Little Annie Fanny
       by Gene Lyons

      If Ann Coulter were a relief pitcher, she'd be in big trouble.
Instead, she's a Republican attack-blonde, the author of the number one non-fiction book
on the New York Times best-seller list, and a ubiquitous presence on TV talk shows.
So you're not supposed to take offense when Coulter spouts politicized bigotry that makes
ex-Atlanta Brave John Rocker's foolish remarks about queers, weirdos and foreigners in
New York sound benign by comparison. Nor to point out that much of the so-called "evidence"
of liberal sins in her book "Slander" is simply made up often phony 780 footnotes and all.

           Apparently, the glib Connecticut ectomorph has taken to believing her own, well,
"propaganda" is the only word I can get in the newspaper. Or maybe she's just a comedy act,
as a recent column by one Melik Kayan in the Wall Street Journal hinted. How else could
Coulter go on national TV, call NBC's perky "Today Show"  hostess Katie Couric
"the affable Eva Braun" of American liberalism, then bleat about liberal name-calling?

      Eva Braun was Hitler's mistress. So when Coulter calls Couric, in effect, a Nazi slut,
it's what Kayan calls "tongue-in-cheek agitprop." Where's everybody's sense of humor?
The occasion of the Journal apologia was Coulter's telling the New York Observer whose
interviewer informed readers that he had a "friend" who would enjoy vigorous copulation
with the bony pundit that "my only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the
New York Times Building."

      Some of these boys, incidentally, sound like they're wearing their bowties too tight.
I still recall my amazement at learning that Tory men thought Margaret Thatcher a hottie.
"The eyes of Caligula and the lips of Marilyn Monroe," was how the late English novelist
Anthony Powell described her to me. Evidently, the Iron Lady conjured steamy memories
of prep school spankings.

      On TV, Coulter conveys all the feminine warmth of a water mocassin, if you can
imagine a pit viper with silicone implants. Kayan though, feverishly pictures her walking
a metaphorical tightrope "her long-limbed signature silhouette poised precariously aloft,
riverine blonde locks riffled by the breeze and legs coltishly pirouetting."

      This isn't the first time Coulter herself has fantasized killing liberals. Speaking at a
recent conservative gathering, she opined that "We need to execute people like John
Walker [Lindh] in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that
they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."

      Coulter deliberately courts over-reaction. But anybody with a mean mouth can
play her game, as I've tried to show. More insidious is how she mimics the outward
form of real journalism without its content, how lazy and/or cowardly establishment
types let her get away with it, and the truly ugly subtext to her supposedly harmless joking.

           Everywhere Coulter goes, she boasts about those 780 footnotes, which give her
rants the appearance of substance. Reviewers for publications as various as the New York
Times, National Review and the Los Angeles Times have praised her "massive amounts of
footnoted evidence." None bothered to check the facts behind even her most absurd claims,
like the bitter pronouncement that "[L]iberals have absolutely no contact with the society
they decry from their Park Avenue redoubts."

           Coulter's "proof" is that the New York Times, almost alone among American
newspapers, failed to report the death of NASCAR hero Dale Earnhardt on its front page.
Also that the story which did belatedly appear mocked "[t]acky people...mourning Dale
Earnhardt all overthe South!"

           Bob Somerby of proved that Coulter's claim was simply made up.
The Times did run a front page account of Earnhardt's death by sportswriter Robert Lipsyte.
Two days later, it ran an evocative account of grieving fans in Earnhardt's home town of
Moorestown, N.C.. The author was Rick Bragg, the gifted native of Piedmont, Alabama
who covers the South for the newspaper. For that matter, Times editor Howell Raines is
an Alabamian.

           Somerby and others have exposed scores, if not hundreds, of similar howlers
throughout Coulter's deeply dishonest work. His witty demolition job is must reading.
Writing in the Washington Post, one conscientious conservative, Christopher Caldwell,
describes "Slander" as "a piece of political hackwork. The deeper into her subject she gets,]
the more she resorts to the tools of calumny and propaganda she professes to critique."

           Indeed, it's not too much to say that the "liberal" sins Coulter caricatures atheism,
cosmopolitanism, sexual license, moral relativism, communism, disloyalty and treason are
basically identical to the crimes of the Jews as Hitler saw them. That she blames no ethnic
group makes it only marginally less offensive.Equally damaging is "Slander's" intellectual
fraudulence. Naive readers have little defense against a book using psuedo-scholarly
documentation to tart up ancient slurs.

Conservatives constantly decry decaying cultural standards.
Where are they now?

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