By Ben Cohen
(Cross posted in the Huffington Post)
Everyone likes talking about Ann Coulter - a habit the mainstream
media has unfortunately passed on to us to for the best part of a
The shrill blonde can be seen regularly on Fox News, enraging
liberals and mouthing off on a variety of pet peeves with her
conservative co-hosts. She is occasionally invited on to the 'liberal'
media (CNN, MSNBC etc) to take part in debates, but mostly because she
Coulter's fulminations deserve no serious attention, as nothing she
says is even vaguely serious. If you see one of her 'books', pick it up
and flick through it. You need only read the first few sentences of
each chapter to realize she doesn't have clue what she is talking
about. Take her analysis of the theory of evolution:
"Liberals' creation myth is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution,
which is about one notch above Scientology in scientific rigor," she
writes in her book 'Godless: The Church of Liberalism'. "It's a
make-believe story, based on a theory that is a tautology, with no
proof in the scientist's laboratory or the fossil record -- and that's
after 150 years of very determined looking. We wouldn't still be
talking about it but for the fact that liberals think evolution
Anyone vaguely aware of serious science knows that intelligent
design (the theory to which she subscribes to) is simply a more
advanced version of creationism - a theory no respected scientist pays
any attention to. Coulter's list of grievances against liberals is
legendary and far too long to go in to, (evolution being the least
ridiculous and least offensive).
But Coulter is a phenomenon that says much about our media culture
and entertainment. Coulter would be laughed off the air in every other
country on earth, but is routinely invited on to American mainstream
political shows to rant on about arming unborn fetuses, killing Muslims
and preventing women from voting.
Why has this 40-something, blond Neo-Nazi gained so much attention with so little talent?
There is a simple explanation.
Around the mid to late 90's, Coulter's rise to popularity came around at the same time pornography entered mainstream acceptability.
As Jenna Jameson brought blow-jobs and plastic breasts to Howard Stern
and VH1, Coulter brought brainless right wing fascism to Fox News and
MSNBC. Media conglomerates thirst for profit meant ratings trumped
standards, and every lowlife idiot was given a show as long as they
pulled in the numbers.
Porn became fashionable in the 90's, giving men a bona-fide excuse to head to the Hustler Store and watch Real Sex
on HBO. Coulter happily tagged along, flicking her hair, and batting
her eyelids while spouting the most offensive, ridiculous nonsense,
hoping no one would notice her complete lack of talent.
Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and all the other half witted hacks with
multi million dollar contracts aren't serious intellectuals, in the
same way Jenna Jameson and Krystal Steal are not award winning
actresses. However, they command an audience, and can therefore command
serious money. As corporate greed took over, so did any sense of civic
Although Coulter likes to take herself seriously, her entire career
is based on pornographic voyeurism. How far would she go? What would
she say, and how short would her skirt be? The networks loved it, and
Ann was invited back again and again to stupify audiences with her
inane ranting. Sex and controversy sell, and Coulter provided a good
deal of both.
The fact is, most men between 18 to 55 watch porn, and that same
broad demographic will tune in when Ann Coulter is on. The train wreck,
shock jock commentary is irresistible to millions of viewers, and the
media conglomerates happily package it as political debate.
Other than insulting liberals, gays and Muslims, there is little to
point to in the way of talent for Ms Coulter. She is vaguely
attractive, has long legs and likes to flirt with male interviewers. In
truth, she would probably be just as successful on an episode of Milf Hunter as she is on endless Arab bashing gigs with Fox News.
No self respecting news program would have an idiot like Coulter on
their show, and luckily for her, there are no self respecting news
Who is to blame? Well us of course, for even paying attention. But
perhaps some deep-seated psychological need to observe the obscene is
not entirely our fault. It is exists, to be sure, but has been nurtured
by the media like a crack dealer handing out samples to curious
teenagers. Ann Coulter will keep shouting, and we could turn off the
TV. But maybe the networks could finally take responsibility and let
Coulter crawl back up the dingy hole she crawled out of.