30 July 2002

It's All the Liberals' Fault

Sorry, I just gave away the ending to Ann Coulter's bestseller Slander, Liberal Lies About the American Right. Her new book has stirred it up, from the flocks of freepers to the fawning Fox News figureheads who proudly march behind their annointed conservative diva to the assaults from the apostles of the left. Basically, the way I read Coulter is that if you disagree with her, you are a hate filled liberal. William Safire is a liberal because he voted for Clinton, Warren Buffet is a liberal because he opposed Bush's tax cut, NE Republicans are liberal, anyone who is pro-choice is a liberal, etc. ... And if you are a liberal, it means:
  • You're hateful
  • You hate America
  • You hate Christians
  • You hate all religions except Islam
  • You're elitist
  • You're racist
  • You like criminals
  • You hate police
  • You have contempt for the middle class
  • You're a snob

Heck, that's only in the first two chapters. I'm not going to mention the inaccuracies and fabrications within this tarnished tome - others have already dissected the foibles. Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler has penned an entire series, following all of the footnotes and examining the credibility. He claims she's made up the Lexis-Nexis numbers and/or outright lied. Also, many examples of how she demonically twisted things out of context are unravelled. And the freepers are going ape over a two part piece by Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times on the errors and invective in her work. Roeper's first column was titled 'Ann Coulter, Meet the Truth Police'. Dismissing those charges (you can judge on your own merits) for the present time, one of my big issues with her ranting is that anybody can randomly select some vitriolic words and construe them to make whatever argument desired. Without context, words can be misunderstood. It's like that Simpsons episode where Homer goes on the Rock Bottom show, and they splice the video bits to make him appear guilty. Coulter is performing the same trick.

A bigger problem for me with Miss Coulter is one that plagues many a contemporary conservative - blatant hypocrisy.

If you thought Coulter was finished chiding Clinton and calling him public enemy number one, well there's still plenty of Clinton bashing in here. Not that Clinton is my favorite all-time president, but to label him a criminal while branding another adulterer, Rudy Giuliani, a "honorable man" is the height of hypocrisy. Coulter extolls the virtues of Newt Gingrich, a man who left his hospital residing, ill stricken wife for another younger female. At least Mr. Clinton adopted a course of resolution and pledged to work at rebuilding his marriage and maintaining his family.

Then we come to the crux of the book - that the media is all a bunch of liberal elitists, who term their leftist ideology centrist and anyone who disagrees with that dogma is an extremist conservative. Never mind what the public's view on the issues are, just because Ronald Reagan won in a electoral landslide in the 80's, that proves that Americans reject liberals and genuflect before the great populist conservative. I do believe the national media (and now the local media as corporate media merger mania intensifies) is "elitist", but to me, I believe it's more of a conservative tilt than liberal tilt, especially on economic issues. On social issues, like abortion and guns, there probably is some truth about a left leaning media. But examine closely the priorities of the new media hegemony - it's not in favor of labor or workers (workers are invisible in news stories, and Gannent who I hear the KFashYIst fanbois fangals raise thier ire against is staunch anti-labor and has been one of the biggest union busters in the news business), it's all for deregulation, especially the kind that enables it to grow larger via consolidation, and it wears on it's sleeve the concern of the corporate lords, as these media conglomerates are one and the same.

Coulter cries out that conservative writers and thinkers are censored and suppressed, yet I've seen her on just about every talk show imaginable, and I don't even watch TV much - but I've seen here on John Stewart show, Donahue, several Fox News Channel shows, CNN, etc. ... She handles herself very well in front of the TV camera, but Stewart of the Daily Show skewered her, sort of. He made the comment that he didn't understand all of this liberal vs. conservative stuff, that issues weren't always in black and white like that. To which she agreed with him, thus confessing that her book indeed is a sham, as that's the premise of her entire book, that liberal hates conservative, and that anyone who doesn't agree with her vision is a "liberal".

Finally, Coulter ends with a diatribe on how maligned the "religious right" is, and the role this "bogeyman" plays for the "conspiratorial" "atheist left". Um, let me toss you a clue bone here, Ann - Falwell, Robertson, and others of their ilk get grief because a majority of Americans and a good preponderance of Christians wish to express that these self appointed charlatans speak not for the public, but for thier own twisted motives. Coulter uses the 2000 national election exit poll results to back her claim that the religious right is not as polarized as other voting blocs. The proof is spurious, as citing statistics about how archetypal denominations cast their votes obscures the "religious right" segments. Although, Coulter should examine those numbers a bit more closely - her cries of liberal elitism are debunked there - as income rises, so does the propensity to vote conservative.

About the best thing I can say about this book is it was a quick read. 205 pages of an intellectual lightweight's prattlings on how her ideological opposition is a bunch of spiteful namecallers, all the while dishing out acerbic excoriation herself. If you request another example of the endemic hypocrisy that infects today's typical conservative, you need not peer any further than the bestseller charts for Ann Coulter's latest dema-flog-uing.


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