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Author Suketu Mehta calls out Ann Coulter on claim about crying children at Mexico-US border

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter had tweeted a link to an article by Indian American writer Suketu Mehta in 2011 to bolster her claim that children shown crying after being separated from their parents on the US-Mexico border were ‘child actors’.

world Updated: Jun 19, 2018 22:22 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
Suketu Mehta,Ann Coulter,immigrants
Suketu Mehta is the author of the non-fiction bestseller “Maximum City: Bombay last and found”, about life in Mumbai. He lives and works in New York and his upcoming book is on immigration.(HT/File Photo)

Suketu Mehta, an Indian American writer, has accused Ann Coulter, a conservative commentator, of misrepresenting an article by him to claim children shown and heard crying on the border are “child actors”.

“Either she lied or she’s truly illiterate,” Mehta told BuzzFeed News.

Coulter claimed on Fox News on Sunday that the children shown crying after being separated from their parents on the border were ‘child actors’ who had been “coached” and given “scripts to read” by liberals.

“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,” Coulter said, adding, “I get very nervous about the president getting his news from TV.”

She had “a New Yorker article” to back her claim.

When journalists called for Coulter to be more specific, she tweeted a link to an article written by Mehta in 2011.

“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 has said.

That article was about a woman from a central African country who was seeking asylum in the United States on ground of fears of persecution at home. While she and her family had been genuinely targeted by the government there, she was asked to embellish her account to include she had been raped to make her case stronger.

“It’s a very nuanced, complicated piece — and ‘nuance’ and ‘Ann Coulter’ do not belong in the same sentence,” Mehta told BuzzFeed News.

Mehta is the author of the non-fiction bestseller “Maximum City: Bombay last and found”, about life in Mumbai. He lives and works in New York and his upcoming book is on immigration.

Coulter has not responded to his remarks, but has not taken down the post linking to his article either.

First Published: Jun 19, 2018 22:20 IST