[There was a video here]

“Let me just say up front: I hope that this conversation can be as much about humanity and dignity as it is about politics and polling, because I want to try to better understand to the extent that I can...the motivation behind your rhetoric and that of Donald Trump and some others,” is how Tavis Smiley kicked off his interview with Ann Coulter that ran on last night’s episode of his eponymous talk show. Smiley never deviated from his m.o., and Coulter articulated her caustic rich-white-woman rhetoric as clearly and sharply as ever. The result was a spirited, truly compelling half hour of TV.

Coulter was on to promote her recent anti-immigration manifesto, Adios, America. Smiley announced that book’s title and subtitle (“The Left’s Plan To Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole”) virtually through gritted teeth. Smiley can be polite to the point of fawning over his guests (see last week’s two-part D’Angelo interview), but he was unrelentingly tough on Coulter, especially regarding race matters.

“Your argument suggests that if these other persons weren’t here, that somehow we would be fairer and better by those who are already here,” said Smiley, really laying into the pragmatic lapses in Coulter’s message. “The evidence doesn’t support that. And that’s why black people have been toiling for as long as they have been. Before somebody came across the border, black folks still weren’t being respected. They were still the last hired and first fired. The unemployment rate was still triple, quadruple the national average. I could do this all day. The health disparity still exists. Before anybody came across the border, negroes were still being treated the way they’re being treated right now.”

Ann Coulter maintained that without having to allocate resources to undocumented immigrants, “a lot more effort would be spent on the black community.”

“I’m not buying it for two reasons,” said Smiley. “One, because the problem existed long before we had a basic immigration problem. The problem of disrespecting fellow citizens already existed. For example, we got people running across the border everyday. Negroes are still getting shot in the streets by white cops all the time. Every other day, you see that.”

“And by Mexicans,” Coulter added.

I could watch them do this all day, and I get the feeling they could go at least that long, themselves.