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June 06, 2006

Comments

I really don't understand how she and Malkin can get the attention they do after the books they've written. I guess if hate is popular they'll put it on TV. 2 minutes every morning, or something like that.

Hilzoy: why would we (or anyone with half a brain) even listen to, or give Ann Coulter's driveling rants a second's thought in the first place? The woman is less a "pundit" (even given the hideous debasement of that term since the rise of the blogosphere) than a variey of (bad) "insult comedian" who knows there is a steady market for her lame shtick, and never fails to shamelessly plug it. Under the rubric of "political analysis", of course.

If I didn't know you better (in an online way, of course), I'd swear you were doing stealth damage-control for the Republicans: "Oh, that Ann Coulter, of course we disavow her! She's crazy!" Until the next time she gets invited to give the keynote speech at some other big Republican Party shindig. You may not want her, and I may not want her, but the GOP sure does.

Von, are you feeling okay? This is the second post in a row of yours that I mistook for Hilzoy's until I read the byline.

That's not a criticism, by the by. And you're absolutely right on the fact that Ann's style obscures a valid point: the excessive authority bestowed upon victims, the sympathy clause.

Truth be told, this isn't exclusive to the victims of tragedies, this is a broader fallacy of the Appeal to Authority kind. But it's especially effective when employed by victims, because we (rightfully) believe that they deserve our sympathy, and that sympathy transforms itself into credibility, a belief in the notion that because they have experienced a given tragedy, they are uniquely qualified to have an informed opinion on it. This isn't entirely incorrect: they may, depending on the subject matter and circumstances, have a unique insight that makes their opinion valuable and more credible than someone who has not suffered what they have. This is why, for all of my disagreements with John McCain, I cite him as an authority on the subject of torture: he has endured it, and knows its evil firsthand.

The 9/11 widows are no such authority. The fact that they have lost their husbands to Islamic extremists does not make them an expert opinion on how to respond to said extremism, although it does give them, in my opinion, a higher standing to base their reactions on a need for retribution than does the average American, and I think this is the standpoint from which they are coming: "We lost that which we loved most, and we don't feel the need to do X for revenge, so perhaps that isn't so pressing."

You may agree or disagree with that notion. But it is a valid one to put forward, and Ann's treatment of it is of a kin with everyone else she has produced: vile, inexcusable, morally bankrupt, and created for the sole purpose of demonizing those who disagree with her irrespective of any other consideration.

You know I'm not a violent persn, buyt I wish Kristen Breitweiser would punch AC in the face.

"This is the second post in a row of yours that I mistook for Hilzoy's until I read the byline."

I'm honored. (And I agree totally. Coulter is poison.)

Good to have you posting, Von, but was it really necessary to insult Pogo?

Ted Rall was widely denounced (on one of the many occasions on which he's been widely denounced) for being uncivil toward "terror widows", but then I've never seen Rall on TV (or the cover of Time). In any case, I don't think the same rules apply to Coulter. Right-wingers get a pass on such things.

For another example, if a liberal TV personality had taken a Nazi atrocity from WW2 and turned it around to accuse the US soldiers, who were actually the victims, of being the perpetrators, he or she would have been hounded off the air within days. Unbelievably, when Bill O'Reilly does it, he doesn't even have the decency to apologize, and he's certainly not going anywhere.

they have as much right to speak out about 9/11 as that screeching ghoul Coulter does. maybe if they added a few more insults and lies to their speeches they could get to go on TV and laugh it up like Ann gets to.

My brother gave up paying attention to Ann Coulter (or speaking her name) for his New Year's resolution. I'd say we all should follow his lead, except that I'm not sure ignoring hate speech is always the best policy, at least once it's reached the level that it's being broadcast nationally.

Good post;good comment by Catsy.

Nah, no Coulter or Coulter-phile bashing. Just that.

Nothing she says really gets to me at this point. It's the "Ann Coulter, always fun to have you here" part at the end that makes me want to throw up.

except that I'm not sure ignoring hate speech is always the best policy

This is an interesting question, and I've always felt laughter and mockery was the best defense, but I am rethinking that in light of some snark someone offered up (and apologies in advance for the Godwin violation), which was something like:

and we all saw how the Berlin cabaret scene really put a dent in the Nazi rise to power.

Thought you might be interested in this article from The BRAD BLOG!

