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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: The Right Responds to Ann Coulter

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Right Responds to Ann Coulter

Whatever respect I had left for Ann Coulter is gone. By now most everyone has heard her comments she made at CPAC where she referred to John Edwards as “a faggot.” Is this the level of our political discourse these days? How juvenile! Surly Ann Coulter can come up with a better argument against John Edwards (I know I certainly can) than a baseless accusation about his sexuality (as if it matters).

I have often wondered which conservative pundit was doing more harm to the conservative cause: Ann Coulter or Michael Savage? Based on the fact that Coulter was invited to speak at CPAC and thus speaking from the same stage as several of the leading G.O.P. candidates for president, I would have to declare Ann Coulter the winner. How much ammunition did she give the Left with this comment? The DNC could not have asked for a better gift.

Many on the Left like to dismiss talk radio as “hate radio” without listening to any of the arguments. Nearly every talk host, whether it is Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, Larry Elder, Bill Bennett, or anyone else you can name has been accused of spreading hate speech and “dividing the country” (note: the likes of Bill Mahr, Keith Oberman, and Rosie O’Donnel are never accused by the MSM of dividing the country with hate speech). As hard as many of these pundits try to argue their points in an intelligent and effective manner, degenerates like Ann Coulter and Michael Savage seem give credence to this hate speech argument.

Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney each denounced Coulter’s remarks; they have everything to lose and nothing to gain by endorsing them. Pundits on the Right, on the other hand, can pretty much say what they want. I thought it would be interesting to find out how many of them have decided to either denounce Coulter’s comments or defend them. Here is what I have found…

Michelle Malkin:

Her "faggot" joke was not just a distraction from all the good that was highlighted and represented at the conference. It was the equivalent of a rhetorical fragging--an intentionally-tossed verbal grenade that exploded in her own fellow ideological soldiers' tent.


With a single word, Coulter sullied the hard work of hundreds of CPAC participants and exhibitors and tarred the collective reputation of thousands of CPAC attendees. At a reception for college students held by the Young America's Foundation, I lambasted the substitution of stupid slurs for persuasion-- be it "faggot" from a conservative or "gook" from a liberal--and urged the young people there to conduct themselves at all times with dignity in their ideological battles on and off campus.

Ann Coulter is a political comedian who, like Michael Moore, often offends, and sometimes crosses the bounds of decency.

Yesterday she entered the territory where Michael Richards went when he employed the n-word to abuse a heckler. When Coulter employed the f-word to abuse a candidate, she made herself radioactive because the word is a simply invitation to hate. It was repulsive.

I cannot imagine Coulter being invited to any panel or television appearance on which I would want to appear. Colleges and universities must also stop inviting her to appear as a representative of the conservative movement in America. She is not. You want smart, accomplished and funny conservative women? Ask K-Lo, Laura Ingraham or Carol Liebau to appear, or chose from scores of others. But not Ann Coulter --she represents only a snarl and a deep need to be noticed.

Neal Boortz (not a conservative but is often lumped in with other “hate radio” hosts):

Wouldn't it be nice if these candidates and their dog washers would actually engage in debate about some issues that actually mean something to us and to the future of our Republic? But ... I guess they're giving the voters what they want. Idiocy.”
Bill Bennett, Michael Reagan, and Bill O’Reilly have also expressed varying levels of disapproval of Ann Coulter’s comments on their respective radio shows.

Not everyone on the Right was offended by Coulter’s remarks. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Larry Elder argued that the MSM is employing a double standard. While I agree that had this been anyone on the Left that there would not be as much media attention, the remarks by Ann Coulter are inexcusable. To suggest that because the “other side” is doing it that “our side” can do it too is just plain childish.

