June 8, 2006

"Oh, please, tell me how bad I am."

Another headline. An apt one. Let me just quote my mother, what she used to say when we expressed outrage at a sibling's evildoings: "You're only encouraging him." Or, in this case, make that her. Don't help people with their PR, especially when they are using such a tediously old PR trick. Don't you have something better to think about?

24 comments:

Bob said...

It's Karl Rove's doing, I tell ya! He's in touch with all the "radical right" commentators, authors, etc., and they're all working to tweak and provoke the left, the liberals, the Democrats, et al, with the goal of getting them so spun up that they fragment before November. A side goal is to get the opposition so freaked out and shrill in responding that it draws out more right-wing voters. At the same time Mr Rove tries to keep right-wing response to Coulter-esque buffoonery from the left to a minimum. The man is an evil genius for sure.

Too Many Jims said...

"Don't you have something better to think about?"

I certainly do but in the process of determining what I have to think about that is more important than "her", I have to think about "her".

MadisonMan said...

I feel guilty commenting, knowing that Ms. Coulter wants people to talk about her. It's like talking about Michael Moore. And Ann, I hope you feel guilty creating a post about her! Don't you have something better to think about!

JohnF said...

Ann Coulter is just Jackie Mason with teeth. There is usually a kernal of truth in what she says, however over the top or funny she is in doing it--that's why she has the following she does.

Ann Althouse said...

MM: Yeah, and the next post is essentially the same thing...

Verification word: shoepjjy

Yes, my shoe is pjjy after stepping in that.

Ann Althouse said...

John: I can accept the presentation of Ann Coulter as a comedian. But then she must be judged by the standards applied to comedians. And then it's obvious that she's not funny enough.

Dave said...

Well, I'm no fan of hers but those that engage with her only seem to lend her publicity.

Sort of like engaging with trolls.

Elizabeth said...

Coulter ripped the letter in two, bodyguards pulled him away and some in the crowd tried grabbing at his lapels.

Those fans are far more worrisome than Coulter. She's a farce; they seem to be serious. Who ARE these people?

SteveR said...

Ann: I agree with your judgement of Coulter as a comedian, and she's not that funny. But I think we've blurred the line with political commentary and entertainment. Is Al Franken an astute commentator or a comedian, how about Jon Stewart, Ted Rall, Jim Carville.

As Elizabeth points out, some people fail to see beyond the "farce" and only see "news" through a window of entertainment.

I can remember people griping about how we were dumbing down the news with USA Today and CNN Headline News.

paulfrommpls said...

"It's obvious that she's not funny enough."

I gotta disagree. As one not horrified by her very perspective - that's probably a prerequisite - I find her writing is frequently laugh out loud funny. She can really come up wiht the one-liners and the surprising turns, and that's rare in print. (When she fails, it's often because she's resorted to the over the line bullshit.)

A recent example, off the top of my head: "Gary Hart, another example of what Democrats think a president should look like..."

I mean come on.

Almost every column of hers contains at least a couple great lines.

Joe said...

In defense of Coulter: yes, she is a rhetorical bomb thrower. She uses hyperbole to make her points, but as someone just pointed out, her points generally have a kernel of truth. I have only read one of her books - Slander - but I bet there are not many pundits who back up their allegations with footnotes as she does.
Those who hate her generally attack her attitude and style because they cannot engage her on the issues.

paulfrommpls said...

Amongst her predictions for gay-themed re-makes Hollywood is planning: "The Magnificent, Fabulous Seven."

Mr. Magoo said...

Look away! Look away!

A younger, skinnier, dyed blonde with a pretense to intellectualism is getting all the attention!

AlaskaJack said...

There's no question that Ann Coulter sometimes goes over the top. At the same time, Coulter's put down of Hillary's "outrage" over her comments was classic.

Jacques Cuze said...

Lurketto: w00t!

Michael Farris said...

