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ISSUE #115
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Features

ArrowPresident Rubber vs. Speaker Glue
Pelosiís scarf and GOP barf

Allan Uthman

ArrowIn Defense of Ann Coulter?
Conservatives have a right to be assholes, just like real people

Paul Fallon

ArrowWithdrawal Symptoms
Iraq timetable’s a political fix

Matt Taibbi

ArrowJesus Christ!
People will believe anything

Ian Murphy

ArrowWhat, Me Worry?
Iranians aren’t scared of a U.S. attack

Russ Wellen

ArrowLandslide of Failure
The battle for election integrity is led by... the Governor of Florida?

Brad Friedman

ArrowDeregulation Killed my Cat
Food contamination: the Bush legacy

Allan Uthman

ArrowThe Whining Minority
Republican congressman turns from bully to baby

Matt Taibbi

ArrowIt's tax time again and I want to maul you
A.Rabid Dog

ArrowContradictum
Self-refuting quotations from the world of politics

ArrowBonobos vs. Chimps
A Debate for Lemur Philosophers

A. Monkey

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Censored Chocolate Jesus

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Are We Done Yet?, Grindhouse, Blades of Glory, Pride, Reign Over Me, The Lookout, The Reaping, Perfect Stranger, Vacancy, Fracture

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
A Very Thin Hope, Classy, Mile High Club, Equal Rights Harassment, Kiwi Fruit and more

  In Defense of Ann Coulter?
Conservatives have a right to be assholes, just like real people
Paul Fallon

The apparent widespread condemnation of an Ann Coulter joke that included an “anti-gay slur” of Democrat Presidential contender John Edwards (she insinuated he was a faggot) prompted Newsweek's designated Democrat soccer-mom columnist Anna Quindlen to announce the “national snarkfest is on its way out, and good riddance.”

In her March 19th  Newsweek column, Quindlen declared political trash talk dead, because the “public has outgrown it.” Reading that the American public had outgrown the likes of Ann Coulter made me laugh harder than I did at Coulter's surprisingly funny joke. 

I believe Anna Quindlen represents a far greater danger, and a much more mendacious segment of political punditry, than Coulter. It is the segment, especially ascendant in its support for the Democratic Party, that enforces a code of bland mediocrity on political discourse. They see any quarrelsome speech as a threat to civility and public order, a notion far more protective of the status quo than the lunatic ravings of even the most unrepentant Ann Coulter.

Don’t get me wrong here—I find most of what Coulter has to say patently ridiculous and often vile. But Coulter has gotten rich saying much worse things. Where was Quindlen on these gems of political sludge?

“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”

“They’re [Democrats] always accusing us of repressing their speech. I say let’s do it. Let’s repress them. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of the First Amendment.”

 “God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, ‘Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.’”

“I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and
sending liberals to Guantanamo.”

“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war.”  

If these slipped by, does Coulter’s “faggot” gem deserve the barrage of scorn that Quindlen and other political nannies have unleashed? First, let's examine the offending “joke.”

At the most recent Conservative Political Action Conference Ann Coulter gave a typically idiotic speech and ended it by saying, “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.” There's no doubt the gay community takes serious issue with the use of the word faggot, although its offensiveness can hardly be seen in the same league as “nigger.” When looking at Coulter's use of faggot you can't ignore that she was using it in the context of baiting the enforcers of politically correct speech. Given Coulter's fondness for invective (and the fact that virtually every liberal blogger who made a fuss about this has called her “Mann Coulter” at some point), she legitimately has a bone in that fight.

Putting Coulter's joke in that context requires that the “have to go into rehab if you use the word faggot” reference be seen in light of last year's Hollywood scandal involving cast members of ABC's hospital crapfest Grey's Anatomy. In the Golden Globe Awards pressroom, after Grey's Anatomy had won an award, a member of the press asked about an alleged incident that happened previously on the show's set. One of the show's stars, Isaiah Washington, allegedly called gay fellow cast member T.R. Knight a faggot. Responding to the reporter's question, Washington said, “No, I did not call T.R. a faggot.” Whether Washington actually did or not is in dispute, but the kicker is this: The fact that he used the word faggot in his denial of using the word faggot was enough to set off a storm of controversy in Hollywood and got substantial coverage in the mainstream press.  Washington eventually apologized for “repeating the word,” and entered anger counseling in order to exercise his miscreant demons.

So when Ann Coulter used the word faggot in reference to John Edwards, she knew she was launching an incendiary device.  It was certainly launched at the protectors of banal speech and the genteel southern gentleman, but I think it's a stretch to consider it an attack on homosexuals. John Edwards isn't generally thought of as gay nor has he come out of the closet (if she had used the word faggot to describe Barney Frank it would be a direct attack on his sexuality and the gay community or anyone else would have every right to object to the use of such an epithet—but I doubt it would resonate half as much). In the context that Coulter used the word, it doesn't merit the insane condemnation that followed.

Quindlen

Fagitude Index


page 2

 

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