Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Vulgar Punditry Exposed

Ed Morrissey on Ann Coulter's interview with Matt Lauer:

However, if one ever needed proof that the political spectrum resembles a circle where the extremes meet, this should provide it. In fact, it reminded me of another pundit whom the Left lionizes and the Right reviles: Ted Rall. Why Rall? Three years ago, Rall made essentially the same point in one of his crude cartoons and got rightly panned for it. It became one of the reasons that the Washington Post ended its association with Rall in 2004.

Whether Rall or Coulter says it, impugning the grief felt by 9/11 widows regardless of their politics is nothing short of despicable. It denies them their humanity and disregards the very public and horrific nature of their spouses' deaths. The attacks motivated a lot of us to become more active in politics in order to make sure our voices contribute to the debate, and it is impossible to argue that the 9/11 widows (and widowers, and children, and parents) have less standing to opine on foreign policy than Ann Coulter or Ted Rall.

In spite of her fan base, Coulter and other acerbic right wing pundits like her do not help the conservative movement. They reinforce the caricature that conservatives are mean spirited. The other unfortunate fact about Coulter is that she is a bright woman capable of better, but she seems to have chosen to rise to prominence by means of shock commentary. In that sense, she could be compared to a talented comedian that relies on the cheap shock value of vulgarity instead of the more intelligent and subtle use of his comedic gifts.


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