Two quick things regarding the Ann Coulter matter. One is from Charles Anderson, who wrote an article that appeared on truthout.org. The other is a comment from me.
Both have in common this essential point. What is shameful about Ann Coulter is not so much that her conduct is atrocious and vicious and fundamentally dishonest. That simply proves that there are terrible people in the world, which is not any great revelation. What is most shameful is that there are important and powerful parts of our world that grant her so high a status and so prominent a platform.
What is deeply disturbing is what her role in our society says about our society.
While Coulter's pithy, satiric remarks drew laughs from her primarily college-age audience, David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, CPAC's primary sponsor, sought to distance himself from Coulter's comments by issuing the following statement on March 5, 2007:
"Ann Coulter is known for comments that can be both provocative and outrageous. That was certainly the case in her 2007 CPAC appearance and previous ones as well. But as a point of clarification, let me make it clear that ACU and CPAC do not condone or endorse the use of hate speech."
If that were the case, then why was Coulter invited to speak at CPAC in spite of her use of hate speech at the 2006 convention, and why didn't the mainstream media ask that question of CPAC's sponsors? Moreover, why, in spite of her abusive and crass style of commentary, have the media continued to invite Coulter on the talk show circuit at all? The fact that mainstream media outlets such as CNN and Fox News both invited Coulter to "tell her side" of the CPAC incident gives the false impression that there are two equally credible sides of debate on this issue. On neither network was Coulter's appearance balanced by a "liberal" counterpart of equal stature, nor is "her side" credible in light of her history of derogatory comments and grandstanding. Additionally, both networks debated whether "f*ggot" qualifies as a "hate term" and both networks clearly missed the point. Regardless of whether the term was "hate speech" or simply a "schoolyard taunt" as Coulter claims, resorting to name-calling is simply more suited to a grade school playground than a nationally renowned convention such as CPAC. Coulter's antics were at best sophomoric comedy and at worst represent a reckless disregard for human decency that has become all too common in contemporary American politics; shame on the mainstream media for not saying so.
From Andrew Schmookler
The spirit behind Ann Coulter is not hard to discern. She is cruel, and she is unremittingly bitter and contemptuous.
I would like to ask the Christian conservatives who have celebrated her as their champion in the political arena: Is that the stance that Jesus asked people to have in this world?
How does the spirit behind her relate to that of the man who said: love thine enemies, turn the other cheek, blessed are the peacemakers?
What does it say about your Christianity that you would choose to empower a voice like that of Ann Coulter?