Send tips, links, and feedback to gbeato-at-soundbitten.com
October 11, 2002
Recycling, Part 2
Today at Evhead.com, Evan Williams mentions Newsblogger, a Blogger spin-off that never made it out of beta.
Coincidentally, I wrote an article about Newsblogger (and some other technologies) that never made it out of beta either. The article was called "You Down With OPC?", and it was about how the smartest companies were figuring out new ways to allow users to leverage other people's content in their own content creation efforts.
In the main body of the article, I profiled three companies/tools: Live365.com, Newblogger, and Ejay, a company that had created a series of low-cost music creation applications that came with CD libraries of various music samples.
For some reason, the magazine that assigned the article killed it - I can't remember exactly why. Eventually, I published the introduction here at Soundbitten. But the rest of it I never put up for some reason. (I did end doing a more straightforward profile of Live365.com for Business 2.0, so maybe that's why.)
In any case, here's the sections on Live365.com and Newsblogger. (I don't know what happened to the Ejay section.) Sample prescient excerpt: "Newsblogger is a dream tool of sorts. Using it makes interacting with the news almost as easy as simply following the news, and what armchair pundit can resist that? With only a few minutes of effort each day, anyone can now exhibit the hyper-accelerated authority of a Sunday morning TV show talking-head."
Posted by Greg Beato at 10:21 AM
Henry Copeland writes about the virtues of news recycling: "First, recycling a story makes economic sense: it conserves publishing resources...Second, news is relative. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, it ain't news...Third, publishers can only aim to serve some of the people most of the time. Good editors realize that each story only hits 2-20% of their readership."
I agree with him completely. One of the biggest frustrations with being a freelance writer is how difficult it is to convince editors that it's still possible that there can still be lots of life in a story that's already been done elsewhere: if Magazine X does a story on Y, then the editor of Magazine Z won't want to do a story on it, even though he might be the only person in the world who reads Magazine X and Magazine Z.
On a similar note, I'm a big advocate of auto-plagiarism. The economics of freelancing are terrible: you write a story, you're paid for it, it runs, and then, while it may be reprinted once or twice, it's essentially dead and you've got to come up with something new. But say you're a stand-up comedian: you can develop 20 minutes of material and do that material for 10 years. It's true that most comedians keep developing new material, but they also recycle a lot: a couple months ago, I saw Sarah Silverman live for the first time, doing her show "Jesus is Magic." It was a brilliant, hilarious performance, and if you live in LA, you should go see her - she's doing it at some club in Beverly Hills in November. But just from reading articles by her and about her, and seeing her do talk shows over the last few years, I had already read/heard at least 30% of the show.
And that's fine, of course: there's so much media for readers/viewers/listeners to choose from these days that constant aggressive recycling is really the most strategic approach. HBO understands this - they rerun their new episodes five times a week. Bands like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit understand this: they release remix albums of albums they initially released less than a year earlier.
Is this all just preamble to a sentence that says, "Here, look at some of my old stuff?" Yes.
Here, look at some of my old stuff: an interview with WB star Jamie Kennedy. An all-but-forgotten cartoon classic, Behind the Muzak. An article from my first webzine, Traffic, about infomercials.
Posted by Greg Beato at 09:36 AM
October 08, 2002
Fact-checking your assessments...
Comrade Reynolds: "SAN FRANCISCO D.A. TERRENCE HALLINAN has an apparent non-enforcement policy for hate crimes -- where they're against Jews, and by well-connected lawyers, at least. Given San Francisco's usual policy against hate crimes, and the lax responses to antisemitic violence at SFSU and Berkeley, this troubles me. It's starting to look like a pattern. UPDATE: This doesn't make them look much better. Neither does this. Solidarity with America's enemies, in the cause of peace. Typical. Read this, too."
The initial link leads to an article about a man named John Henning who assaulted two Hasidic Jews outside their synagogue. According to the two Hasidic men, Henning attacked them without provocation. Henning, in turn, claims that it wasn't an unprovoked assault, but rather a political argument that got out of hand.
