Understanding Ann -- Coulter and the Rhetoric of Hate
Ann Coulter ignited the latest firestorm of her career last week when she dismissed John Edwards as a "faggot" on national television. As throngs of bigoted conservative fanboys cheered Coulter's most recent zinger at the expense of tact and civility, the American Left began mobilizing for a full-out media war.
In the resulting furor the various Republican candidates and politicians sharing Coulter’s stage vanished into the woodwork as the political zeitgeist transformed into a melee of calls for condemnation and denunciation.
This pattern seems to typify Coulter’s outbursts and suggests that her motives and role in the American political environment are not those supposed by progressives or the Democratic Party.
Coulter is neither a pundit nor a commentator but rather something altogether different – she is an entertainer. Certainly that distinction is hardly unique within the Conservative Media Machine. By any reasonable metric both Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, to say nothing of Rush Limbaugh and his various protégés fit the profile of “entertainer” far more snugly than “pundit” “commentator” or “news anchor,” but the particular brand of entertainment Coulter sells at once infuriates and defeats the Left’s best efforts to counter it.
Ann Coulter sells Schadenfreude.