Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Quantity over quality

Apparently, when you're a politically-slanted author, writing from an extremist position, and you come under fire for possible plagiarism and/or willful misrepresentation of citations to push your point onto the audience that will already support you, the best defense you can offer is to show just how often you use footnotes and endnotes.

At least, that's the case currently being presented by Ann Coulter. In a report by Media Matters, analyzing from themselves the endnotes presented by Coulter in her most recent book, they find numerous examples where Coulter simply twisted a quote to make it apply more to her point (1), where she made up a "fact" to support her views (2), and where she outright omitted information from quotes that would have dispusted her particular angle of attack (3). Of course, this being Ms. Coulter, and this being a day and age where the spewing of hate speech sells books (yes, I'm looking at Michael Moore and Al Franken as well as Coulter and her right-wing cronies), the publishing house is calling all charges levied against the book as being baseless and trivial (4). Why? Because, darnit, she knows when to make citations, and she has literally thousands of citations with her book (5).

I guess if it's good enough for Crown Publishing (6), it's good enough for me. Heck, it's nice to know that, so long as you have a lot of footnotes, you don't even have to verify their truth.

1. Coulter's points are often espoused by the Christian Right, National Socialists, and anyone else who feeds on the souls of infants.
2. "Fact" is merely a twist on reality as perceived by the majority of people. Therefore, anyone can make up a fact, convince people of it's reality, and act as though it's always been that way. See Wikipedia.
3. The angle of attack is approximately 35 degrees.
4. All your trivia are belong to us.
5. Citations make the man. Footnotes make the better man who can better manipulate reality (7).
6. Crown Publishing mainly supports the excessive use of footnotes and endnotes as proof of legitimacy because it lines their corporate coffers. And because they hate trees.
7. Footnotes do not need to have a base in truth to make a better man. Pearl Jam also does not need said base in truth.

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