Henning is an attorney and also the grandson of the former executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO. While Henning was initially charged with seven felonies, including two hate crimes, the SF Chronicle reports that "the assault charges were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, the hate crime charges were tossed, and Henning was sentenced to 90 days in the sheriff's day work program." The Chronicle article raises the issue of whether or not this reduction in charges was "a political payoff" initiated by San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan on behalf of the grandfather, "a very influential former state labor leader."
Comrade Reynolds found this all very troubling, and indeed it is. But his assessment contained exaggerations and misassumptions that are the unfortunate and seemingly inevitable byproducts of insta-punditry...
What do I mean?
Well, for starters, take the sentence where Reynolds says "Given San Francisco's usual policy against hate crimes..." Here, his implication is that in instances of hate crime that don't involve Jewish victims, San Francisco vigorously prosecutes hate crimes.
How does he arrive at this knowledge? Well, there's a quote in the article from Golden Gate University law school Dean Peter Keane, who says: "Generally speaking, in San Francisco they go after hate crimes with unbelievable zeal. "It's like what being suspected of collaborating with the Taliban would be to John Ashcroft."
This is the kind of quote Reynolds loves, because it spoon-feeds his prejudices about the traitorous, anti-American nature of San Francisco and its surrounding environs.
But at the same time, where is the natural skepticism of the blogger, the call to fact-check some ass, the desire for more information before bungee-jumping to a conclusion? In short, doesn't Reynolds know better than to take a law professor's word as gospel? Especially since the quote appears in the Chronicle, a newspaper Reynolds is generally suspicious of?
So how about a second opinion? According to a recent article in the San Jose Mercury, San Francisco doesn't really prosecute hate crimes all that zealously. That article reports that a local organization called Community United Against Violence compiled "statistics [that] identified 317 cases of 'hate violence' against lesbians, gays and transgender people in San Francisco last year." It goes on to say that "even if police identify a likely hate crime, the district attorney's office must decide whether to prosecute it as such. Last year, only two of the hate crime cases taken to trial in San Francisco involved victims targeted because of their sexual orientation."
Similarly, a 1999 APBNews.com article began with the sentence, "Citing a 2 percent conviction rate on reported hate crime in this city, a civil rights group claims a lack of police and judicial interest in pursuing these cases nationally is discouraging victims, particularly Asian victims, from coming forward."
Two out of 317 incidents prosecuted? A 2 percent conviction rate? Gee, I wonder what Dean Keane's standards for "believable zeal" are?
A typical blogger might be content just to credulously swallow a statistics-free, metaphor-laden statement and leave it at that. But we all know Comrade Reynolds is an over-achiever. Thus, he takes it to the next level by discerning a troubling pattern of anti-Semitism at a city-wide, nay, even a regional level: "Given San Francisco's usual policy against hate crimes, and the lax responses to antisemitic violence at SFSU and Berkeley, this troubles me. It's starting to look like a pattern."
As it turns out, the SF Chronicle published an earlier article about the incident between Henning and the two Hasidic men. That article describes a rally in support of the victim that local SF politicians attended, and it also includes this passage: "Police and prosecutors characterized the crime as an unprovoked attack based solely on the victims' religion."
So, let's see. Police and prosecutors were trying to prosecute this as a hate crime. Local politicians participated in a rally to support the victims. The largest local newspaper ran an article asking why this wasn't prosecuted as a hate crime, and how does Comrade Reynolds respond? By escalating the decision of one person, Terrence Hallinan, into evidence that there's a pattern of institutional anti-Semitism infecting San Francisco. Whew! That's some heavy rhetorical lifting , but day in and day out, the Instapundit proves himself up to the task.
UPDATE: Initially, I wasn't going to post on this. Instead, I sent Reynolds a critical email about his post, which I often do. In fairness to Reynolds, Instapundit.com is just a hobby for him, not a vocation, so perhaps it's misguided to direct so much scrutiny his way. At the same time, he does attract 50,000 readers a day, and many of those readers take his opinion as gospel and perpetuate it on their own blogs - so I do what I can and send him email critiquing his performance now and then.
