1. “Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now.”I easily got all these answers right, but not because I think only Colbert is trying to be funny. Coulter is trying to be funny too, as the NY Magazine guy seems to concede:
2. “There’s nothing wrong with being gay. I have plenty of friends who are going to hell.”
3. “I just think Rosa Parks was overrated. Last time I checked, she got famous for breaking the law.”
4. “Being nice to people is, in fact, one of the incidental tenets of Christianity, as opposed to other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of ‘Kill everyone who doesn’t smell bad and answer to the name Muhammad.’ ”
5. “I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Muslim, or Jewish. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.”
6. “[North Korea] is a major threat. I just think it would be fun to nuke them and have it be a warning to the rest of the world.”
7. “Isn’t an agnostic just an atheist without balls?”
Of course, I’m not trying to equate Coulter with Colbert. For starters, Coulter is a shrill, abusive demagogue and Colbert just plays one on TV. But with Coulter, there’s always been a sturdy suspicion that she is playing a character (like Colbert) and amping up the obnoxious rhetoric for maximum effect (like Colbert). When I mention the comparison to Colbert, though, he seems surprised, even unnerved. “I don’t really think about her much,” he says. “She’s a self-generating bogeyman. She’s like someone who wants attention for having been bad.” Given that he’s hosted right-wing true believers like Joe Scarborough before, and has often said he’d love to have Bill O’Reilly on the show, would he ever invite Coulter as a guest? “My sense is that she’s playing a character,” he says. “I don’t need another character. There’s one character on my show, and that’s me.”A sturdy suspicion? I should hope so. "I don’t need another character"? Ha, ha. He's right, and he knows his limits. He needs a willing straight man/woman on the other side of the table to do his act.
You know, when we first noticed Coulter doing various political shows -- I think it was back in the mid-90s -- we were always saying "Why is that woman laughing?," "She's always laughing," "There's that woman again who's always laughing," etc. No matter what she said, she'd be laughing, as though every damned thing that happened in politics was hilarious to her and everything comment she made completely cracked her up. You might not think what she is saying is funny, but I think she's motivated by comic energy, and the people who like her are picking up on the fun.