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Ann Coulter is the Paris Hilton of politics, the blonde bimbo liberals love to hate but also one that TV loves to promote because putting her on the air drives up ratings and public debate.
Outrageous? Damn right she is. That’s her stock in trade, her modus operandi, her act. Like Hilton, she’s a self-promoting media machine that feeds on a public appetite for excess.
There have been many debates over whether or not Coulter actually believes the hate she spews. The same questions circle around other right-wing demagogues: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Savage, et. al.
Her fans claim Coulter is the right-wing’s sex symbol, a leggy blonde who favors short skirts and low-cut blouses but others wonder if her bile is fueled by anorexia. Her hard features remind us more of the skank we too often woke up next to after a hard night of drinking. A closer examination reveals she has been rode hard and put up wet a few times too many.
But her vitriol sells books, raises ratings and even helps the current target of her hate — Democrat John Edwards — raise campaign cash.
Opportunism, it seems, can be a two-way street.
Some, however, say enough is enough. Notes The Nation:
We can’t expect TV news to have standards, but it should have limits. Not many, but a few. At least one limit. When a guest on Good Morning America urges the murder of one of our leading presidential candidates, somebody has exceeded the limit. A person who does that needs to be, should be, ought to be, must be kicked off the air permanently. Please look at this:
On another occasion, this time on CSPAN, Ms. Coulter had suggested her targeted politician is a “faggot.”
Such epithets are tasteless but they fall short of deserving banishment from the airwaves. Making sport of the death of one of the Edwards’ children tends toward cruelty, but it still falls short of meriting exclusion from the TV cameras.
Urging murder does not fall short. It is one thing for Ms. Coulter, a notorious opponent of gun control, to argue that everyone ought to be able to own one, but it is a different kettle of fish when she says on national television which of her political enemies the gun should be aimed at.
We live in the 007 age. A time of termination with extreme prejudice, of targeted assassination, the surgical strike, men and women suicide bombers, hit men, button men, killers for hire, killers for religion, killers for politics. The air is heavy with menace. Every entrance and exit from the ABC network building in which Ms. Coulter urged the murder of John Edwards, is heavily guarded.
If confronted, Coulter will probably say that she was joking. A joke like that at the airport ticket counter would get her arrested. A joke like that should get her kicked off network broadcasting once and for all.