Lately, I've mostly been sending him notes pointing to something I've written that I hope he'll link to - and in fact, he has linked to this page twice recently. This, I give him credit for - not everyone would link to someone who has repeatedly criticized him, publicly and privately.
In any case, after I sent him the email about his San Francisco post, he responded with two emails that offered weak rationales for his post, along with some additional speculation about the particular mores of San Francisco political correctness. The email I sent to him included the links mentioned above - but he didn't reference them, so I figured it was unlikely he was going to update his original post on the subject with any kind of correction.
Thus, I decided I would write a post on his coverage of the story. I sent him another email, asking him if I could include his two email responses as part of it. He hasn't replied to that email, but he did add the following update to his original post: "Greg Beato has sent me a querulous email (he does that regularly) on this entry. He thinks that I shouldn't assume, based on a single uncontradicted statement by a San Francisco law school dean in a San Francisco paper, that San Francisco really has a tough policy regarding hate crimes. I think that Beato, as usual, is trying to make a mountain out of a nonexistent molehill. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel pretty sure that if a guy with right-wing political connections shouted abuse at a Muslim and then hit him, this case would be treated differently. I note that Joanne Jacobs, who lives in that area, sees the case similarly."
How come Reynolds didn't include links to any of the articles I sent him that refute his assessment? Who knows?
As for how "regularly" I send Reynolds email, I've responded critically to his posts 5 times in the last three months. If Comrade Reynolds, enemy of Big Media insularity, actually allowed commenting on his site, I'd add comments instead of emailing him directly. As for the "querelous" tone of emails -- I guess it's "fisking" when you agree with the sentiment, and "querelous" when you don't.
All I'm really trying to do is get Reynolds to understand that whether he likes it or not, tens of thousands of people look to him as an authoritative source of commentary. He regularly brags that his readership is larger than that of many professional news organizations - I think that's a great achievement on his part, and I also think it means he has to step up and accept the responsiblity that comes with that. When professional journalists make the kind of mistakes he makes on a regular basis, he takes them to task for it. In April, Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam fell for an obvious practical joke - scroll down a bit to see Reynolds' initial half-dozen or so reactions to it - and six months later, Reynolds is still referencing it. Talk about making mountains out of non-existent molehills - Reynolds and the blogosphere in general have fashioned a whole continent out of Beam's trivial mistake.
In any case, as hard as this will be to resist, I won't bother to send Reynolds any more emails - if he writes something that I particularly dumb or misleading, I'll just write about it here.
In the meantime, a poll of 41 bloggers has determined that Reynolds is "best of breed."
Reynolds' response: "I AM NOT WORTHY."
In this instance, I agree with him whole-heartedly.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Reynolds has responded to my request to post his email. His response is as follows: "I posted an update. You can do what you want. You should note, though, that my post -- unlike a traditional news story -- links to the account you claim I'm distorting, meaning that readers can do what you've done, and decide for themselves how to view matters. That seems to me to make a big difference. But, you know, 'smarter and more accurate' doesn't necessarily mean 'accurate enough to please Greg Beato.' Quote that, too, if you like."
Reynolds has a point, of course. And if people didn't hold his authority in the esteem that they do, then I'd tend to agree with it more than I do -- it just seems careless, or even cavalier, to put so little thought and inquiry into the kind of sweeping statements he often makes. Indeed, if you're going to implicitly accuse a city government, and an entire geographic region, of institutionalized anti-Semitism, why not take a few minutes to see if the charges hold water? And who knows, maybe they do - maybe there are stats somewhere that show San Francisco prosecutes hate crimes against Jews even less zealously than it prosecutes hate crimes in general. Armed with such stats, you'd actually have a legitimate basis to make such charges.
