June 13, 2006

Without Ann Coulter

Last night I had the pleasure of watching Larry King Live without Ann Coulter. They were talking about her. Talking about her without her there to flick her long blond locks and to interrupt the host after he or she delivered the first three words of a sentence.

It was great.

In recent weeks, I've followed the media circus around Ann Coulter's new book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism. The main beef with the book is that she calls widows of 9-11 derogatory names like harpies and rails against the use of their misfortunes for political clout. I really don't have much to say about claims for or against the claim, uness you read into the things I've already written, but I do want to agree with one host's assertion that she is the right's Michael Moore.

I don't think I've ever seen so much publicity mongering in my life, that is, except for Branjolina's escape to Nimibia. She has made the rounds on practically every network. The television audience can't escape her mane-flicking clutches.

And the most ironic thing that everyone knows she has profit written all over her. The networks get the ratings, she gets more readers, and writing this blog, I'll probably get a spike in my counter because of Coulter name-searchers hitting this page. I expect negative feedback, and especially some four-letter words from either side, but that's the fun of it, right?

She's a golden calf that we all like to see and worship until the media commandments, namely no. 1: move on to a newer, fresher story, will deliver us from the Coulter insanity that has once more claimed the airwaves.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at June 13, 2006 11:07 AM | TrackBack

Oh Amanda, nice to hear some of your venting, but lets leave Branjolina out of this. =)

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at June 13, 2006 7:11 PM

Hear this: freedom of speech and all the typical shouts in defense of liberal politics stand also for those of the conservative as well. While I have not read Coulter's latest book (though I do plan to, as I enjoy her writing), I stand behind her and her politics.

If liberals can shamelessly praise their Moore's flatulence, I, without shame, can praise Coulter for her wit, writing, and presence in the face of criticism. If she's being mirrored as his opposite, at least she has tact and goes about her business intelligently.

Posted by: Karissa at June 13, 2006 11:40 PM

She has worse arguments than in her book. She's the 'good' conservative wife, note her black spandex and body shots on her book; such Reformist Conservative Romanticism.

She tries to act like a model, but who's model? I'd rather she modeled and helped Red Cross than wrote her books. It's what the conservatives would want...but they like their white females who tell other women to keep in line.

Godless: The Liberal Church. Liberals actually have the more definable "God" of the Gospel. Jesus didn't condem abortion, so therefore it becomes an interpretation. However, he did preach a concern for the poor and a relation in diversity. Severing ties from those who commanded tradition into their own dominance.

Rant? Yes please...

Posted by: Stephan Puff at June 14, 2006 1:46 PM

As I said in the blog, I really don't have anything to say publicly about Ann Coulter's claims, but I do about the way she says it.

I think she's a genius marketer, but I do not believe she has tact. If any other person went on Matt Lauer and interrupted in the same way, they'd get the same amount of publicity as, say, Tom Cruise who called him "glib", but the publicity would not be in favor of the interrupting party. Cruise has been called crazy for his behavior, and Coulter gets props for her insulting rhetoric.

The way she puts herself out there is as a novelty of politics--an extreme--just as Michael Moore has portrayed himself in the public eye.

Agreement or disagreement, there is a way to present an argument.

She can say what she wants to say, and tact is in the eye of the beholder, but personally, I'm switching my t.v. off when I see her pinched mouth move.

Posted by: Amanda at June 14, 2006 7:29 PM

Declaring an open mind is a beautiful thing when you can choose to close it to whatever you say you dislike for the sake of disliking it, and still claim to have an open mind. Opinions are welcome, but informed ones are embraced.

Read the book and maybe then let's talk.

That's what we do for every last classroom discussion anyway, which is why I'm having a hard time with all the interviews on television. All of the Democrats chosen for the averse position haven't read the book. I haven't seen a single interview where one of them has read Ann's book. Until you're an authority on the text as a reader, I don't want to hear what you "think." I don't put stock in statements of opinion, same as I would broach in any classroom.

I just bought Ann's book yesterday at B&N for a great price. Chapter one down.

Posted by: Karissa at June 15, 2006 10:29 PM

My blog was purely about her public persona and not about her claims--any of them. Coulter can have her opinions, but how she presents them in person is offensive, and as Girl Meets World is a statement of my opinon--of informed opinion on Ann Coulter's behavior on television (which this blog was about)--what I said stands.

The reality of what I personally believe may or may not align with Coulter, but her approach to these subjects is enough to turn any supporter of her stance off and to infuriate her opposition to the cut-throat measures one sees on television.

While I do support the informed method that you prescribe, Karissa, my blog was not about her book at all. I was merely commenting on her outrageous behavior on the tube and the cash-cow status that America has made out of her.

