Conservative author Ann Coulter sparked a storm on Wednesday after describing a group of September 11 widows who backed the Democratic Party as millionaire "witches" reveling in their status as celebrities.
"I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter writes in her book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," published on Tuesday, referring to four women who headed a campaign that resulted in the creation of the September 11 Commission that investigated the hijacked plane attacks.
Coulter wrote that the women were millionaires as a result of compensation settlements and were "reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis."
A spokeswoman for publisher Crown Forum said it had set a first print run of 1 million copies of "Godless" and there were 1.5 million copies of Coulter's previous four books in print.
The four women, Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken, declined to discuss the book in detail but issued a statement saying they had been slandered.
"There was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again," said the statement signed by the four, along with a fifth woman, Monica Gabrielle.
The four women, who live in or around East Brunswick, New Jersey, became friends after September 11 and formed a group that agitated for the investigation. "Our only motivation ever was to make our nation safer," they said.
Coulter, whose books include the bestseller "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)," argues in the new book the women she dubs "the Witches of East Brunswick" wanted to blame US President George W. Bush for not preventing the attacks.
She criticized them for making a campaign advertisement for Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry in 2004, and added: "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."
Asked why she made such personal comments, Coulter said, "I am tired of victims being used as billboards for untenable liberal political beliefs."
Source: China Daily