"There is usually a kernal of truth in what she says, however over the top or funny she is in doing it"

So, the widows in question are just a little bit happy about the deaths of their husbands?

Bissage said...

Michael Farris: Was that a friendly joke or an attack?

I think John was saying simply that, more often than not, Ann Coulter speaks an essential truth.

That's a pretty luke warm endorsement.

JazzBass said...

She's using molotov cocktails instead of firecrackers to illustrate the tactics of the "left". She gets moral outrage for statements like this and calling arabs "ragheads". I reckon she deserves it.

I also reckon Dave Letterman also deserves a spanking. He said, in essence, "Kill Ann Coulter. Use O.J. to do it.". Racist and misogynistic at the same time with an implicit agreement that O.J. is guilty. What a parlay! Ah, the cruelty of humor when used to make a point.

Where's the outrage over that bon mot? You'll find none from the left.

I adore the blonde bombthrower 99% of the time. No one is above pandering at some point, plus Coulter is a lawyer. You want evidence of evil? There you go. 'Nuff said!

PatCA said...

Ann is sometimes funny. There is a kernel of truth in what she said about the widows, even though it was mean. They are human shields and above debate or criticism. But don't all these victims who become activists for whatever cause irritate you? "I just don't want it to happen to one other person" they all say, on Oprah, GMA, Fox, etc. It's secondary gain.

Once you step out into the public arena, sorry, you have to face criticism. Ann can dish it out, but she can take it, too. I don't know--can the widows say the same?

Craig Ranapia said...

Joe wrote:
I have only read one of her books - Slander - but I bet there are not many pundits who back up their allegations with footnotes as she does.

Well, as I'm sure Professor Althouse can testify, bad prose and worse thinking with footnotes up the wazoo is still rubbish. And, like her evil twin Mike Moore, it just becomes embarrasing when you check her citations (as her editor obviously can't be bothered) and it becomes painful to bust her distorting, selectively 'Dowdifying' quotes or flat out making shit up with monotonous regularity. Real scholars like Robert Conquest - who was taking down Stalinists and their apoligists decades before Coulter got her first mini-skirt - deserve better.

Now our hostess is quite right - you don't reward with attention pathological drama queens and their insatiable appetite for victimhood. But you can't ignore someone who presents herself as a serious political analyst and social commentator.

Michael Farris said...

"Was that a friendly joke or an attack?"

YES!

I perceive only two possibilities regarding Ms. Coulter.

1. She doesn't really believe a lot of the stuff she says, it's just shtick meant to move product and/or a kind of performance art.

2. She really does believe what she says, and thinks these women are glad their husbands died.

Neither possiblity says anything positive about her, her supporters or the culture that would make someone like her a celebrity.

nb. I am being _very_ restrained here.

knoxgirl said...

The same people who get outraged about Ann Coulter had no problem with Michael Moore front-and-center at the 04 convention. He's easily as bad as she is. I'd say Al Franken has permanently taken up residence in nasty territory as well.

And to make matters worse, despite their supposed feminist roots, I think the left gives Ann Coulter an *extra* dose of venom because she's female. In fact, there's a couple comments above that demonstrate that mindset nicely.

Anyway, I too, think it's possible that her presentation is not meant to be taken literally, or seriously... but I never could "lighten up" enough to enjoy Andrew Dice Clay, and I don't enjoy Ann's routine either.

Pogo said...

Coulter's insults are indeed meant to hog the camera.
Don't throw me in dat briar patch, Br'er Fox!
OK, I won't.

Marghlar said...

Regarding those widows:

I find the complaints about advocacy by directly affected groups a little odd. Surely, having something directly impact your life makes one more likely to want to get involved, and raises the personal stakes of that involvement.

But in the end, such people are proposing policies just like anyone else, which can get evaluated, considered, and either accepted or rejected on their merits. The only thing that tragedy immunizes such people from is effective ad hominem attack -- but that has no (proper) place in serious civil discourse anyway.