Check out 'Ann Coulter 'Lawyers Up' to Face Felony Voter Fraud Charges' at:

http://www.BradBlog.com/archives/00002901.htm

I'm pretty jaded about such comments (the enjoyment comment, I mean). I wince a little when I hear something like this and automatically file it as one of those adolescent shocking things people say to make a point, valid or not. It's what I took Ward Churchill to be doing when he made his morally moronic Eichmann comparison--the point presumably lurking somewhere in the vicinity of his statement was that the US had done bad things and as citizens we all share the blame. Basically Coulter/Churchill are stuck in the mode I was in when I was 14 years old and thought the right way to puncture pretense and hypocrisy was to say the most grotesque thing I could think of that might dramatize my point. The problem is they aren't 14 years old.


I enjoy linking Coulter and Churchill together--they'd be equally horrified at the thought.

we all saw how the Berlin cabaret scene really put a dent in the Nazi rise to power

That was Peter Cook: "those wonderful Berlin cabarets which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War."

It's what I took Ward Churchill to be doing when he made his morally moronic Eichmann comparison

Speaking of Eichmann

Thanks Jon, always nice to know who is casting which pearls in front of me. This was also nice

Among his contemporaries were Michael Howard, Leon Brittan and Kenneth Clarke. "It's a bit distressing when you find them running the country," he remarked recently. "They were all so self-important at 20 that you would have thought they'd have grown out of it."

though the end was sad.

Now, let's all agree never to listen or talk to Ann again.

Crown Forum, Regnery, Fox News, and the Republican Party all disagree with you, Von, but good luck changing their minds. I'd feel the same way if she spoke for any political cause I wished to be even remotely identified with.

As it is, Ann isn't the problem. The problem is the people she speaks for and the people who pay her to speak. Direct your indignation at them.

Two things.

First:

"Now, let's all agree never to listen or talk to Ann again."

This will not happen because Coulter's tone and persona are very appealing to a lot of people. Make of that what you will.

Second:

The inclination to give more weight to the thoughts of "victims" is not purely a matter of pity or sympathy. It's in no small amount also a recognition that their thoughts are unlikely to be held lightly, or for personal advantage, because they have more than a little skin in the game, and not through their own choice. It is, in fact, a form of moral authority, and a legitimate one.

People who support our current foreign policy would apparently like the "jersey girls" to STFU. Sometimes this is expressed politely, even delicately so as not to appear to be a callous ass. Sometimes, as in the case of Coulter, not.

What I have heard Breitweiser et al call for consistently is an honest, thorough, and public examination of what the hell happened. This seems completely reasonable to me.

Thanks -

From DCist, I see that one of our local papers is living up to people's expectations of it. Here's an answer to "What are you reading?":

Bill Sammon
Senior White House Correspondent, Washington Examiner

“The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America,” by David Horowitz. With three children in college this fall, I’m appalled at what passes for knowledge at our institutions of higher learning.

“Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” by Ann Coulter. Ann was such a delightful guest of the Examiner at the White House Correspondents Association. I’m really looking forward to her newest book.

I'm confident the Examiner's White House coverage will be fair and balanced.

The fact is, we live in an imperfect world, where it sometimes takes a sympathetic victim to galvanize the public and the government into doing the right thing. Sure, it would be nice if we lived in a perfect world where everyone did the right thing without the need for anyone to make an appeal to emotion, but the way to get there is to start doing the right thing more often, not to simply disregard appeals to emotion.

What's troubling about Coulter is the mainstreaming of extremist thought. No one invites Ward Churchill on the Today Show to explain his outrageous remarks, but they have no problem giving Ann Coulter air time. It's not that the Today Show has a right-wing agenda, as far as I can tell, so what the heck is going on here?

I've been out of the country for a long time now, so "observing" Anne Coulter is very definitely a theoretical task for me, but her interview reminds me of a lecture that I attended several years ago on international work towards the abolition of the death penalty. A well qualified jurist gave a summary of some rather technical and philosophical aspects of the abolition debate, and when question and answer time came around, the run of the mill heckler stood up to make his point that pedophiles were the worst of the worst, and how would we all feel if our child were molested and killed by one, and that therefore the death penalty needed to be reinstated to deal with such serious criminal problems.
To prove his point, he referred to a now infamous case in Belgium, where several families had lost children in such a context.
The lecturer calmly reminded him that none of the families had called for revenge or the reinstatement of the death penalty (like the 9-11 widows, as Catsy points out ?), and asked just what exactly was HIS justification/motive in doing so ? He blustered, and declared that clearly it was not possible to debate the issue, then stood up and walked out.
(By the way, Oklahoma is now considering extending the death penalty to crimes of pedophilia...)

