Conservative blowhard Ann Coulter joined a chorus of people defending President Donald Trump‘s administration for separating children from their families at detention centers along the border earlier this week–implying that there were “child actors” being shown on television.
Coulter, who was speaking on The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton on Sunday, used an article in the New Yorker to back up her pleas to Trump not to back down from the policy, which has drawn scorn from large swaths of Americans.
“I would also say one other thing, these child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now—do not fall for it, Mr. President,” she said, adding that the article described the children “being coached” and being “given scripts to read by liberals.”
The conservative pundit then tweeted a link to an August 2011 article about asylum seeking in the United States.
But the author of the story, Suketu Mehta, told BuzzFeed News that Coulter is “truly illiterate” if she thinks the story backs up her claims.
“I was really shocked to see she is using my New Yorker piece, which has no child actors, no liberals toting scripts to be read by child actors,” Mehta said. “I don’t know if she knows how to read, but she clearly hasn’t read my New Yorker article.”
The author also bashed Coulter on Twitter.
In response to Coulter’s tweet of his 2011 article, Mehta responded:
“If you had 3 functioning brain cells, you wouldn’t be mentioning my New Yorker article about asylum to support your racist positions. It’s not about child actors, it’s about narratives demanded of adults by a broken asylum system,” he wrote.
If you had 3 functioning brain cells, you wouldn't be mentioning my New Yorker article about asylum to support your racist positions. It's not about child actors, it's about narratives demanded of adults by a broken asylum system— Suketu Mehta (@suketumehta) June 18, 2018
The idea of “crisis actors” has been a conservative conspiracy theory for years. Most recently, some people believed survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida were being coached or reading scripted lines to advocate for gun reform.
You can read all of the BuzzFeed News report here.