Enjoy your reading. Who knows, she might be a completely different person in print... I know I am. However, I don't foresee my order jacking up her Amazon ranking. Maybe an Inter-Library Loan sometime...down the road...

Posted by: Amanda at June 15, 2006 11:52 PM

I don't like making political statements on my blog. Have you noticed? I'm just covering my arse like a good journalist. I can't be too careful these days.

Posted by: Amanda at June 15, 2006 11:54 PM

The only thing I have to say in response to that, Amanda, is that the four letter word I have in mind, pertaining to the book and this conversation specifically, is "read."

Say what you want to say and need to say. I'm glad you do, and that's why you've got a blog. I'm not attacking your choice to not read it or to wait to read it, nor am I attacking you in general, but in addressing Ann's demeanor while she's standing in defense of her work is most nearly criticizing her work, without analysis. There're reasons for everything in life, including argumentative interviews. There is a persona one must take on when being interviewed so brashly, I'm sure.

Reading to be informed is not a particularly arduous task, which is why I didn't understand reasoning behind making statements with political scents while not wishing to incite political conversation. Covering your "arse," as you say, is valorous, but have heart.

No one is forcing anyone to make political statements here. I'm more than happy to make my own by repudiating others, however. And by "others" I mean anyone.

Posted by: Karissa at June 16, 2006 10:49 PM

One of the first things I learned as a journalist is that objectivity is, at best, something to be strived for, but rarely attained. I knew readers would pick up on these "political scents," but as I originally stated, I did not want the politics to become the thrust of the discussion. Readers could read into whatever they want; and, from this discussion, I can see that my brain has had attempted picking.

While Coulter may be defending her work, I was commenting on the way she defended it. As for "most nearly" criticizing her work, I did not make any remarks about her book or her opinions. I made sure to steer clear of that; I merely gave a summation of what the conversation was about between Coulter and the hosts of the plethora of shows in which she appeared.

To be sure, Coulter is into politics, but I am not. I am into critiquing culture in its many forms, and Coulter is a prime example of our culture on display.

Funny, but my review of her television appearances is an ironically accurate representation of American perception in its unread judgment. How many people will buy the book to say they did, stick it on a shelf and never pick it up, however, at a party (or whatever), they'll make like they know what Coulter's all about by recalling what they saw on t.v.? Though I'm stipulating wildly, I think it is a more common tune for the illiterate America that we are becoming...but that's another blog entirely. Does it make it wrong to pass judgment on Coulter based on her television appearances? I guess not; she seems all for the tube as a medium to convey herself.

Simply put, Coulter plays up her public persona to sell her books, but at the expense of taste.

Maybe next time I'll pick someone like Jennifer Lopez to critique. I've done it before, and in a similar fashion as this, and did not receive such comments.

Or maybe I'll take on Michael Moore. Does he have any public appearances coming up?

Posted by: Amanda at June 17, 2006 12:44 AM

If Coulter and Moore were really political figures, they'd be running for office. They, and lots of other people like them, are in the culture business.

Politicians need to fire up the fringes in order to get elected, but they have to learn the art of compromise in order to get anything done once they're elected to office. Coulter and Moore aren't intersted in compromose, so we can't really judge them according to the same criteria that we use when we look at politics.

They work their way into the news pages because people are curious about celebrity antics. But it's probably safe to say, Amanda, that matters of personal taste and opinion and even loaded adjectives are OK for the journalist to share in a book review (which is the genre Karissa is invoking) or a media critique (which is what you were doing when you mentioned Coulter's on-air personality).

I'd love to see a panel in which we had students analyzing a Coulter essay alongside a Moore essay, or doing a play-by-play critique of a point-by-point pro/con televised debate, in order to exanine how the artificiality and superficiality of a TV debate simplifies the issues and forces viewers into opposing camps, rather than getting them to come together to find a workable solution.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at June 17, 2006 2:25 AM

My earlier post certainly attacked Coulter, but I've read her articles on anncoulter.org. An I stand behind my statements. By book reviews, it sounds her book is the same writing. The typical conservative issues with an extreme lemon-lime twist. A lemon Pepsi product with nauseating aftertaste and unhealthy amounts of parisian sugar. So Conservatives just drink it up. Same goes for Moore however, but maybe a cheese burger simile for him.

Are extremist writers necessary? People who write and don't care about the consequences? What might Coulter or Moore's goal be? To stir us, to separate us, or to make a name for themselves.

Don't follow like sheep.
Or has that become so cliche' that people ignore the warning...and follow like sheep? Yup.

Posted by: Stephan Puff at June 18, 2006 10:43 AM
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