Good point, Steve. Everyone close your eyes and imagine Matt Lauer saying, "Thanks Ward, it's always fun to have you here"

I am sure that Coulter blasted Bush for using a daughter of a 9/11 victim in his campaign, or using relatives of victims as guests of SOTU speeches. What, she didn't?

Oh well.

The problem is not Coulter per se. After all, what she says is not really that much different from what several other right wing commentators say, including the aforementioned O'Reilly, as well as Savage, Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. She just tends to be a little more caustic than the others.

The problem is that all of them have not just an audience, but a fervently loyal audience. Moore does have a following, but many on the left take a lot of what he has to say with a grain of salt.

BTW< I tend to agree that "victims" are overused by both the left and the right, but as inidivduals, or as a group, they still have the rigth to speak out.

OT, I recently saw a very moving documentary called "My Child: Mothers of War." It is composed of interviews of mothers who have or had children serving in the military in Iraq. It really doesn't have a political agenda. I saw it because my wife works with a mother of one of the producers and received a copy. If interested, try to find it. They have a web site www.mychildthemovie.com.


When it comes to the war, the entire GOP behave like Coulter's version of the 9/11 widows.

Any critical response and you get "You don't support the troops!".

So one side gives up Ann Coulter and the other gives up Michael Moore in exchange.

Maybe we could trade Cynthia MacKinney for Mr. Savage.

O.K. We're all out. What do we have to give up to decapitate the other 10,000 or so right-wing nutcases running our institutions?

Let me guess. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.

The Democrats' demagogue shortage puts us in a bad way.

Let's remove any claim that I'm being "stealth[y]."

I wouldn't have phrased Phil's remarks in the same way (because it's pointless to speculate on your motives for writing), but the point remains. It's all very good to wax indignant about Coulter, but Coulter isn't worth being indignant over. Be indignant instead over the conservative political/media establishment that pays her to speak. Your dispute should be with the GOP and the GOP's favorite news channel, Fox, who use Coulter to throw meat to the kind of people you don't want to share your party with--not with a sideshow freak like Ann. If you think Coulter's a bigger problem than the people who employ her, then, well, I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

(And though Moore's a loudmouth who confuses egomania with principle and half-assed documentaries with crusading for justice, he won't even be in the same league as Coulter until he starts to regularly call for the deaths of people he dislikes.)

Crooks & Liars: Statement of September 11th Advocates Response to “Godless”

Another interesting point worth making is that the right-wing noise machine and the various ambulatory turnips in the blogosphere who parrot its talking points love to make hay out of Michael Moore and other left-wing extremists, and one of their favorite refrains is pointing out how Moore sat near prominent Democrats at the convention and other similar guilt-by-association moments, as if this was meaningful in any way.

Yet when we point out how intertwined people like Coulter and Savage and Limbaugh are with the Republican establishment, conservatives try to draw a bright line between these clowns and their party.

There's simply no comparison. But the double standard sure is funny.

Over at Captain's QuartersBlog there is a post drawing a parallel between Coulter and Ted Rall.

"The problem is that all of them have not just an audience, but a fervently loyal audience. Moore does have a following, but many on the left take a lot of what he has to say with a grain of salt."

Coulter has a following, but many on the right take a lot of what she has to say with a grain of salt.

Perhaps my only original (and for all I know it isn't even original) insight into politics is noticing the near universal belief that "The whackos on the other side are much more influential than the whackos on my side."

I just don't see a lot of mainstream shows like Today calling up Michael Moore when they want the liberal perspective on something. Yet it's "fun" to chat with Ann Coulter. What's it all about?

Perhaps my only original (and for all I know it isn't even original) insight into politics is noticing the near universal belief that "The whackos on the other side are much more influential than the whackos on my side."

I don't think it's original, but in this case it is, certainly, wrong. Say you compare Ann Coulter to Michael Moore -- they both write books. Now compare how often each appears on ostensibly non-partisan news/commentary TV shows.

Now that you've used up Michael Moore, who do you offset against Rush Limbaugh? And so on.

I just don't see a lot of mainstream shows like Today calling up Michael Moore when they want the liberal perspective on something.

Ok, who do you think is going to sell better: bumbling, rambling viciousness, or concise viciousness? Moore puts together good agitprop on film, but his public speaking skills aren't anything to write home about.

