Sunday, January 18, 2009

On the Egregious Ann Coulter, We Agree:
She's a Circus Act That Should Be Ignored

One good thing about the new cultural environment (a challenging economy that's ushering in a return to basics and the restoration of a progressive majority in the federal government) is that we can perhaps, at long last, begin to ignore the idiot fringes of the right wing (okay, we should ignore the idiot left also). That includes such distasteful figures and institutions as Rush Limbaugh, the Drudge Report and Fox News. But most of all, we should ignore the raving lunatic Ann Coulter.

We haven't mentioned her since 2003, and there's a reason. Just as I rarely complain about Fox News (because to do so gives it credit for being a news organization when it's really merely a propaganda outlet), I try not to give the oxygen of attention to these other avatars of the lunatic right. So I loved how Portfolio Magazine media columnist Jeff Bercovici scornfully called out NBC News for the way it cynically used the harpie "author" to bump up its ratings with her empty latter-day McCarthyite theatrics. For that strong and principled statement, he's just been named our man of the weekend.
UPDATE: LA Times columnist James Rainey touches on how Coulter's paleo right pal Rush Limbaugh feels energized by having a new president to lambaste.

39 Comments:

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

You had me at your post title.

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Gee, that makes me feel so Tom Cruise-ish, though without the Scientology, Oprah sofa-jumping and fake marriage, of course.

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

Oh, you must watch her sort-of appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend ...

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/update-ann-coulter/945842/

 
At 10:15 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Interesting...

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Copper said...

Probably didn't do me a bit of good, but after watching the NBC train wreck (actually peeking through my fingers at one of the worst "interviews" ever) I wrote to the station just as a voice in the wilderness, crying 'every time you have her on, I turn you off.' I can't be alone in thinking this. It's just...painful.

Her act is almost like a Hollywood parody. And huzzahs to Mr. Bercovici.

 
At 10:42 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You said it, brother. She does seem like a self-parody. As I wrote elsewhere, part of the difficulty of watching her circus act is knowing that she doesn't realize how ridiculous she's become, and that she's just become a complete joke to most people. Anyone who has her on the air does so basically to laugh at her, not with her. It all just makes me wince. Anyway, nice to have a new commenter join the conversation. Hope to see you back again, Copper.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You've made the case better than I ever could, TJ. Thanks. You've got the job as our West Coast correspondent, if you want it. Pay is in the high two figures, as Calvin Trillin says about his gig writing poems for The Nation. Only in this case, the figures are imaginary...

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Yes, I believe you're right about Enron. Rather than imaginary, I should have simply said that it pays in boundless appreciation from thousands of devoted readers.

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You just love to rub my nose in it, don't you? In retaliation, I'm going to try to track down one of your parents or siblings, in hopes they might share a photo of you from your earlier (presumably pasty-faced, sun-deprived)Motown incarnation.

 
At 3:58 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Touche. Okay, we won't do that. But I think you know she'd go for the jugular way more aggressively than that. She's a Connecticut Carnivore, that one.

 
At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You libs just bust me up. I enjoy seeing you libs cringe when a conservative media type attacks and says stuff you do not want to hear. All you "gentle readers" just get all flustered and go postal over Ann Coulter, Rush, Drudge, etc. I also find it interesting that the majestic gentle reader editor who spent some time in Chicago has not referenced the great governor of Illinois, "Blago" in his blogs. mfh

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Ah, our favorite Dittohead (Rush Limbaugh fan)! How nice to have you back in the conversation. As for Blago, illuminate me on why I should be interested in that story, or why I should take note of it.

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well.... let's start out with that your President is product of Chicago style politics where payoffs, corruption are the norm. The new chief of staff for the President is a product of that culture. We are talking about President Obams's former Senate seat that i am sure he would want to have someone in alignment with his legislative agenda. Blago is looking for the biggest payoff possible and to think that some how no one from the Obama team did not contact or want to know what the price would be is simply dillusional. But...hey we are talking Dems, libs, etc. so that is ok. We look the other way. If this was Rove or a R- you would talking about how pathetic this is etc.
In fact why don't you mention how much money is being spent on Obama's inaugaration- $170 M. ?? Times are tough, we need to share in everyone's misery...Spending that kind of money does not send a correct message even if Goerge Soros donated all the money. I notice you don't even question all the campaign monies that Obama Camapign team cannot tie to a source. Hey...that's ok. You are the same gentle reader that told me a year ago that Obama did not have a chance to be elected president. Some where i have your e-mail.
I will send you free tickets to the Ann Coulter Circus- perhaps you will learn something. mfh

 
At 4:20 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

There's corruption--often systematic corruption--in every big city and every level of government. Blago happened to be caught by wiretap, but if the FBI had been listening in on, say, our outgoing Senator George Voinovich, they'd have some similarly actionable material. I've talked to people who witnessed large amounts of money being given to his then chief of staff when he was governor. Do you imagine he didn't know about that? So that's not excusing Blago, of course, merely observing that it's not so unusual. Blago was simply more ham-handed than most dirty pols.

