Sunday, April 15, 2007

Coulter On Imus (Use Your Imagination)

I'm usually no fan of Ann Coulter, but her comments on the Don Imus controversy have given me reason to pause. (Also, check out what Coulter apparently said on Hannity and Colmes: Apologize to the Rutgers Girls- No One Else.

Yes, I'm sick to death of this Imus story, but it's just plain hard to read through any paper or blog and avoid it at this point. The Coulter thing just stuck out in my mind because it seemed like such an odd place to find some sanity. I've heard numerous commentators distinguish Imus from say Howard Stern, Dave Chapelle, or Sara Silverman because Imus intended to be taken seriously as a media figure- after all, Imus routinely entertained politicians and members of the mainstream media on his radio show. Stern, Chapelle, Silverman, and others can be distinguished because they're acting in a satiric or comedic vein.

Of course, this all fails to explain the success of Ann Coulter, who continues to persevere despite several firings and numerous controversies over some of the things she's said. (Most recent was the controversy over her having called Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards a "faggot.") Of course, like Stern, Chapelle, and Silverman, Coulter has never gone on the defensive and never bowed down to the will of the PC police. In the course of making her political points and attempting to be funny, she's said plenty of offensive things, and she's continued to do that. And like Howard Stern, plenty of people may hate her, but she's got numerous faithful followers who will buy her books, read her columns, and watch her tv appearances.

What's really interesting is Coulter's defense of a crude public discourse. She tells us that it would be fair game to call her a "ho" or to call Al Sharpton "nappy-headed" but it was wrong of Imus to use those words to refer to the girls at Rutgers who aren't public figures. And maybe this is an idea that just makes sense. There is a line to be drawn, but that line shouldn't be about PC language but personal attacks on those who are not part of the public discourse- and this makes sense whether you're talking about news or comedy or both.

Like I said, I'm not usually a Coulter fan, but this was a real thought provoker. And see, according to Coulter, the joke of a headline I have would be both perfectly acceptable, yet absolutely tasteless.


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