"Now compare how often each appears on ostensibly non-partisan news/commentary TV shows."

This year or in 2004? I'll give you 2006, I'm not at all sure about 2004.

And note the context: I was talking about it in the context of 'taking opinions with a grain of salt'.

The problem you have with Limbaugh is the same problem people like Limbaugh have with Oliver Stone. Both entertain in ways that can mislead the unwary.

I don't like either of them. The time of prominent conservative entertainers in that vein appears to be now. The time of prominent liberal entertainers in that vein is...well I can't think of a time when there weren't quite a few influential liberal entertainers in that vein.

Funny how "It's entertainment not history!" isn't always thrilling.

You know, its really time that right leaning citizens STOP bringing up Michael Moore every time they have to address the nut job he/she Coulter. Michael Moore is not even close to having the hatred spewing mouth that Coulter does. OK? No comparison, no need for "equal time spewing." Just say shes f---ing insane and let it go at that.

You know, its really time that right leaning citizens STOP bringing up Michael Moore every time they have to address the nut job he/she Coulter. Michael Moore is not even close to having the hatred spewing mouth that Coulter does. OK? No comparison, no need for "equal time spewing." Just say shes f---ing insane and let it go at that.

Stealth damage control? No way. I might've read Coulter once since she was fired from National Review, mainly because of her unproductive flame-throwing schtick. Frankly, I see this as criticizing loutish behavior, no matter the political stripe. Ted Rall did the same thing with his 9/11 widows cartoons and they were every bit as repugnant. In this, Rick Moran speaks for me.

Ok, who do you think is going to sell better: bumbling, rambling viciousness, or concise viciousness? Moore puts together good agitprop on film, but his public speaking skills aren't anything to write home about.

Yeah, that must be it. All the far-left whackos just aren't as well-spoken as Coulter.

All the far-left whackos just aren't as well-spoken as Coulter.

I think you've nailed it, Steve. Our wackos are much more well-spoken than yours.

Which is a curse, certainly.

I think you've nailed it, Steve. Our wackos are much more well-spoken than yours.

Well, when you have so many of them you are bound to have a few to the far-right (heh) of the bell curve.

Note that I don't think that does anything for me, personally, or for my politics, that Ann Coulter can string a dozen complete sentences together at will. What I'd prefer is that we lock our crazies and your crazies into a padded stadium with pugil sticks, and let them beat the hell out of each other.

But since "crazies" is highly subjective, this might include far too many people.

Oh, no time limit on that beating the hell out of each other thing. And whether we ought to feed them is something I haven't come to a decision on.

A *padded* stadium? Is it vitally important that all bodily harm be caused by the sticks and not the environment?

Pugil sticks are padded, JFTR.

Ohhhh. Pardon my ignorance; carry on.

Of course, you could just give them standard-issue nail-studded baseball bats and trashcan lids, as in Escape From New York, but then it'd be all over much more quickly. It's a matter of preference, I submit.

CB said: In this, Rick Moran speaks for me.

It's worth reading through some of Rick's comments to understand why many of us on the left find posts like Rick's and von's, while commendable, somewhat irrelevant to Coulter's actual status in the conservative pantheon.

This was hardly an isolated instance of bad taste for Coulter. She says stuff like this all the time. And yet so many in the "Republican base" will not only defend Coulter, but defend the very remarks at issue. It's what comes from being raised on Rush - crap like this is par for the course. At least until it comes time to give Democrats another lecture on civility.

The problem you have with Limbaugh is the same problem people like Limbaugh have with Oliver Stone. Both entertain in ways that can mislead the unwary.

Tell me, Sebastian--when did Oliver Stone last interview a sitting Vice President, or, for that matter, any member of an Administration in power? If you can't tell the difference between a movie director--and not even one who purports to make documentaries, we're talking Cecil B. DeMille here--and a news commentator who gets Vice Presidents to come to him, then you may as well admit that you see no difference at all between "news," "opinion," "propaganda," and "entertainment."

In which case, what's so bad about Coulter, except that she doesn't entertain you?

Jon Stewart gets all sorts of people on the Daily Show as entertainment. Bill Clinton sought out Hollywood all the time. I know he doesn't qualify as a sitting vice-president....

In which case, what's so bad about Coulter, except that she doesn't entertain you?

Anyone who can say with a straight face that matters of objective science are just a matter of partisan politics is downright stupid and should be laughed out of town.