In any case, here's Reynolds' first response to my first email: "1. It's not journalism, it's blogging. And I think that a quote from a dean of a local law school, uncontradicted in a local paper, is a pretty good source for the kind of item I posted. Yeah if I were doing 1500 words on San Francisco's policy on hate crimes I'd look further. But that's the difference, isn't it?. And if I went and shouted anti-gay slogans and beat up a gay guy, then got arrested with witnesses, I bet I wouldn't get that deal." Then, he sent this second email: "I notice that Joanne Jacobs, a Bay Area journalist, echoes my assessment.
Finally, what follows is my initial email to Reynolds. It mostly contains stuff I put into the post above, but in the name of transparency, I post it here:
Just a heads-up to let you know the enemy's closer than you think:
If you hold them down in Tennessee, I'll try to keep them in check here in SF...
Also, about hate crimes, what do you think "San Francisco's usual policy against hate crimes" actually is? Your implication is that it prosecutes a lot of hate crimes, but I'm guessing you're basing this on your own general notions about SF political correctness, left-wing lunacy, etc., rather than on statistics.
I know there was a quote in that article - "'Generally speaking, in San Francisco they go after hate crimes with unbelievable zeal,' said Golden Gate University law school Dean Peter Keane."
But, come on, where are your fact-checking instincts? Are you really gonna take a law professor's word as truth?
According to a recent article in the SJ Mercury, "CUAV (Community United Against Violence) statistics identified 317 cases of 'hate violence' against lesbians, gays and transgender people in San Francisco last year...Even if police identify a likely hate crime, the district attorney's office must decide whether to prosecute it as such. Last year, only two of the hate crime cases taken to trial in San Francisco involved victims targeted because of their sexual orientation..."
So, two out of 317 cases prosecuted -- doesn't exactly seem "zealous" to me.
Here's another link, from 1999, that starts out "SAN FRANCISCO (APBnews.com) -- Citing a 2 percent conviction rate on reported hate crime in this city, a civil rights group claims a lack of police..."
This is from the defunct APBNews.com site, which only intermittently works -- so you may not be able to get to the actual article -- but a 2% conviction on hate crime -- again, "zealous" isn't the word that first springs to mind.
Here's the FBI page for hate-crime stats. The most recent are from 2000. The numbers are much lower than the CUAV statistics -- it says that in 2000 there were 59 race-related hate crime incidents, 22 religious ones, 46 sexual orientation ones, 13 ethnic ones, and 1 disabled one. The big discrepancy between the FBI numbers and the CUAV numbers is something of a mystery, but one thing the FBI stats suggest is that there are a lot more race and sexual-orientation incidents happening than religious ones -- so it's likely that there are fewer religious incidents prosecuted.
Finally, here's another earlier article on the incident. It describes a rally in support of the victim that local SF politicians attended, and it also includes this passage: "Police and prosecutors characterized the crime as an unprovoked attack based solely on the victims' religion."
So, basically, you've got police trying to prosecute this as a hate crime, you've got local politicians holding a rally to support the victim, you've got the biggest local newspaper wondering why it wasn't prosecuted as a hate crime, and how do you respond? By conflating Hallinan with San Francisco and by assuming that the victim's religion is more of a determining factor in Hallinan's dubious decision than the defendent's connections, so you can reach the conclusion that San Francisco, as a whole, exhibits a pattern of anti-Semitism. That's sloppy thinking and lazy reporting -- you should probably Fisk yourself on this one.
Posted by Greg Beato at 10:46 AM
October 07, 2002
Myopic journalists want information to be free, part 3223
Like Dan Gillmor, Newsweek's Steven Levy has a curious perspective on the Internet and public domain: "The lead plaintiff is Eric Eldred, a 59-year-old computer administrator who put up a Web site where people can download versions of books whose copyrights have expired. Before the Bono Act, Eldred had planned to post Robert Frost's early poems. Now not only will these not enter the public domain, but also for the next 20 years nothing will be added. And if the term was extended again, nothing might ever fall out of copyright. We'd have the greatest way to distribute free information and no new free information to distribute. Is this what the Founders meant by 'limited'?"
