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June 8 2006

There Goes That Neutrality Again

I try to walk a thin line here and not cross in to politics more than I can help it, but somedays, something so insanely stupid happens, I just have to.

Ann Coulter is an internet troll.

There, I’ve said it, it’s out there. For those of you unfamiliar with her, Ms. Coulter is a political pundit who shows up a lot on the “talking head” shows. You know the kind, “Tonight we have Ann Coulter from Washington D.C. and Billy Bob from Tulsa, OK with us…”. She has also written five books, with the latest being Godless: The Church of Liberalism and she has a syndicated newspaper column.

Now, I usually ignore her because she says a lot of things just for the attention. I kind of view her like the David Blaine of political pundits. She is all about her own self-promotion, and doing whatever she can to keep the spotlight firmly on herself. If you have ever listened to her talk, it is fairly obvious she isn’t nearly as up on the subjects she is discussing as she would like you to believe, but yet she constantly gets on TV because she is loud and abrasive.

My usual tact with her is just to laugh and turn the channel, but this time her comments are so over the top, so disgusting, they have to be mentioned. In her new book she attacks a group of 9/11 victims wives as being self-obsessed and enjoying their husbands deaths for the attention it brings them. The exact quotes are:

“These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

and

“And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren’t planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they’d better hurry up and appear in Playboy. . .”

The irony is not lost on me that I am playing right in to her little self-promotion charade, but there is a point where shameless self-promotion crosses a line in to downright evil. Ms. Coulter is, of course, entitled to her opinion, that’s what makes this country great, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it or support her in any way. (Yes, I linked to her book on Amazon only for the reference, but I hope everyone will restrain from ordering it) Ms. Coulter has a long history of stirring up controversies, not the least of which, involved her suggesting women shouldn’t have the right to vote, so I am sure this is just yet another in that long line of attempts to garner more attention for herself.

As you can see from the above links, she does have a pattern of saying outlandish statements, but she always seems to get away with it. What I am getting kick out of is that it seems that Ms. Coulter is losing all her friends over this latest stunt. She may have finally gone too far. In an Associated Press article, I found the following:

“New York’s Republican Gov. George Pataki also voiced anger and surprise at Coulter’s words.

“I was really stunned and I don’t think it’s at all fair or accurate,” Pataki said Wednesday in New York.

“I have spoken with many, many grieving family members and the hurt is real, the pain is real, the suffering four and a half years later has not lessened to any appreciable degree,” he said.”

Now, who am I more likely to listen to? Governor Pataki, who has been dealing with these family members and the aftermath of 9/11, or a woman who is out to promote her latest book and needs all the publicity she can get?

None of this is to say that the 9/11 widows should be immune to commentary on what they do. Again, what makes this country great is you can say pretty much anything you want, but one would always hope you could use some tact in saying it. To say that these widows are “enjoying” their husbnads deaths is just absurd. And the suggestion that their husbands may have been contemplating to divorce them? Does she have a source for this? What led her to even say such a thing? Have these women in some way personally attacked Coulter that she feels the need to lash out at them in such a manner? And did she, even for a second, think of the other family members, such as children, that may see all of this? Doubtful.

Back to my earlier statement about her being an internet troll. We’ve all run in to them in chat rooms and on message boards. They’re the people that say outlandish things just to get people to respond and get them all fired up. Before too long, someone comes along and says “Please don’t feed the trolls”, everyone giggles and ignores said troll, they don’t go and put them on national TV again and again.

Please don’t feed the Ann Coulter troll.



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