Jon Stewart gets all sorts of people on the Daily Show as entertainment.

Sure. If he were embarrassingly hateful, he'd be a fair offset to Limbaugh. (Well, not really -- I don't think their audience sizes are comparable -- but the comparison wouldn't be nuts.) But he doesn't really come into this comparison, because while he's a partisan liberal, he's not, as far as I've seen, a hate-filled wacko. (And, you know, neither is Moore. But I'm conceding Moore to be pleasant.)

I'd prefer is that we lock our crazies and your crazies into a padded stadium with pugil sticks, and let them beat the hell out of each other.

But since "crazies" is highly subjective, this might include far too many people.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Well, depending on how inclusive it is, I have a family reunion coming up.

The point remains that interviews with entertainers do not negate the concept that the views of entertainers can be taken "with a grain of salt" by audiences.

Different types of entertainers work in different ways. Asking me to find an Oliver Stone or Michael Moore interview with a prominent leader is like me asking you to show me when Rush Limbaugh made a deeply misleading movie that grossed $70,000,000 or better in 1991 or a fake documentary which grossed $119,000,000 or better in 2004. I wouldn't argue that the lack of multi-million dollar movies from Rush makes him a non-influential misleading entertainer. Coulter, Limbaugh, Stone and Moore are all highly misleading, very influential, political entertainers. I'm not personally entertained by any of them.

There's a difference between crazy and weird. Crazy is the goofballs that piss you off. Weird is the goofballs you treat with amused/affectionate tolerance.

When your crazies are my weird people or vice versa, we just keep swapping off choosing people for the stadium until neither of us wants to continue.

Limbaugh: 15 hours a week, every week.
Moore: 2 hour movie every 4 years.

The idea that Rush is just an "entertainer," as if he does anything at all that is non-political, is quite silly.

Frankly, I'm bored of the stupid 'equivalence' game, but if Slarti wants to keep playing, one league has a rather deeper pool of talent than the other...

I'm not sure exactly what argument is being put forth -- is it that the righty wackos are more extreme than the lefty wackos? That they're nastier? That there are more righty wackos than lefty ones? That the righty ones are more accepted by mainstream republicans than the lefty ones are by mainstream democrats? That they're more in bed with the leadership? That they get more media exposure?

but if Slarti wants to keep playing

Eh? I thought I'd stated clearly that we've got a superior breed of crazies over here. No contest.

Moore made over $20 million on F911, in case anyone's interested.

That the righty ones are more accepted by mainstream republicans than the lefty ones are by mainstream democrats?

This, mostly. That Republican wackos can stand up and say filthy, disgusting things that anyone should be ashamed of, and still hobnob with the Republican party leadership. And SH -- the point of the interview, as a standard, rather than the making of a successful movie, is that it demonstrates a willingness to be publicly associated with the wacko in question.

Slarti, my bad for the misreading then...

though 'superior' is a somewhat malleable term in the context of this topic...

Moore made over $20 million on F911, in case anyone's interested.

Rush makes $31 million/yr. Funnily enough, not from F911.

AP:

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton lashed out at Ann Coulter for a "vicious, mean-spirited attack" on a group of outspoken 9/11 widows, whom the right-wing television pundit described as "self-obsessed" and enjoying their husbands' deaths.

[...]

"Perhaps her book should have been called 'Heartless,'" the senator said. "I know a lot of the widows and family members who lost loved ones on 9/11. They never wanted to be a member of a group that is defined by the tragedy of what happened."

The New York Democrat and former first lady said she found it "unimaginable that anyone in the public eye could launch a vicious, mean-spirited attack on people whom I've known over the last four and a half years to be concerned deeply about the safety and security of our country."

I don't think Ann Coulter gets on the air because she's well-spoken. She's blonde and wears cocktail dresses and she says horrible things, and people seem to like all that. That, and she's often plugging a horrible book. There are plenty of lefties who speak quite well, but they're not telegenic and really, let's face it, they're nowhere near as hateful and shameless as Coulter and several other rightwingers. The leftwing crazies tend to espouse conspiracy theories that make no sense rather than launching crazy personal attacks on people who would never respond in kind.

I know there's no point in saying this yet again, but I can't help myself: Neither Ward Churchill nor Michael Moore is not a spokesperson for the Democratic party in any way, shape or form. Ward Churchill is an obscure academic. Moore is probably not even a registered Democrat; he makes documentaries that explicitly eschew objectivity. I don't like his movies, so I don't go to see them. He does not set himself up as a pundit, much less a political leader. And yet, conservatives keep bringing him up.

