Slender: Liberal Lies About Ann Coulter
On a recent edition of the radio show Counterspin, glamourous equine spinster Ann Coulter insists that liberals engage in chronic name-calling. To prove this assertion, she says, "I've got hundreds of such quotes in my book, all footnoted and documented."
But when the show's host asks her why she ignores instances of conservative name-calling, then cites several examples of the phenomenom, Coulter suddenly turns suspicious of journalistic accuracy: "I'm on the record in a lot of newspapers saying a lot of things I never said...all of the newspapers have repeated absolute lies about what I've said."
This statement obviously has truth to it: reporters mangle quotes all the time. And, sometimes, they even make them up out of whole cloth. But where exactly is Coulter getting "the hundreds of such quotes in [her] book" that prove that liberals are chronic name-callers?
Well, from newspapers.
At first, of course, this seems like a contradiction: if reporters aren't reliable, than why does Coulter rely on them so heavily? For a moment I thought I'd caught the slippery squawking head in an indefensible contradiction, but then I realized something pretty obvious. It's one thing to quote someone, and another thing to explicitly state an opinion.
For example, if Katie Couric writes, "Henry Kissinger says, 'Ann Coulter totally reminds me of Fabio, only with smaller tits,'" we can't be sure if Kissinger really said that: Couric may have recorded the quote inaccurately, or she may have simply put words into the eminent mumbler's mouth. But if Couric writes "I think Ann Coulter is living proof that horses shouldn't mate with lampposts," well, we can be pretty sure that that's what Couric meant to say.
In other words, if Coulter's "hundreds of such quotes" consist of direct declarations from liberal swine journalists, her basic premise that journalists are reliable on the one hand but not reliable on the other makes sense, because the two hands are engaged in two different activities.
But here's the thing: plenty of those "hundreds of such quotes" in Coulter's book consist of declarations made by one party, and then transcribed by journalists -- the same ones who never seem to get Coulter's own quotes correct.
In the first chapter of Coulter's book, for example, she writes that "Liberals variously called the flag a 'joke,' 'very, very dumb,' and -- most cutting -- not 'cosmopolitan.'"
If you follow the footnotes, you discover that none of those words are excerpted from declarative statements written by journalists or pundits. Instead, they're all quotes attributed to someone other than the writer of the article. In the first, it's the New York Post quoting the London Times quoting director Robert Altman. In the second instance, it's New York Times writer Michele Kayal quoting political analyst Dan Boylan. In the third instance, it's New York Times writer Felicia R. Lee quoting historian David Nasaw.
This time, I figured I had Coulter pretty well nailed. But then of course I realized I was failing to account for the sexy footnote fetishist's most basic premise: liberals are liars! And the liberal media elite is comprised of the most adept, most versatile, most disciplined liars of all: when they quote liberals, they quote accurately; they want to lie, yes, because that's what liberals do...but they are pledged to left-wing hegemony, and thus they do what they are told, however begrudgingly. Of course, what this also means is that when they quote conservatives like Coulter, when they are in fact allowed, nay, expected to lie, all their pent-up prevarication is expressed two-fold! They double-lie, because they know that when it comes time to quote Al Gore or Fidel Castro or Noam Chomsky or Bono, they'll be forced to quote accurately. Which is why they're always putting those completely fabricated soundbites into Coulter's exquisite maw.
Finally, as long as we're on the subject of Coulter and caprice -- you know how The Golden Geyser of Truth insists she's 381, even though her publicist says she's 40?2 Well, USSearch.com, which bills itself as "the worldwide leader in public information," says she's 40 too.
Conclusion: even the goddamned public records companies are liberal liars!
2: Toby Harnden, "I Love to Pick Fights With Liberals," London Telegraph, July 19, 2002. The article includes the following passage: "An air of mystery surrounds Coulter's age. She says she is 38 but her publicist puts her at 40."
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