Coulter Feigns Innocence
Originally uploaded by gflan_1999.
Ann Coulter’s worst enemy is herself.
A day after I blogged here about how the conservative commentator’s remark last week calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot” reminded me of a bratty child who constantly acts out to get attention, Coulter herself confirmed my thesis Monday on the Fox News Channel.
“ ‘Faggot’ isn’t offensive to gays; it has nothing to do with gays,” Coulter said. “It’s a schoolyard taunt meaning ‘wuss,’ and unless you’re telling me that John Edwards is gay, it was not applied to a gay person.”
First, just as black people can call one another “nigger” if they choose while whites cannot use the term, the same applies to gay people calling each other “faggot.” Minorities who feel oppressed often take slurs aimed at them and use them in different contexts, as a way of feeling empowered. Whether a person agrees with this theory or not, it’s a fact. Unless there’s something you’re not sharing with us, Ann, you’re not entitled to use the term.
Regardless, and I mean this in the kindest manner possible, Ann is too old to be using “schoolyard taunts” by at least a couple of decades. Sadly, this level of sophomoric banter is what too often passes for humor in the conservative circles inhabited by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and their ilk.
John Cloud, a gay writer at Time magazine, offers a lame defense of Coulter, whom he considers a friend. Cloud writes that Coulter was just providing a pithy aside about how conservatives hate “speech codes” and politically correct language.
Cloud writes, “Coulter wants to make people laugh more than anything; she is, as I have argued here, a right-wing ironist and comedienne as much as she is a political commentator. This is obvious if you watch her speak with the sound off — she is smiling or even giggling most of the time; she theatrically rolls her eyes; you can see her pause and toss her hair into a jaunty cant before delivering a punchline.”
As I suppress the bile gurgling up from my stomach upon reading that, I must point out to Cloud that Coulter should pick one category — right-wing comedienne or political commentator — and stick to it. One reason so many people find her remarks offensive is that they often occur during debates with “serious” political commentators, sometimes including elected officials, which has the effect of giving a government imprimatur to her odious beliefs.
When Ann is surrounded by serious types, it sends a signal to many viewers or listeners that it’s OK to hate gay people and maybe even act out physically against them.
Even Cloud is forced to admit, though, that Coulter’s remark about Edwards simply wasn’t funny. He writes, “So I’m not sure why she thought it would be funny to target a gay joke at Edwards. But then again she doesn’t need her semiannual cadenzas of outrage to be funny: she just needs us to condemn them, louder and louder every time.”
Mr. Cloud, it’s because of Ann’s cadre of enablers in the national media, like you, that there are semiannual outbursts at all.
— Kevin Osborne