Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Annie Get Your Pen - If Hardball's Chris Matthews has sufficiently done his job, we are to believe that yesterday's confrontation between Ann Coulter and Elizabeth Edwards was entirely organic, a spontaneous seizing of an opportunity on the part of Mrs. Edwards to directly confront the woman who has repeatedly maligned her husband.

According to an Edwards campaign aide, Elizabeth Edwards wanted to call into the show when she heard that Coulter would be taking questions, and she called a Hardball producer to get the phone number needed to dial into the show.
For this exchange to have occurred as described, Mrs. Edwards would have had to have known well in advance that Ms. Coulter would be appearing on the show at a particular time. Edwards would also have had to adjust her doubtless busy schedule (what with raising kids, surviving cancer and single-handedly resuscitating her husband's stalled presidential campaign) to make herself available to call into the show, and she would have had to make prior contact with a Hardball producer to get the show's call-in number. Even if one were possessed with the naivety of a schoolgirl, such a serendipitous confluence of events is hardly to be imagined.

To be sure, Coulter provides ammunition for both her supporters and her detractors. But rather than take on her ideas - or the hyperbolic bombast with which she presents them - the self-same Left that professes slathering adoration for the transgendered is reduced to slurs about Coulter having some imaginary mannish feature or other (e.g.: a suspicious Adam's apple or an unnaturally exomorphic physique.) Say what you will about her, but Ann ain't no man! Indeed, she strikes me as a woman designed by committee (the Republican National Committee perhaps.) She is equal parts smart, funny and articulate. And all of that is wrapped in a lithesome, exquisitely fine package; such a circumstance is an infinitely informative explanation for her celebrity.

But in attempting to set up the perfect media ambush of Ms. Coulter, Matthews and Co. lend credence to one of Coulter's recurring themes in a far more convincing fashion than she herself. By juxtaposing Coulter as the malevolent villain of media stereotype against Ms. Edwards' near-saintly image, Matthews bespeaks the truth of Coulter's contention that liberals readily employ a Docrine of Infallibility to disarm those whom they cannot defeat by way of objective fact. Ms. Coulter elaborates on this in her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism.
Finally, the Democrats hit on an ingenious strategy: They would choose only messengers whom we're not allowed to reply to. That's why all Democratic spokesmen these days are sobbing, hysterical women. You can't respond to them because that would be questioning the authenticity of their suffering. Liberals haven't changed the message, just the messenger. All the most prominent liberal spokesmen are people with an "absolute authority" - Democrats with a dead husband, a dead child, a wife who works at the CIA, a war record, a terminal illness, or as a last resort, being on a first-name basis with Nelson Mandela.
That Matthews would collaborate in the employing of this hackneyed device does not surprise, as he joins a long line of media types (to include Matt Lauer) who have attempted to take Coulter to task for stating her beliefs.

hews' behavior is also entirely consistent with the fact that media personalities tend to self-identify more as Democrats, and donate more to Democrats than Republicans. It is also of a piece with the idea more generally that liberalism is normative and that conservatism, however expressed, is aberrant if not deviant. By the lights of many liberals, such expression needs to be brought into check by way of a "legislative fix," such as the Fairness Doctrine. As long as the Left has such sacred cows to be gored, there will be more than sufficient need for Ann Coulter to keep doing what she does best.

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