Now, personally, I think current copyright terms are more than favorable to copyright holders -- they don't really need to be strengthened any further. And I'd like to see fair-use provisions expanded too, so that users and content creators have more flexibility in using copyrighted works in ways that don't really infringe on the copyright holder's ability to earn money from their property.
But how does Levy manage to say things like "We'd have the greatest way to distribute free information and no new free information to distribute" with a straight face? Once again, copyright protection isn't mandatory: if all the Big Media journalists who fret about the future of the public domain simply devote one after-work hour a week to writing haikus about the subject, then freely distribute those haikus to all, the public domain will thrive!
Another absurd passage from Levy's article: "In one corner there are the big studios and record labels, intent on protecting their property and their turf; their success in winning congressional goodies has been more reliable than a Hollywood happy ending. In the other stand the forces of high-tech innovation, who until recently wore their distrust of government like a badge of pride."
Gee, I wonder what it was that made the forces of high-tech innovation finally start trusting the federal government? Could it be the fact that the federal government has been subsidizing the forces of high-tech innovation for years now? I know it's been almost 20 years since Levy wrote Hackers, the "best-selling story of the whiz kids who changed our world" -- but has he forgotten that the first wave of those whiz kids -- the MIT hackers of the early '60s -- were studying at an institution that was built largely on federal funding? Did he miss the role federal funding played in the birth of the Internet? Is he unaware of the tax breaks companies like Cisco have gotten over the last decade? Three other Newsweek staffers helped Levy write this article: with four people on the story, couldn't one of them have managed to get a sentence in there that explained that the forces of high-tech innovation win some congressional goodies every now and then too?
Posted by Greg Beato at 05:46 PM
Because The Amish Cook was the brainchild of a college entrepreneur rather than an Amish cook, the column won't end with Coblentz' passing. The obvious choice to replace her: Bob Greene, lyrical canner of corn, well-acquainted with horse-shit, and, I've always suspected, a pretty darn good seamstress.
The next best choice: Ann Coulter, the Golden Geyser of Truth. Part Presbyterian, part Catholic, and all Christian,1 Coulter already lives her life in the service of the Almighty. Once content to toil humbly in the clergy of the Law, she switched career paths only after the Lord ordained it. "I was just bumbling along practicing law," she explained to the St. Petersburg Times. "I never sought this for myself...God just decided, we've got enough lawyers, you are supposed to be on TV."
Thus inspired, Coulter commenced with her televisual uplift in 1996. "I have to say I'm all for public flogging," she preached on MSNBC. (03/22/97) "Let's say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me, I'm not married," she rejoiced on CNBC's Rivera Live. (06/07/00) "God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours,'" she evangelized on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes. (06/20/01) (Quote source: Coulterwatch.com)
Now, can't you just picture Coulter in the midst of Pennsylvania farm country, sexually harassing a cornstalk?
And who can argue that the Amish aren't in sore need of such fervor? As devout as they may be, a distinctly cool fire fuels their faith. And while their unwavering commitment to Pilgrim-wear often passes for patriotism, the truth is that English is their third language,2 they don't pay Social Security tax, they're steadfast pacificists who make Barbara Kingsolver look like Genghis Khan, and they're famously cliquish, sort of like Goths without make-up.
Like liberals (who also love beards), they reap all the benefits of U.S. citizenship, without taking on any of the responsibilities -- driving SUVs, hating Democrats and foreigners, watching TV. For this, we persecute them regularly, but these days, when all Americans must come together as Republicans, buggy-burning is no longer enough. Instead, we need passionate intervention, persuasion, someone who, in between baking loaves of Friendship Bread, can convince the Amish that it's not electricity that is their enemy, but rather Saddam Hussein and people who live in Manhattan.
Give Coulter three months in their camp, and the ideological cat o' nine tails will flog these peacenik, Marxist, paleo-hippie para-liberals into genuine U.S. citizens.
And, of course, Coulter will benefit from the association too. Even though she is forced to spend most of her professional time in New York, Vail, and Aspen,3 and most of her free time in Vail, Aspen, and The Hamptons,4 her heart belongs to the heartland, or as she lovingly describes it in Slander, the "land of pork rinds."
