his podcast, he explained, “About six months ago we had actually — and actually this is going to come as news to Ann, probably not pleasant news — we’d set up a podcast and I canceled it at the last minute because I wasn’t thrilled with some of the comments she had made publicly,” he said, referring to her comments on Muslims and Mexicans immigrants, which he thought were “over the line.”
He said he didn’t want his podcast to be a place for people to “throw bombs.”
The interview was conducted in a hotel room on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
“Thanks for coming up,” Coulter said to Thrush in the interview. Thrush lives in Washington.
So what’s different now?
He feels for her. He loves the underdog. “I got a thing for underdogs and I have a sympathy for people who can dish it out and take it,” he said. “I think that is all too rare, all too rare an attribute right now. …Coulter is someone who can do both.”
Thrush admires how she endured the recent roast of actor Rob Lowe on Comedy Central in which she sat there for three hours listening to Hollywood comedians call her a “cunt” and Lowe call her an “up-close abortion” among other vile insults. Like this one: “The only person you will ever make happy is the Mexican who digs your grave.”
The Politico podcast host also thinks Coulter has real power within Donald Trump‘s White House bid. “Coulter has a healthy chunk of it in 2016, thanks to her self-appointed role as the guardian of Trump’s soul on immigration,” he wrote.
In the newly released hour-long interview, Coulter and Thrush become best buddies. He says he knows he’ll “catch hell” for this but admits how much he enjoyed the interview and how “delightful” and “charming” she was. He says of all the people he’s interviewed for the podcast, she’s an unusually great listener and actually “genuinely” seems to care about what the other person is saying.
No joking around.
The pair actually seem quite fond of each other by the end of the interview.