Reality Check with James Campion
HAIL ANN COULTER: CHAMPION OF THE DUMB
'In the grand tradition of Jerry Springer, Colonel Tom Parker
and Joseph Goebbels'
those who merely get their junk food media jones from Reality TV or
Eminem or video game violence, you are missing one of the great purveyors
of grandiose stupidity on the market today; Ann Coulter. Noted author,
and celebrated carnival barker; Coulter is the living embodiment of
modern pop culture genius, well-dressed freak show merchants masquerading
their commentary with bombastic rhetoric, mixed daringly with a waft
of jingoistic perfume.
I worship her beatific vision. Coulters efforts are noble and
sound. She knows well the avenue of history has long been open for armchair
revisionists to sidle up to the microphone and trump hyperbolic issues
and hot-button names in an ostentatious peddling of merchandise. Having
pitched a book for the past few months, I bow to her prescient supremacy.
Mostly, Coulter is a wonderful siren for our greatest attributes, the
inability to understand rudimentary ideas beyond our own prejudiced
hallucinations. No other social or political essayist possesses more
of a keen eye for P.T. Barnums vast audience of ravenous lap dogs
in the American heart.
This is a sorely needed talent in todays politically correct world
of pusillanimous frauds. She is a maverick among sheep, but Coulter
is often vilified for this, while she should be lauded as a hero for
our most precious national resource: The Dumb.
In the grand tradition of Jerry Springer, Colonel Tom Parker and Joseph
Goebbels, Coulter is merrily plugging her new cantankerous volume entitled,
"Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War To The War On Terrorism"
with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. And from recent quotes, the book
appears to brilliantly reveal how Americans understand history and its
effects on todays social fabric.
For instance, last night on MSNBC, Coulter wildly defended Senator Joseph
McCarthy as "a misunderstood American hero whose sacrifices preserved
Americas sovereignty for thirty-plus years." This is the
very same McCarthy whose incredible ride to infamy included an historic
monopoly of world-class fear mongering this democracy has ever had the
displeasure to endure.
Understand Coulters genius here. Aside from Hitler or Manson or
Nixon or Liberace, the very name McCarthy, attached as it is to a period
of madness called McCarthyism, is notable for its enviable shock quotient.
A monument to hate bating and paranoia run amok, McCarthys legacy
is nothing if not noteworthy. He was a tremendous brute of his times,
clinically insane and furiously malevolent, a true celebrity monster.
But apparently in Coulters luminous tome we relearn that McCarthys
savagely clumsy attack on basic democratic liberties was "bravery"
and that "The myth of 'McCarthyism' is the greatest Orwellian fraud
of our times." On the heels of Hillary Clintons fantastically
successful, "Living History" an embarrassingly potent
political manifesto wrapped neatly in a package of scrumptiously infantile
musings Coulters grandstanding is sublime, painfully striking,
and a clear roadmap to 21st century thought. Clintons book aimed
to put distance between her and her ass of a husband. Coulters
work puts a loving stamp on what her presidents dissenters have
dubbed "fear-mongering" in the guise of patriotism.
But Clinton is a politician, and nothing politicians have written has
really meant anything binding since "Mein Kampf". Coulter
She is a pro, in every brutal sense of the word.
Coulter writes: "Liberals are fanatical liars, then as now.
Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie."
This is excellent hyperbole, with just the right amount of stern recognition,
but having not read the entire thing, I can only assume she gets to
the bottom of these lies about McCarthy; lies which are a matter of
overly analyzed public record for half a century. But the book, or the
childish assumption that only Liberals held, or hold, McCarthy contemptible,
is not the issue here. It is the use of McCarthy as a notorious figure,
and an effigy of politics gone frightfully awry, as a weapon against
Coulters enemy, The Left.
Trashing The Left, like Senator Rodhams subtle forms of trashing
The Right in her book tour, allow both to employ an important ingredient
to mass appeal, consistency. No one wants their Bruce Springsteens jamming
funk or Bill Bennetts strung out on cheap wine and loading up on seven-figure
Some may find championing terrible goons as political martyrs for the
benefit of ideology wrong.
Getting massive digs in on the enemy, while refiguring the legacy of
a national embarrassment for personal profit has merit. This is what
many books have done for decades, rediscovering the Kennedy assassination
or the Vietnam War or the Nixon Tapes. Its good press, even in
the face of complete and utter contempt for common sense and truth.
Another fine example from Coulter: "McCarthy was not tilting at
windmills. Soviet spies in the government were not a figment of right-wing
imaginations. He was tilting at an authentic Communist conspiracy that
had been laughed off by the Democratic Party." Beautiful craziness.
Did the overall manic dismantling of McCarthys crusade have a
tinge of backlash fanaticism? Of course. Were there Communists in the
government? Sure. In the pall of a Cold War, was it a threat to national
security? Correct. Was this why McCarthy was finally harangued by his
contemporaries or forever noted as a criminally insane lunatic? No.
It was McCarthys methods of sidestepping laws, using media outcry
and troubled times to promote a sick obsession to shamelessly self-promote
Even Coulter sheepishly admits to McCarthys famous lie about a
list of 57 names in the US government with Communist ties. But you wont
find that as a headline on the day I write this. You see, in a way,
what Coulter is doing is a metaphor for McCarthys greatest legacy:
Say something completely shocking and outlandish, and make someone deny
or address it.
And finally the second most successful slant on truth used by Coulter
here is her assessment that the Democratic Party was more or less run
by a radical anti-American Communist regime since McCarthys public
demise. This scoffs in the face of horrific mistakes made by Democratic
administrations, not the least of which would be the Korean and Vietnam
Wars, instigated, by the way, by Democratic presidents, or the Bay of
Pigs disaster, or blah, blah blah.
Ann Coulter is silly, surely, but I, for one, salute her moxy, her guts,
her complete disregard for clear thought and simple research to bolster
her debate. She is a hero to our trade, and a great patriot, pointing
us to the core of our being; not letting facts get in the way of making
(It is no coincidence that the wicked woman of Philip Pullman's trilogy
'His Dark Materials' is called Mrs Coulter is it?) Ed
© James Campion July 8th 2003
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