"I loved Kansas City!" she told the New York Observer recently. "It's like my favorite place in the world...In Kansas City, all the parties were always organized around, like, a softball game, waterskiing, going on a ski trip together. Oh, I so loved it."
In Amish country, the parties are exactly the same, except that instead of playing softball, waterskiing, or skiing, Amish teens drink beer and blast their boom-boxes while cruising the countryside in their horse-drawn buggies. Coulter, a bourbon-swilling, margarita-slurping, chardonnay-pounding tippler who has been hitting bars and nightclubs since she was in junior high,5 would fit right in. Indeed, rumspringa, the Amish custom that allows Amish teens to experiment with booze, premarital sex, and all the other temptations the Devil's playground has to offer, seems to fit Coulter like a (mo)hair shirt designed by Versace...
And, who knows, the quadragenarian playgirl, engaged so many times she has lost count,6 might even get a husband out of the deal. Amish men may not possess the virile locker-room magnetism of Matt Drudge, whom Coulter has dubbed "the sexiest man alive,"7 but they do wear hats.
Coulter may also find the communal spirit that informs Amish life appealing too. In 1998, Michael Chapman, a former colleague of Coulter's at the publication Human Events, cited numerous instances in Coulter's 1998 book High Crimes and Misdemeanors that closely resemble passages he wrote in "A Case for Impeachment," a special supplement that Human Events published in 1997. While some Coultersnipes have characterized these identical and paraphrased passages as plagiarism, it appears that the incident was really just a literary form of Amish-style house-building, where everybody pitches in to help. Chapman volunteered to ghost-write Coulter's book; Coulter's publisher hired another ghostwriter instead; eventually Coulter decided to ghost-write her book herself, and somehow in that process, a few of Chapman's passages wound up in the final product. The point? In Amish country, pitching in on group projects isn't foreplay for girly-girl whining about insufficient credit or plagiarism: it's just a way of life.
Of course, as much as Coulter seems suited to that life, her new vocation will require some changes on her part. Currently, Coulter sleeps until noon and works in her underwear.8 As The Amish Cook, she'd have to wear a bonnet too, and get up earlier. She'd also have to give up watching her favorite TV shows, elimiDATE and Change of Heart.9
Ultimately, though, these are small sacrifices, because Coulter now faces a career-threatening dilemma: overwhelming success. Like many satirists, she operates best from a position of disenfranchisement. Her marginalization to the furthest reaches of MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNBC, and ABC? Her ostracization by the publishing industry for a ceaseless, soul-crushing, almost unendurable two months?10 Such discrimination simply gave Coulter more perspective, better aim, a bigger constituency. Pushed to the dusty outskirts of the elite media power grid, she spoke not only for Washington and New York insiders, as most pundits do, but also for underprivileged people of privilege everywhere.
Still, Coulter's public, the "grasping acquisitive middle class" as she calls it in Slander, isn't stupid. It may tolerate an advocate for conservative truth who lies about her age. It may tolerate a careerist manizer who praises abstinence and marriage while safe-sinning11 her way through an all-you-can-eat man-buffet of Muslims,12 FBI agents,13 conservative pundits,14 and Bob Guccione, Jr. (Burp.) It may tolerate a fierce defender of the First Amendment whose greatest aspiration is to "censor ABC, NBC, and CBS, shut down the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report." But it also knows the difference between an affluent child of privilege who insists she really isn't that well-off15, and a card-carrying member of the media elite whose best-selling success obliges her to admit, "I haven't seen the royalty checks yet, but I think I'm rich. Until now, I never thought of myself that way."
In other words, Ann Hart Coulter, daughter of hardscrabble New Canaan, where the average household income is $272,500, has moved on up. Once able to command only $10,000 per speaking engagement, she recently raised her price to $25,000.16 Like other arrivistes before her, she will now have to prove that, despite her ascendancy to the pinnacle of American news media, she's still the same Chardonnay-sipping, Vail-vacationing man-of-the-beautiful-people that she's always been.
