Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ann Coulter

Coulter has gained notoriety as a political commentator who combines strongly partisan analysis and a willingness to use insult humor and sometimes plain insults against people she feels (not excluding herself) behave foolishly or wrongly. When asked by Brian Lamb how she would characterize her politics, she replied, "Conservative...evidently [which] means I believe in a being even higher than The New York Times, which could make me a member of the religious right, especially when you throw in that I would like taxes cut," and added, "I'd roll back the government probably as far as [libertarians] would."

Coulter's first national media appearance came after she was hired in 1996 by MSNBC as a legal correspondent. Time magazine said this about her tenure there:

The network dismissed her at least twice: first in February 1997, after she insulted the late Pamela Harriman, the U.S. Ambassador to France, even as the network was covering her somber memorial service.... Even so, the network missed Coulter's jousting and quickly rehired her.
Eight months later, Coulter's relationship with MSNBC ended permanently after she tangled with a disabled Vietnam veteran on the air. Robert Muller, co-founder of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, asserted that "in 90% of the cases that U.S. soldiers got blown up [in Vietnam]—Ann, are you listening?—they were our own mines." (Muller was misquoting a 1969 Pentagon report that found that 90% of the components used in enemy mines came from U.S. duds and refuse.) Coulter, who found Muller's statement laughable, averted her eyes and responded sarcastically: "No wonder you guys lost." It became an infamous—and oft-misreported—Coulter moment.

But her troubles with MSNBC only freed her to appear on CNN and Fox News Channel, whose producers were often calling.

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post made a point to respond to the Time article to explain that his widely quoted misreporting of Coulter's reply to the veteran in an article he wrote had its origin in Coulter's own later recollection of the incident. Describing his previous story, Kurtz added, "I did note that, according to Coulter, the vet was appearing by satellite, and she didn't know he was disabled."

She has made frequent guest appearances on television, including The Today Show, Hannity and Colmes, The O'Reilly Factor, American Morning, Crossfire, Real Time, Politically Incorrect, and the fifth estate.

In 2005, Coulter appeared as one of a three-person judging panel in The Greatest American, a four-part interactive television event for the Discovery Channel hosted by Matt Lauer. Starting with 100 nominees, each week interactive viewer voting eliminated candidates.

Coulter has appeared in four movies. She made her first movie appearance in 2004, when she appeared in three movies. The first was Feeding the Beast, which was a made-for-TV documentary on the "24-Hour News Revolution". The other two movies were FahrenHYPE 9/11, a direct to video documentary designed to rebut Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, and Is It True What They Say About Ann?, a documentary on Coulter containing clips of interviews and speeches.

In 2006, Coulter refused permission to include a scene featuring herself and Al Franken in a debate in Connecticut in Franken's film, Al Franken: God Spoke.

Ann Coulter has been a frequent guest on many talk radio shows, including Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mike Gallagher, and others.

Coulter is the author of five books. All have appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list.

Her first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton (ISBN 0-89526-113-8), was published by Regnery Publishing in 1998. The book details Coulter's case for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Her second book, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right (ISBN 1-4000-4661-0), published by Crown Forum in 2002, remained number one on The New York Times Best Seller list for seven weeks. In Slander, Coulter argues that President George W. Bush faced an unfair battle for positive media coverage.

Her third book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism (ISBN 1-4000-5030-8), also published by Crown Forum, defends the presidency of Richard M. Nixon and claims Democratic politicians and the media have treasonously undermined United States foreign policy. She also claims that Annie Lee Moss was correctly identified by Joseph McCarthy as a Communist. Treason was published in 2003, and spent 13 weeks on the Best Seller list.
Crown Forum published a collection of Coulter's columns in 2004 as her fourth book, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter (ISBN 1-4000-5418-4).

Coulter's fifth book, published by Crown Forum in 2006, is Godless: The Church of Liberalism (ISBN 1-4000-5420-6). Coulter argues, first, that liberalism rejects the idea of God and reviles people of faith, and second, that it bears all the attributes of a religion itself. Godless debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list.


Portrait of Ann Coulter on the cover of Time Magazine (April, 2005). Coulter felt the photo chosen was unflattering and believed it was deliberately chosen for that reason because she is a conservative.[28]In the late 1990s, Coulter's weekly (biweekly from 1999-2000) syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate began appearing and today is printed in more than 100 newspapers nationwide and is featured on many well-known conservative websites, including, and WorldNetDaily. Her syndicator says, "Ann's client newspapers stick with her because she has a loyal fan base of conservative readers who look forward to reading her columns in their local newspapers."[29] Her column is also permanently linked to on the Drudge Report web page, a site with 10 million hits a day, and has been for many years.

In 1999, Coulter worked for a time as a regular columnist for George magazine. Coulter also wrote exclusive weekly columns between 1998 and 2003 for the conservative magazine Human Events and continues to write an occasional legal column for it, in which she discusses judicial rulings, constitutional issues, and legal matters affecting Congress and the executive branch. Coulter was the subject of a Time magazine cover story in April 2005.

Her columns are invariably highly critical of liberals and Democrats. In one she wrote:

This year's Democratic plan for the future is another inane sound bite designed to trick American voters into trusting them with national security.
To wit, they're claiming there is no connection between the war on terror and the war in Iraq, and while they're all for the war against terror — absolutely in favor of that war — they are adamantly opposed to the Iraq war. You know, the war where the U.S. military is killing thousands upon thousands of terrorists (described in the media as "Iraqi civilians", even if they are from Jordan, like the now-dead leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi). That war.

Negative reactions from publishers
In 2001, as a contributing editor and syndicated columnist for National Review Online (NRO), Coulter was asked by editors to make changes to a piece written after the September 11 attacks. On the national television show Politically Incorrect, Coulter accused NRO of censorship and claimed she was paid $5 per article. NRO dropped her column and terminated her editorship. Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of NRO, said, "We did not 'fire' Ann for what she wrote ... we ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty [concerning the editing disagreement]."

Coulter contracted with USA Today to cover the 2004 Democratic National Convention. She wrote one article that began, "Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston..." and referred to some unspecified female attendees as "corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons." The newspaper declined to print the article citing an editing dispute over "basic weaknesses in clarity and readability that we found unacceptable." An explanatory article by the paper went on to say "Coulter told the online edition of Editor & Publisher magazine that 'USA Today doesn't like my "tone," humor, sarcasm, etc., which raises the intriguing question of why they hired me to write for them.'" USA Today replaced Coulter with Jonah Goldberg, and Coulter published it instead on her website.

In August 2005, the Arizona Daily Star dropped Coulter's syndicated column citing reader complaints that "Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives."

Following the publication of her fourth best-selling book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, in July 2006, some newspapers replaced her column with those of other conservative columnists:

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, announced that it was replacing Coulter's column with that of David Limbaugh, stating that, "the complaints that mattered the most were from the conservative readers."
The Augusta Chronicle of Augusta, Georgia explained that they felt that her "stridency" had crossed the line.
The Shreveport Times announced that they were considering dropping Ann Coulter in favor of another conservative columnist because "She is more about entertainment and self-promotion," and that they had "come close" before.
Yes! Weekly of Greensboro, North Carolina replaced her column with that of William F. Buckley due to plagiarism allegations as well as her comments on 9/11 widows, with readers' responses to the question running two to one for replacing her. The editor wrote, "Sure, there will be some who bemoan her absence from our pages and others who will question my decision to pull from our ranks a writer whose book currently sits atop the New York Times bestseller list. And they may have a point -- she's sold a lot of books. But I'm not gonna be helping her do it anymore. So goodbye, Ann. It's been a wild ride."