Ann Coulter's response to Hillary? Well, before you go criticizing ME, you should look at your own hubby..... HUH? Yeah, that's real brainy. Sheesh.

Michael Moore does set himself up as a pundit. That is why he calls his movies documentaries.

Ann Coulter isn't a spokeswoman for the Republican Party.

She was once an aide to Senator Spencer Abraham

I'm still waiting for someone to tell us the exact circumstances under which Michael Moore expressed the wish that people who disagree with him would be beaten up or killed. Or, for that matter, when he expressed the view that someone should assassinate a sitting justice of the Supreme Court.

Documentarians are not pundits. Moore makes movies about social and political issues. These movies have a distinct point of view, which is explicitly not objective or analytical. It's sloppy filmmaking, in my opinion. But Moore does not discuss or analyze policy matters. He does occasionally decide to endorse a candidate, but then again, so does Bruce Springsteen (and please don't claim that Springsteen is a pundit because he sings the occasional protest song). It's all part and parcel of our celebrity-obsessed culture.

Ann Coulter writes books in which (I assume, given the titles) she attacks "liberals" for their political views. She is a political pundit, or would like to be seen as such. She does not, it's true, have a paid position as a spokesperson for the Republican party -- score one for Sebastian! Then again, I haven't heard any of the talking heads demanding that Republican leaders denounce her hate speech, or linked her in any way to the views of Republican leaders. Moore, on the other hand, is constantly invoked in this way vis-a-vis Democrats.

It's pointless, I know -- the Moore bashers will simply hang their hats on another set of technicalities and semantic games. I have no problem with people disliking him -- I don't like him all that much, myself. But so what? I don't like a lot of other people, either. I simply tune them out. And I think I should be doing the same with this thread.

(Soon-to-be-former) New Yorker Zuzu on Coulter v. 'The Jersey Girls':

Something many people forget about 9/11, especially those who don’t live here in New York but who are eager to use the attacks as justification for striking out at the world, is that the funerals went on for a year. A number of them took place in my neighborhood, at a church across the expressway. If you could hear bagpipes — or if you saw the pipers standing outside the local bodega drinking out of paper bags after playing at yet another funeral — you knew someone from the neighborhood killed in the attacks was being buried that day.

So, it’s personal. And when someone like Coulter says nasty things about women whose husbands were killed — especially when those women were the ones who got us answers about what happened to our city — she’s not going to get a good reception.

[...]

And while I’m sure she thought it was a good move releasing her book about Godless liberals on 6/6/06, turns out the local press was just a hair riled about the Homeland Security slashing of the antiterror budget for New York.

But none of this would really be an issue — she’d just be howling obscenities at her television — if the mainstream media would just stop legitimizing her ideas by giving her a forum and justifying it because she’s “controversial.” So while it was nice to see that Lauer got in her face about her vile statements, the question remains: what in the hell was she doing being allowed to talk to Matt Lauer in the first place?

Conservatives are not exactly overjoyed at Coulter's latest.

Guess what movie I just watched?

Oh, yes Mr. Book. I have John Murdock...in mind.

Guess what movie I just watched?

Does it involve telekinetic bug-people and a scenery-chewing Kiefer Southerland?

I link to this "goodbye blogging" post from Armando because of his association with people associated with this site.

Conservatives are not exactly overjoyed at Coulter's latest.

I'm not entirely sure that Captain Ed and Hugh "I'm brave for coming to NY" Hewitt encompass any reasonably-sized universe of "conservatives."

Given that Ann Coulter doesn't represent a great many conservatives, the utility of that counterargument is unclear.

I was thinking last night, though, that pretty much every incidence of a conservative/liberal being excoriated degenerates into a comparison with either Ann Coulter or Michael Moore, which sort of suggests a Godwin's Law corollary.

Which in turn suggests an open thread. Which in turn suggests another open thread, topic: on the Internet, no one knows you're ____. My entry: on the Internet, no one know's you're Jeff Goldstein.

I think it's at least as utile as trotting out Ed and Hewitt as, well, whatever you thought they were.

Given that Ann Coulter doesn't represent a great many conservatives, the utility of that counterargument is unclear.

Keep ridin' that train, Slarti. You can trot it out the next time she addresses a major conservative or GOP gathering as a featured speaker and see how it sounds.

