Monday, March 05, 2007

The f-word ... again

Ann Coulter grabbed the headlines at the Conservative Political Action Committee -- again. She said at the weekend that she'd like to talk about John Edwards, but she was at impasse because "it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot'."

Well ... as a (sorta) "faggot" myself, I really resent this vicious slur ... my being compared to John Edwards. Seriously ... I was willing to defend Isaiah Washington (the case to which Coulter was making reference) because his first use was factually disputed, and the second was a usage quotation ("I did not call him a faggot") denying the first, not an actual reference. Predictably, the left howled outrage over Ann's words -- but they don't matter in this.

I genuinely do love Coulter's TV appearances and I have a weekly ritual with a co-worker of reading that week's column at the same time, timing each other's laughs, and reading the choicest soundbytes aloud. I know that Ann was trying to make a joke, but it just came across as an ugly insult, an attempt to one-up herself for publicity's sake. It feeds the worst lie about conservatives -- that they (we) hate homosexuals. I've said it many times -- religious, political and social righties are not the people who have contempt for a man like myself. I think Ann may have just done a Fonzie special involving water skis, a boat, a ramp and a large, carnivorous fish.

Nor is my impression unique. The top 3 Republican candidates criticized her remarks. But far more importantly, the conservative blogosphere appears to have turned on her (it didn't help that the remark was generally seen as witless and that she used the word "raghead" last year -- fueling the charge that she's showboating at everyone else's expense):
  • Cliff Kinkaid of Accuracy in Media called her "the Britney Spears of the Right" and wondered whether she was a liberal agent provocateur;
  • Dan Riehl called her the "insufferable self-indulgent political media equivalent to Anna Nicole," wished death on her and said she should never be invited back to CPAC;
  • Michelle Malkin said Coulter had "sullied the hard work of hundreds of CPAC participants and exhibitors and tarred the collective reputation of thousands of CPAC attendees";
  • Amy Ridenour of CPAC co-sponsor National Center for Public Policy Research said she "pushed her offensiveness up a notch" (and provided links to yet more criticism from such important conservative blogs as Gay Patriot, Right Nation and Captain's Quarters);
  • Bryan Preston at Hot Air summed it all up: "Thanks, Ann."
Yeah, thanks.

p.s. This will probably be the only post in the history of this site to be illustrated with two pictures of women. Straight guys ... enjoy.


John said...

In a culture that increasingly sees homosexuality in black-and-white terms (in which one's only two options, ostensibly, are to either (a) believe that there is nothing disordered or wrong with homosexuality per se -- either acts or orientation; or (b) believe that all persons with same-sex attraction are irredeemable, hellbound sinners), it's hard to underestimate how much damage Coulter's uncharitable and unfunny "joke" can inflict.

On the other hand, I'm glad to see so many conservatives condemn her remark in no uncertain terms.

Dad29 said...

I think Coulter screwed up, too.

Now we'll just have to hold our breaths waiting...

for the "conservatives" who applauded the blasphemous Allah-cartoons to get consistent.

They can't have it both ways. The Allah cartoons were at least as offensive as the 'faggot' remark.

Anonymous said...

john - I don't think the culture is increasingly seeing homosexuality in black-and-white terms. I think that there are distinctions being made by most of society - including most Christians/Catholics - as to what is acceptable and tolerable vis-a-vis homosexuality. I think that is why Coulter's comment has stirred such a backlash. Most people - conservatives and liberals alike - don't believe that the use of "faggot" is acceptable behavior in the public arena. It was an outrageous comment and meant to offend. Unfortunately the whole weekend of CPAC, which had a number of other good speeches from Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich and others, was lost in the noise of "outrage" at Coulter. Typically narcissistic, I'm sure she doesn't realize the damage she has done to the conservative cause, though she probably thinks she has sold more of her books.

dad29 - If West Hollywood and the Chelsea break out in car-turning, tire-burning riots and calls for death to Ann Coulter, CPAC and Fox News, I suppose it might be a comparable situation to the Allah cartoons. Like the Allah cartoons, there is truth in her comment and I would defend her right to say it in the face of such an onslaught. I just would never invite her back to CPAC again. The Allah cartoons, on the other hand, were a lot more sophisticated and insightful than this cheap shot name-calling by Coulter.