To reinforce his Every-Schlub persona after he started making millions, Howard Stern had to keep not-fucking his Long Island hausfrau until she couldn't stand it any longer. To retain the disenfranchised outsider persona that fueled his 1999 masterpiece, "The Slim Shady LP," along with the commercial success it engendered, Eminem had to become the pre-Slander Ann Coulter of MTV - allowed there, yes, but not, you know, liked.
But now everyone loves Ann Coulter, even if they hate her. "I'm not anxious to have a TV show. Who's gonna give me a TV show?" she asked The New York Observer in August 2002. Two months later, she told the Westchester WAG that "I've been getting offers for years to have my own show. I'm just not sure about it." Can you believe that? She's so hot, she's even getting retroactive offers. Her next book, already finished, working title Traitor!, will no doubt command a hefty advance. But now that she charges more for a single lecture than many of the real American "coupon-clippers" whom she verbally dry-humps in Slander17 earn in a year, how will she continue to connect with them?
There's really only one solution.
2. Frommer's Philadelphia and the Amish Country, 11th Edition. "They are a trilingual people, speaking Pennsylvania Dutch (essentially a dialect of German) at home, High German at worship services (the German of Luther's Bible translation), and English with members of the larger society."
3. Booknotes, C-SPAN, August 11, 2002. In an interview with Brian Lamb, Coulter said that she "tried originally writing [Slander] from L.A., Vail and Aspen."
4. Emily Freund, "Ann Coulter: She May Be Right," The Westchester WAG, October 2002. "During the summer, she frequents 'The Hamptons - I have lots of friends with places there - and Connecticut, where I visit with family.' For winter getaways, Coulter can be found on the slopes. 'Skiing is my biggest extravagance. I usually go to Aspen or Vail over New Year's.'" Note: in her book, Slander, Coulter writes: "Nothing would make liberal environmentalists so happy as an entire country that looked like the Hamptons: beautiful rich people living in solar-powered homes staffed with a phalanx of obedient servants who can't afford SUVs." (page 31)
5. Emily Freund, "Ann Coulter: She May Be Right," The Westchester WAG, October 2002. Included with this article is a sidebar with the following text: "Favorite Drinks: Chardonnay, margaritas, and bourbon." The article also includes this passage: "In junior high school, 'My oldest brother, John, would bring me, this white-bread kid from the suburbs, down to the Upper East Side. He'd leave me with books by Milton Friedman (Nobel Prize winning economist) while he went to bar exam class, and then come back and quiz me. My reward for answering his questions correctly was accompanying him to bars and nightclubs.'"
6. Toby Harnden, "I Love to Pick Fights With Liberals," London Telegraph, July 19, 2002. "Coulter is still searching for Mr Right-Wing. 'I've been engaged many times. Four, I think.'"
8. Booknotes, C-SPAN, August 11, 2002. In an interview with Brian Lamb, Coulter said, "I think I have a greater life than anyone in the universe in fact. I sleep until noon. I work in my underwear."
9. Emily Freund, "Ann Coulter: She May Be Right," The Westchester WAG, October 2002. "I love the dumb dating shows - Change of Heart and elimiDATE - they're like watching a car crash."
10. Coulter initially had a contract with HarperCollins to publish the book that would eventually become Slander. But when her editor at HarperCollins died, she says the company cancelled her contract, forcing her to look for another publisher. "For two months, my agent shopped it around and no one would buy it," she told Brian Lamb in her C-SPAN interview. Shortly after she told Lamb this, the length of her ordeal increased by one-third. "My original publisher (Harper Collins) dumped me, we had to refund the advance, and Joni had to spend three months shopping it," she told the Westchester WAG.