Next time I have an opportunity to hire Coulter for a speaking engagement, I'll take that snappy comeback to heart, Phil. Or next time I even consider attending such an event. Or, hell, next time I consider being a Republican again.

I am, however, considering requesting that the RNC refund the $20 I sent them back in 1985. Outside of that, I don't see much I can do short of forcefully restricting her right of free speech. Or do you have another suggestion?

Slart,
while that last comment is worth a giggle, was it really worth wading through all that verbiage to get to it? And subjecting us to it?

Sorry. I did consider that, but there aren't any direct links to comments.

Everyone else, take LJ's wounded psyche as a warning before clicking the link.

It's not so much my psyche as just a sense of embarassment about people behaving like that.

Sebastian: "The problem you have with Limbaugh is the same problem people like Limbaugh have with Oliver Stone. Both entertain in ways that can mislead the unwary."

No, the problem we have with Limbaugh is that he spends most of his show, every single day, persuading his listeners that liberals are responsible for absolutely everything wrong with America and indeed the world. That liberals want terrorists to attack America, assuming liberals aren't plotting to attack America themselves. That "feminazis" want to cut off your penis. And so on. Conversely, he spends the rest of his show trivialising anything that might make the Republican party look bad, like, say, torture. Are we supposed to take eliminationist rhetoric on a near daily basis listened to by tens of millions of people with a grain of salt? Whether or not it's "entertainment", it mainstreams violent rhetoric against ideological opponents. It's very difficult to shrug off someone saying the most effective way to talk to a liberal is with a baseball bat when they're put on the cover of Time magazine and paraded around the talk shows.

Where is there anything in the work of Oliver Stone, who lets not forget makes relatively niche market fictional films about once every three years, that comes remotely close to the eliminationism and bile of Coulter or Limbaugh?

I link to this "goodbye blogging" post from Armando because of his association with people associated with this site.

That's a crying shame, Rilkefan.

Coulter, Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity, etc., are spoiled 14-year-olds who have found they can say anything without retribution just to get attention and money. There is no longer a moral baseline beyond which they will not step. A minority of fearful people support them, but they are the loudest so they get the attention.

American neoconservatism is a sociopathic illness.

One point regarding Sebastian's reference to Oliver Stone making a "deeply misleading movie." I assume Seb is talking about "JFK."

Someone said at the time that "JFK" was the worst movie they ever loved. I kind of go along with that. First off: it's based on real events but turns out to be, in this viewer's mind, a great riff, not on the event itself, but political paranoia in America on a wide scale and particularly the very real paranoia that followed the assassination in 1963 and the years of paranoia regarding alleged coverups.

The movie touches a nerve of paranoia run amuck. It is not a presentation of the facts of the case; it is a presentation of every crackpot and legitimate theory rattling around in the creeped out American psyche.

Plus, Oliver Stone, whom I hold no brief for, has as his main individual villain in the movie -- a Democrat -- not to mention the Democrat responsible for the liberal social initiatives of that era.

Imagine if you will the assassination today of a Republican President under similar mysterious circumstances. Imagine, say, three years of "entertainment" about such an event by Rush Limbaugh and the demagogic talk-radio machine today.

I would also like to see a debate between Limbaugh and Sebastian. Subject: "How many of Limbaugh's utterances does he (Limbaugh)believe are fact and how many does he believe are political theatre?"

Who would walk out of the debate first? Who would return to his studio and tell 20 million listeners that his debate opponent was a RHINO who undermines the Republican effort and, indeed, America itself?

And would Sebastian believe what he heard on the radio the next day? Or is it just entertainment? Twenty million true believers against one guy with a theory and an open mind?

Now, have the same debate with Oliver Stone. What would happen? Nothing.

Thought experiment: What is the overlap between those who believe "JFK" exposed the truth of that event and those who believe every spittle-flecked word Limbaugh utters? Also, how many of that subset wish LBJ had been assassinated, too because of his civil rights and "socialist" agenda?

Facts, schlmacts.

P.S. Coulter is entertainment like Tokyo Rose was a disc jockey. Coulter is entertainment like the anti-gay marriage amendment is a practical joke.

P.P.S.: Be aware, of course, that later today I literally believe I'm going to have two martinis, jump in my Aston Martin, and steal the head of S.P.E.C.T.O.R.'s hot girlfriend.

steal the head of S.P.E.C.T.O.R.'s hot girlfriend.

