According to Editor and Publisher, it seems that Ann Coulter (not the Bucks County Courier Times letter writer, but you-know-who) has picked up some unexpected support.
Cartoonist and columnist Ted Rall (pictured), believe it or not, has come to Coulter’s defense (sorry to pick this “story” up again, but I think this is an interesting development).
I should point out as clearly as I can that Rall still considers himself a foe of Coulter, and he mentions Coulter’s attacks on him and Garry Trudeau of “Doonesbury,” alleging that they “had both entered Iran’s Holocaust cartoon contest.”
Rall is encouraging the Human Rights Campaign and Media Matters for America to give up their attempts to get Coulter’s column dropped from syndication, and his argument is based on freedom of speech and the prospect that, while prevailing political winds seem to be blowing in our direction, to paraphrase, that could change, and those calling for Coulter’s removal could find themselves facing the same fate one day, perhaps merely for criticizing an unpopular president. Rall is also saying that we should be know better than to employ something akin to right-wing tactics in his view, and that those blaming Coulter for her typically sick and twisted remarks at CPAC should blame that group instead of her.
While I applaud Rall for his thoughtful stance, I must criticize him for it also.
It should be pointed out that Coulter is getting dropped from syndication at this moment not so much because of the calls of HRC and Media Matters to do so, but because the vast majority of the people of this country have had it with confrontational right-wing garbage (and that doesn’t mean automatically that they love liberals/progressives now either; we can’t get into too much of this “tit-for-tat-payback” BS, or we’ll turn people off also, something else Rall is warning against). The drop in Coulter’s circulation within these news vehicles (print and online) is a reflection of that fact. If Coulter’s awfulness generated more “buzz” and more people were interested in what she had to say, the news organizations who stupidly grant her a forum for her bilious garbage wouldn’t care what HRC and Media Matters had to say (to say nothing of yours truly, of course).
Rall also chides Media Matters a bit by saying, if you get Coulter and her ilk to shut up (which will never happen, by the way – I believe the right-wing shouters are here to stay, sadly, and all we can do is marginalize them as best we can), then who else will you analyze and report on, or words to that effect, which is a silly criticism.
As I alluded to above, it’s actually getting a bit harder (just a bit) to find nonsensical right-wing blather in the Inquirer and the Bucks County Courier Times, for example (make no mistake, it’s still there, but not with the same frequency, and it’s being leavened a bit more by the progressive point of view; I saw a column by Arianna Huffington in the Courier Times yesterday, and I almost fell out of my chair). Also, the dyed-in-the-wool corporatists and warmongers (Friedman, Brooks, and Victor Davis Hanson – I may have more to say about him later) have toned down their act slightly and pretended to criticize both of the major political parties equally; hell, even J.D. Mullane hasn’t gone around the bend in a couple of weeks (but of course, watch what happens tomorrow now that I've said that).
I think that is the answer by our corporate media to Coulter’s typical hate speech; they are moving to the center ever so slowly as they read the mood of the people of this country as best they can concerning Iraq, the economy, the environment, and a host of other issues to maintain their circulation.
Finally, I have a question for Rall; if he opposes any attempt to make Coulter pay a price for her words and actions (and all CPAC will ever do is continue to grant her a forum for her sick, twisted act), then how does Rall feel about the attempts to make ABC and Disney pay a price for foisting “The Path to 9/11” on us last year? If he opposes any effort to hold Coulter accountable, then shouldn’t he also oppose any effort to hold ABC/Disney accountable, and thus be wrong on both counts?