Every six months or so, reliable as clockwork, we're treated to some grotesquely bilious new statement from Ann Coulter. Lefties roar. Some righties run for cover. Others look the other way or bow their heads in half-apology. Cable news stations dive headlong into another easy-to-moralize-on filler topic perfectly suited for the 24 hour news cycle. And round and round we go.
This weekend, as you must've seen, and if you haven't click here, Coulter shocked no one with her latest foray into clownery, effectively calling John Edwards a "faggot." It was by no means the first time she'd suggested that a major Democratic figure was gay. She saddled Bill Clinton with that one last year, which led to this excellent Letterman bit:
(She also called Al Gore gay. But all in good fun!)
What's curious to me about the woman Andrew Sullivan once nailed as a "drag queen fascist impersonator" isn't that she keeps saying these things--nobody with functioning gray matter should be surprised at this point--it's that she's still allowed to be a part of the national discussion. Tim Hardaway, for one, went off on a nasty anti-gay tirade last week, and the NBA has since taken pains to ensure that he'll never go anywhere near a microphone again. Jimmy the Greek faded away after his racist comments. Al Campanis, too. But why is it that Coulter can defame whomever she damn well pleases in the most audacious manner possible and still be given a seat at the table? I'm not being rhetorical here. Why? Drop your opinions in the comments section. My guesses include: 1) she's too profitable a member of the publishing community; 2) political pundits essentially have tenure, making them impossible to dispose of (how else to explain David Brooks?); 3) there's a serious attraction/repulsion thing going on in watching a tall, blond, and skinny woman rowdily spew hate speech.
Anyway--and I can't believe I'm saying this--but we could all learn something from Adam Carolla:
Or from these two television reporters, who didn't bow, Alan Colmes-style, to her harpiness:
And here is a pie in the face:
I understand there are more pressing and ethically muddied issues to take on, but when are we gonna pull the plug on this lady? I'll admit, in the Clinton and early W. days, I respected her marketing savvy and used to think she was passably good entertainment--a comical counterpoint to the Franken/Moore left--but we're no longer living in relatively happy-go-lucky boom days. Our world is sordid, scary--and far too serious for a contemptuous clown like Ann to hold sway over public opinion.
[Also, this is the first entry I've posted myself. I owe a huge thanks to Mary and Winslow, whose lives I made miserable once a week for the last eight months.]