Rush Limbaugh:
To those who are worried that it taints the entire conservative movement, that is only because the Drive-By Media makes it so. That's only because the Drive-By Media will pretend or portray that comment as typical. As you know, clichés exist about conservatives: racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe. Now, those are all false. Conservatives are not racists. They are not bigots. They are not sexists and they are not homophobes. That is not part of conservatism. So if we're going to suggest that somebody shut up and not say something because it only confirms those clichés, then are we not acting defensively? We're accepting the clichés are believed, and so we've gotta do something not to confirm them.

Sean Hannity:
Made many of the same points on his radio show as Rush. Hannity is a personal friend of Ann Coulter so I think he finds it difficult to criticize her. He also brought up the comments made by Bill Mahr where Mahr said that if Dick Cheney had been killed in Afghanistan, more American lives would be saved. Between Coulter’s remarks and Mahr’s remarks, of course Mahr’s remarks are worse and should be given more media exposure. Having said that, there is no reason why Coulter should be given a pass even if her remarks were less offensive.

Larry Elder:
Of those who have came to Coulter’s defense, none surprises me or disappoints me more than Larry Elder. I have so much respect for Larry Elder and I generally agree with him but this time, he couldn’t be more wrong. One of the reoccurring themes on his program is media bias. Larry took the occasion of Coulter’s remarks to show the double standard of the MSM. Like Rush and Hannity, Larry Elder also made mention of the remarks made by Bill Mahr. From there, he reminded his listeners of every offensive comment made by the Left over the past few years. He’s absolutely right that the MSM has not given those on the Left anywhere near the same scrutiny but once again, this does not give Coulter a pass. Larry also explained that Ann Coulter did not call John Edwards a faggot but was making reference to other public figures who made stupid remarks and subsequently went to rehab (meaning that if she said what she really felt about John Edwards, she would have to go to rehab). I can almost buy that argument but I don’t think that most of those who were in the audience, even the ones who were laughing, took it that way (Edwards is a faggot, ha! ha! ha!). If that was really the joke, although there is a great deal of truth to it, the way she told it was not funny. I guess I lack the Sage’s sense of humor on this one.

If there is anything positive to come out of this, I would have to say that it is refreshing to see that public figures on the Right are not all in lock step drinking the Kool-Aide (as opposed to public figures on the Left who will defend almost anything anyone on their team says or does). It’s refreshing to see that there are those who want to elevate the debate rather than stay in the mud with the likes of Ann Coulter. While political bomb throwers are fun to read and listen to at times, far too often the bombs they are throwing hurt their political allies and rarely do any damage to the opposition.


Blogger T. F. Stern said...

I think Ann has had her "15 minutes in the spot light" and it's time for her to vanish from the public stage now. How unfortunate that so many think there's nothing wrong with degrading language and actions.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Brad Warbiany said...

Ann Coulter got exactly what she was looking for. A week of media attention. She's been all over the TV and radio in the firestorm that she caused.

What bothers me most is that pundits are falling into her trap, by taking all this time to talk about Ann Coulter. Yes, what she said was incendiary and deplorable. But she said it to get attention, and we're falling for it by giving her that attention.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Stephen Littau said...

You are absolutely right about that Brad, Coulter wanted the attention. But what would happen if everyone on the Right ignored her comments? I would imagine that the Left would try to say that the 'silence is deafening' and try to paint everyone who attended CPAC with the same brush.

About halfway through writing the post, I considered not posting it for the reasons you mentioned (And frankly, I was already bored with the story. Hopefully that didn't come through in the post). This will probably be the last post I write about Ann Coulter.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Ann Coulter epitomizes the fringe and does not speak well for conservatives. As was pointed out, she is not in command of what she said and when she said it. To raise our political discourse to the same level as the far left does a serious disservice to our candidates and the country. My failure is the inability to understand how anyone can say some of the things they do and be grounded in reality. We have lost the ability to be reasonable and get our politics spoonfed one sound bite at a time

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reasonable ???
you mean faggggggy ???
Ann is amazingly bright / funny / ALIVE , and not at all the monster , that fools / both on the left and , now the right ( apparently ) , make her out to be.
reading these weak , dull proteststions....

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1:47 AM  

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