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The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter
By Joe Maguire
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2006
All right reserved.
Why Ann Coulter Must Be Stopped
"Annoyance" Starts with "Ann"
Arguments by demonization,
rather than truth and light,
can be presumed to be fraudulent.
You are (check as many of the following boxes as apply):
If you meet one or more of the preceding criteria, read on. If, on the other hand, you're one of the tiny minority of Americans who is white, male, and a staunch conservative proud of his bigotry, feel free to close this book now. Put it back on the shelf and walk out of the store.
On second thought, even if you didn't check a box, this book is for you. In fact, it's especially for you. Abbie Hoffman aside, not many authors would ask you not to buy the book they've justwritten. And this is no different. At the risk of overstating the case, what you're about to read may change the way you look at the world. And even if it doesn't, it will certainly change the way you look at Ann Coulter, who--if she is to be believed--has the only worldview worth considering.
Chances are, of course, you checked a box. After all, fewer than 20 percent of us are white, male, and Republican. And far fewer than that are the kind to shell out twenty-eight bucks to read the sort of prejudiced bile contained in Ann Coulter's latest book, Godless--the Church of Liberalism. But there it is on the New York Times bestseller list, proving yet again that we are more interested in controversy and colorful comebacks than we are in intelligent discourse. More interested in The Daily Show than the daily paper.
There's no denying that the level of political debate in this country has sunk like the Lusitania. Beyond the incomprehensible shouting that is the bread and butter of cable news shows, "serious" news programs these days offer little more than the pitting of one peevish pundit against another. The "politics of personal destruction" has gone from clever catchphrase to viable election strategy. The smear campaign is par for the political course. And while, in the words of the Boston Globe, "this darkest of the dark arts is likely to continue,"1 that doesn't mean we should let it happen without a fight. We should resist such a thing with every ounce of our political awareness. The day we have a president whose handlers are adept enough to make it seem as if he is the war hero is the day we should take a closer look at who is directing campaign traffic. The day we consider it okay to cut down opponents without offering anything of substance is the day we need to re-evaluate who it is we're listening to.
This is where Ann Coulter comes in.
Of the dozens of talking heads responsible for the increasing polarity of our politics, Ann Coulter may be the most maddening. Rather than suggest a solution, she is content to lay blame. Rather than generate a game plan, she will merely point a finger. And so this book is for those of you who want to understand the damage that people like Ann Coulter are doing to America.
I read Godless, Ann Coulter's most recent book, because I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. I had heard the quotes about the 9/11 widows and figured it was just more of the same old psycho I'd seen on TV. You know--the one who starts every response with, "Well, the liberals are wrong because . . ." no matter what the topic is. The one who thinks a hair flip and an eye roll is a rebuttal. But as I got deeper into Godless, it became increasingly apparent that she's more than just shrill finger-pointing. The arguments she makes are misleading to the point of being outright lies. On top of that, they're often irrelevant and typically directed at people rather than positions.
Normally, in the face of such blather, I'd move on and try to find something a bit more reasonable. But it's hard to ignore someone who tosses around words like "harpies" and "raghead"--especially when that person has been so sanctimonious as to utter the above quote about personal attacks. Ann Coulter is absolutely right when she says that "arguments by demonization . . . can be presumed to be fraudulent."2 Which kind of casts a shadow over . . . oh . . . just about everything she's ever written.
To Ann, having John Goodman play Linda Tripp on Saturday Night Live is just another sign that liberals aren't fighting fair. It "isn't humor, it's hatred. They aren't trying to be funny, they're trying to make their victims hurt."3 Meanwhile, it's apparently the height of rational debate when she says of four widows of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that she's "never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."4 To suggest that their husbands would soon divorce them because their "shelf life is dwindling" and they'd "better hurry up and appear in Playboy"5 is satire so sophisticated it makes Jonathan Swift look like Adam Sandler.
Coulter often claims that some of her more outrageous statements are, in fact, meant to be funny. She told Time magazine that it's the inability of people to see the joke that is the problem. "What pisses me off," she said, "is when they don't get the punch line."6 Bear in mind that this was in reference to her "joke" that God gave us the earth to "rape." Simply put, the day the distinction is lost between Swift's satiric suggestion that the Irish eat their babies and Ann's claiming our right to rape the planet is a sad one. It's the day nothing is funny anymore. "A Modest Proposal" is a classic exactly because the Irish don't eat their young . What makes the rape-the-planet reference so unfunny is that it has been a way of life for half the world's corporations since the dawn of the industrial revolution 250 years ago.
Excerpted from Brainless
by Joe Maguire
Copyright © 2006 by Joe Maguire.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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