Thursday, June 15, 2006

Is it support?

Ann Coulter has recently been all over the television, making appearances in support of her newest book. She is someone who has furthered the partisan divide in the country with her rhetoric, and who inspires hate mail and fervent attacks from any that are opposed to her views. Truth be told, Coulter relishes the ability to inspire such hatred, standing firmly in the belief that, well, it's still publicity. And she may have found herself a strange new bedfellow in this endeavor.


Coulter is no stranger to channels like FOXNews, networks with a blatant political slant and agenda. But she has recently appeared a few times on NBC programs, and the nature of the appearances seems a little suspect. For example, when she was on the Today Show, Matt Lauer at least called her on the carpet regarding her statements from the book "Godless", specifically her statements about the 9/11 widows who have weighed into the political arena. However, when it became blatantly obvious that Coulter was not going to actually answer his questions, but was merely set to spew more rhetoric and vitriol, it became obvious that the interview could not continue. After that sort of a reaction, and the response it provoked from viewers, that should have been the last time Coulter appeared on NBC, at least until she drastically changed her tune. After all, Michael Moore is held accountable for what he says during interviews, and, if he acts like a petulant child on television, he is treated like a petulant child.

And yet, a little over a week later, Coulter makes her triumphant return to NBC, this time on The Tonight Show, in a show that also featured George Carlin as a guest. However, instead of seeing the verbal fisticuffs one could expect from such a pairing (possibly resulting in the loss of some jaw tissue from Jay Leno), the overall confrontation was, by all accounts, incredibly bland. Bland enough that there is wonder if, perhaps, NBC told Carlin that he needed to be above and beyond his best behavior, and that he had to play nice. Given that, even with Leno at the helm, The Tonight Show can have a huge impact on what happens in someone's career, Carlin may have felt obliged to play it safe. Either that, or he was remembering the seven words you can't say on television, coupled with the increase in cost for indecency fines, and decided to simply bite his tongue for the betterment of his wallet.

As stated above, Coulter's return to NBC was triumphant, and for a couple of reasons. The first being the response she received upon being announced. This woman who inspires such hatred, and who claims to wear the "liberal's contempt like a badge of honor" is greated with typical Tonight Show exuberance, and then is set across from Leno, who is well-known for throwing nothing but Nerf balls for questions, all the while allowing the guest to talk about whatever they actually want to put before a national audience.

And this is where the question of support has to come in. Is it enough to simply state a disapproval for the words and views of someone, be it a regular network personality or a guest? Or is the simple fact of a continued access to a media outlet a silent acceptance and approval of what they say?

I'm not going to claim that Coulter doesn't have a right to say whatever she believes. After all, if she believes that angels are going to descend from heaven and save the US soccer team from World Cup elimination, she can say that all she wants. It's part of free speech, something I very adamantly support. But just because she has a right to say what she wants, that does not mean that she has the right to say it wherever she wants, or that any organization where she chooses to make her statements heard is not silently accepting and agreeing with her. Yes, I believe that Ann Coulter is a vile, hate-filled woman, who spews rhetoric and vitriol in an attempt to divide classes, political philosphies, and anything else she can get her hands on, in a simple attempt to gather more money for herself through her book sales. I also believe that, through allowing her to appear, NBC is just as subject to the hate mail that Coulter has inspired, so long as she continues to appear on their programs.

Ultimately, we can only wait until Conan takes over the Tonight Show. "In the year 2000..."

1 comment:

LuLu said...

Ann Coulter is such a blatant liar - not just a spinner, but an unapologetic tall tale spinner - that no one with any sort of inquiring mind could ever EVER possibly take her seriously. My guess is, after seeing her anorexic arms on TV the other night, that she is a meth head. How else could you explain the delusional crap she makes up and presents as the truth?