As for the cost of Obama's coronation (and I'm not remotely a defender of his or even a major fan, merely an observer), I believe I read a couple of reports that noted that the majority of the cost--all but about $45 million--is for security. So that number is misleading.

As for the charge of once not having believed that America would elect a black president (well, half black) with the middle name of Hussein, I stand happily convicted. I continue to shake my head in wonder at how it happened, as do many Americans. It almost seems to have required just a touch of divine intervention. But of course much of the reason it happened is that the Bush gang of bully boys and ignoramuses made such a thorough hash of everything that they smoothed the way for Obama.

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

But let's get back to Ann Coulter for a moment, if we can. Can you please enlighten us on how we're wrong to consider her a running joke? What is it exactly that we're missing about her that we should be taking seriously?

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

You lost me at "Anonymous."

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

... with a hat tip to Michelle O'Neil, of course, for playing off her intro to these comments.

 
At 7:46 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Let's hope Mr. Not-So-Anonymous (he's actually an oooooooold friend of mine who once took me to lunch in a "Rush Room," where people used to listen to the Limbaugh show over lunch, and who still enjoys busting my chops with his paleoconservative politics) comes back to re-engage on this issue.

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

Oh, now I get it. In that case, allow me to retort ... That's President Barack Hussein Obama. Na na na na na.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Better to gloat about that than the weather in LA, I say.

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

Gonna rain tomorrow. Yay!

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

That's good. That'll give the smog a good washing, and perhaps make it passably easier to breathe, right?

 
At 5:49 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

We've actually had a good string of amazingly clear blue-skied, 80-plus days here. But, the rain is very welcome, with or without an abundance of smog to clear away. We're in the midst of a drought, so we definitely need it.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

side note ... up until last week, when we lost the best radio station LA has seen in a while ... the director David Lynch was doing daily weather reports online. Here's a link to his last one.

http://www.davidlynch.com/dailyreport/

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

The bizarre idea of David Lynch doing weather reports made me roar. I assume you saw his masterpiece, the alluringly bizarre Blue Velvet (simply cannot believe that movie is now more than 20 years old). Can't quite get the image of a naked Isabella Rossellini out of my mind, nor of that crazy oxygen-imbibing character Frank. Just an unforgettable movie.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:10 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Love it. I especially love that subhead, which really pulls a reader in. Who could resist finding out more about "the inhabitants included a hitchhiker, a dead owl, a baby skunk, and an elk's head"? That's an interesting beta site, which I assume is for the NBC affiliate in LA. Are you writing directly for them, or are they repurposing your stuff from elsewhere?

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger TJ Sullivan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:35 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Very cool. Do keep us posted on that front, and we'll also be sure to check back on the progress of this site.

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now go to TJ's website and see the ad on the top of the page. You will die laughing.

http://www.tjsullivanla.com/blog.html

Ann really gets around I guess, huh TJ? Did you know it was there?

 
At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On returning, the ad for Ann Coulter was gone, but the crisp photography and wonderful articles remained.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Geoff Schutt said...

I'm curious about all of the "comment deleted" posts. Did somebody change his/her mind all of those times? Really?

As for Ms. Coulter, in a few years, we'll be saying a collective: "Who?"
She's nearing the end of her time in the spotlight, as it were.

Still, she does "inspire" discussion. And I use discussion in the calmest sense of the word. I refuse to let myself get worked up over Ann Coulter.

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

You're taking precisely the right tack about Coulter, Geoff. Not much there to get worked up about. As for TJ's deleted comments, I imagine he may have begun feeling a tad uncomfortable over how much interest another commenter was suddenly taking in his work. Writers sometimes have a sixth sense about what's appropriate enthusiasm and interest from readers and what feels like the early onset of cyberstalking, even though I don't think that was the commenter's intent.

 
At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You libs crack me up about Ann Coulter...at least the conservatives have some babes out there like Sarah Palin, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Ann Coulter....now let's see who do the libs have....um ...Rachel Maddow, Donna Brazile ??? mfh

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Elizabeth Hasselbeck? Who's that? A TV talking head, no doubt (enlighten me, someone). If you think Ann Coulter is attractive, I think it may be time to get those glasses checked. Or maybe it's just that she's got so much anger and ugliness inside that the outside seems so unattractive to so many (me included).

As for your latter point, we have the quaint notion that their smarts are at least as important as their looks. Besides, perhaps you're forgetting attractive left of center women such as Naomi Wolf, Dee Dee Myers, Eleanor Mondale and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Any more names to add, anyone? And MFH, if you need to locate any more for personal reasons, I recommend you try this:

http://www.matchmaker.com/mm/girls-single/kansas-liberal.htm

 

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