11. Coulter's position on sex is somewhat complicated, sort of like her position on her age. "I will never say publicly that, as a Christian, I think God says it's OK to have premarital sex or to have homosexual sex," she told the London Telegraph. "You know, that is why Christians are the most tolerant people in the world - because we know there's original sin. We know people do bad things. But it seems to me it's a much worse thing to go around saying that it isn't a sin to commit a sin. I mean - at least feel guilty about it." In other words, if you're a "devout Christian" (as Coulter describes herself in People magazine) but you want to fuck Bob Guccione, Jr. without actually having to marry him, just feel guilty about it afterward. While Coulter "sort of [jokes]" in the Telegraph article that gays will burn in hell for having sex, or maybe just for being gay, she doesn't explain what she believes the penance for heterosexual premarital sex is, other than fucking Bob Guccione, Jr.
Birth control? She seems to be in favor of it. Speaking in the voice of an imaginary parent in one of her columns, she writes: "Well, actually I've taught my daughter to keep her knees together before marriage. And even if she were to disobey me, I'm pretty sure she has an IQ above that of a toaster, and has heard of birth control pills." Got that, kids? Abstinence first. Unless you're horny and unwilling to commit. Then sex is cool. As long you feel guilty about it and use birth control. Oh, and be sure to condemn people who don't feel guilty about having sex. Otherwise you burn in hell with the homos...
12. Lynda Wright, People, 07/29/02. "Although Coulter is a devout Christian, her most recent boyfriend was a Muslim; their first date was on a Sunday morning at her church."
13. Howard Kurtz, "The Blonde Flinging Bombshells at Bill Clinton," Washington Post, October 16, 1998. "Then she began seeing Bob Guccione Jr., the controversial founder of Spin magazine, until becoming disenchanted in March. Now she's involved with an FBI agent."
14. George Gurley, "Coultergeist," The New York Observer, August 26, 2002. "I've dated [Dinesh D'Souza], I've dated every right-winger."
15. How rich was Coulter before she started describing herself as "rich"? Well, rich enough to maintain dual residences in Manhattan and Washington, DC. In the early '90s, she used to make over $100,000 a year as a corporate attorney. In 1998, she explained to Howard Kurtz that "she took a two-thirds pay cut, to $35,000" in 1994 to work for Senator Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.). "I thought you got welfare benefits at that level," she joked then. More recently, Coulter complained to C-SPAN's Brian Lamb about the tough lot of a freelance writer. When she told him that her first book, 1998's High Crimes and Misdemeanors, sold approximately 250,000 copies, he remarked, "That's a lot of money." "It's never enough money," she replied. "No, in fact someone just told me, I don't know if this is true, that the median income for a writer in America is about $2,000. If you want to make money, being a writer isn't the way to go...It was a bad year last year." Of course, back then she was making only $10,000 per speaking engagement.
16. Emily Freund, "Ann Coulter: She May Be Right,' The Westchester WAG, October 2002. "Fortunately for Coulter, it's comments like these that have earned her countless invitations to deliver speeches for groups, organizations, and on college campuses. In fact, she is in such high demand that 'I had to raise my price recently from ten thousand to twenty-five thousand. For students, the fee is negotiable.'"
17. Chapter Two of Slander, which the Gucci-loving, Hamptons-vacationing Coulter calls "The Gucci Position on Domestic Policy," is where she most emphatically champions the "acquisitive middle class," the "working class," "ordinary people," "working-class Americans," and the "coupon-clippers." She also reveals that liberals are "snobs" and suggests that Republicans are "aggressively anti-elitist" "working-class Americans" who have little interest in the trappings of snobby liberal elitism, like Gucci and The Hamptons. Except when they wear Gucci or vacation in The Hamptons, that is.
Posted by Greg Beato at 10:55 AM
Copyright © 1997 - 2005 G. Beato
Best of SoundbittenO'Reilly vs. Hip-hop
Find Yourself (Eminem)
When George Met Alexandra
O'Reilly vs. Ludacris
Drudge's Secret History
All News Fit to Excerpt
Ben Stein Interview
The Tesh Files
Slacker Jesus Porn King
Syndicate this site (XML)
C & L
I Want Media
Reason Hit and Run
Powered ByMovable Type