Phil Spector? That's just cold...

I should also note, a little less frivolously, that the most famous Tokyo Rose, a woman by the name of Iva Toguri D'Aquino, was convicted of treason despite being cleared by MacArthur's staff as well as the Justice Department, largely on perjured testimony and was pardoned by Gerald Ford.

I figured someone would do the Phil Spector joke.

LJ, good fact on Ms. D'Aquino. Yet another riff ruined by someone forever seeking out the world's facticity. Damn.

I thought I should point out that Voltaire's "Candide" is not accurate in all of its particulars and when Buster Keaton did his own stunts that doesn't mean his movies are documentaries. ;) Well, I'm pretty sure.

John Miller:

I am sure that Coulter blasted Bush for using a daughter of a 9/11 victim in his campaign, or using relatives of victims as guests of SOTU speeches. What, she didn't?
According to the interview that Coulter gave Tucker Carlson, that was Bush's job. I do admit to being impressed that Carlson was able to admit to having felt that was wrong, even if it was only to try to give Coulter a chance to pull her foot out of her mouth about the "enjoying their husbands deaths" BS.

Sebastian:

The problem you have with Limbaugh is the same problem people like Limbaugh have with Oliver Stone. Both entertain in ways that can mislead the unwary.
The number of people who claim that Limbaugh is telling the truth in his little daily festival of spin far outnumber those who claim that Stone is doing so in his movies.

KenB:

That the righty ones are more accepted by mainstream republicans than the lefty ones are by mainstream democrats?
That's the bunny.

Sebastian again:

Ann Coulter isn't a spokeswoman for the Republican Party.
And yet she regurgitates the party's talking points with incredible frequency and volume.

Slatibartfast:

Conservatives are not exactly overjoyed at Coulter's latest.
And yet so many of them are falling over themselves to excuse what she said.

And yet so many of them are falling over themselves to excuse what she said.

You have anyone in mind, here?

"And yet she regurgitates the party's talking points with incredible frequency and volume."

So what does that make her? A wannabe?

"The number of people who claim that Limbaugh is telling the truth in his little daily festival of spin far outnumber those who claim that Stone is doing so in his movies."

Considering what I've heard otherwise intelligent people say about the JFK assassination since the movie I'm not at all sure that is true.

However, in proof that there is in fact a God:

Fafblog's back!!!

*dances the dance of ever-so-scrutable joy!*

Let me put it this way, Sebastian. Can you understand that it's hardly comforting to liberals that millions of conservatives find Coulter's talk of invading Arab countries, killing their leaders and converting them to Christianity, or Rush's fantasies of an America with only a handful of liberals left on display pour encourager les autres, or Bill O'Reilly's desire that San Francisco be attacked by terrorists? That such ideas can be considered "a bit of fun" is rather scary.

You have anyone in mind, here?

Well, let's put it this way. In the past couple days, I've seen a half-dozen or so right-wing blogs condemn Coulter's remarks. And then the comments section is split about 50-50 between those who agree and those who think that Coulter was exactly right, dammit, and those widows are a bunch of Kerry-loving witches.

There seems to be substantial support for Coulter's point of view, even though the bloggers I respect have been commendably responsible. I'm not just cherry-picking one or two comments when I say this.

"That such ideas can be considered "a bit of fun" is rather scary. "

Of course I can understand it. It is the same reason why I'm not particularly thrilled about the excuse "pandering for domestic consumption" when Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad talk about wiping Israel off the map in the context of the Iranian nuclear program.

Sebastian,
But the difference lies in the fact that I think your average right type has more influence on the political discourse in the US than the average left type who might suggest that it is pandering for domestic consumption has over political discourse in Iran...

"Of course I can understand it. It is the same reason why I'm not particularly thrilled about the excuse "pandering for domestic consumption" when Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad talk about wiping Israel off the map in the context of the Iranian nuclear program."

Hey, you don't have to convince me on that front. Ahmadinejad scares the bejeesus out of me.

"But the difference lies in the fact that I think your average right type has more influence on the political discourse in the US than the average left type who might suggest that it is pandering for domestic consumption has over political discourse in Iran..."

I'm not worried about the average left type who says something about Ahmadinejad. I'm worried about Ahmadinejad. If you think Bush is influenced by Rush I guess you can worry. I don't think he is so while I'm worried about Rush (and Coulter and Moore and Stone) I'm not nearly as worried as I am about Ahmadinejad.

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