The perfect blonde storm

I was talking with an editor I know about the Coulter Cerfuffle, shaking my head that we in media are such idiots for falling into her spider’s web and giving her just the publicity she wants for saying the next outrageous thing. No, the editor said, it’s actually a conspiracy: Media are loving it, for they get another alleged controversy and lots of ink and link and hot air on-air. It’s a conspiracy, a conspiracy of cynics.

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  • Jimmy

    Sometime you have to speak out because what is said is just so disgusting. Sure, it may give The Great Moron Coulter more publicity for her book, but saying that the widows of September 11 victims are actually “happy” for the deaths of their spouses is beyond disgusting and deserves to be denounced — even if it gives her more publicity. Coulter’s popularity outside of the wingnut circles has been on the decline for awhile now. What publicity she gets won’t bring her any more readers. Besides, you yourself have spoken out for a lot less than what this fool said.

  • But Jeff… Michael Moooooooore!

  • Absolutely! Media is always on the search of something crispy and sensational. Hardly matters if its Coulter’s intrigue to gain publicity! Atleast you are getting much without botheration.

  • Absolutely, as long as Michael Moore is running around there like a maniac, claiming mainstream views, might as well have a conservative nut out there too doing the opposite. I’d give money to have them in the same room…

  • Ann Coulter’s schtick doesn’t work everywhere. Here in Tucson, the local fishwrap dropped her column — one they only took after being browbeaten about needing to balance Molly Ivans. But I think they canned Coulter after three other strikes: 1) change of newsroom management 2) her evasiveness with a reporter when it came to the infamous “Al-Pieda” episode at the University of Arizona 3) suspected lifting of quotes from other sources without attribution.

    I second Robert: Coulter vs. Moore in the same room. Should be great Pay-Per-View. After all, partisans need their version of WrestleMania, don’t they?

  • I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with Ms Coulter.

    The phenomenon she describes — individuals claiming a privileged position of expertise to speak out on issues of public policy merely because of their personal grief — is not new. I am surprised she has only just discovered it. It has been around for years now. It is the basis of the victims’ movement in the criminal justice system.

    The archetype of the character she describes is, of course, John Walsh. Walsh parlayed the abduction and murder of his child into a role as a nationwide expert in crimefighting, failed daytime TV talkshow host and anchor of the longrunning primetime TV hit America’s Most Wanted.

    Walsh’s appearances on NBC’s Today outnumber both Coulter’s and the widows of September 11th by an order of magnitude.

    Yet while Coulter’s point is well taken, her tone is not. Criticizing the media for treating the widows as experts in no way justifies her meanspirited slanders against the widows themselves. If the news media did not treat these women with such deference, Coulter would not need to allow her bilious imagination to run wild about their motives.

  • Wise One

    John Walsh is not a whining victim. He takes action. He helps police get the bad guys.

    The harpies are whining victims. They got a big bag of taxpayer cash. They want to be combatants in the political arena. Combatants should take the heat or get out.

    Good going Ann. I bought your book.

  • Since the book has been out for only a few days, I am confidently guessing that 90%+ of people with an opinion on her 9/11 widows “slander” haven’t read the entire chapter in question.

    Self-styled moderates have sheepishly jumped on the “enjoying their husbands death” line to distance themselves from Ann.

    While self-identifed liberals are using the line to broadbrush all conservative/Republicans.

    The widows in question were just one example of Ann’s point. She was criticizing the trotting out of inherently sympathetic victims as a propaganda tactic. The examples she gave,

    – a grieving Carolyn McCarthy, whose husband was murdered by a lunatic on the Long Island Rail Road, to lobby for gun control.
    – a paralyzed, dying Christopher Reeve to argue for embryonic stem cell research.
    – a gaggle of weeping widows to blame President Bush for 9/11.
    – a disabled Vietnam veteran, Max Cleland, to attack the Iraq War and call Bush, Cheney, and every other human who ever disagreed with him a “chicken hawk”.
    – a rare Democratic Purple Heart recipient, Congressman John Murtha, to argue for surrender in Iraq.

    Of course she also mentioned the impunity of Cindy Sheehan, a mother of a fallen soldier.

    I would add John McCain, who as a victim of torture himself, used his resume to indict Gitmo.

    I doubt Ann could discern that this one particular paragraph would be elevated so triumphantly by her knee-jerk critics. Did the hullabaloo sell her more books? Only those that traffic in the unquantifiable could say.

    I am still looking for a substantive response to her thesis of the “sympathetic victim tactic”. Does anyone deny her evidenced claim? Is it or isn’t it a legitimate form of public debate?

  • Captious Nut –

    It is strange indeed that you and I – who hardly ever agree on anything – find ourselves in harmony on this issue here, in the comments of the BuzzMachine. I say this because of the initial inspiration for this blog’s creation. Our host invented it not as a forum for Jeff Jarvis, expert journalist, to express himself, but Jeff Jarvis, sympathetic victim of the Twin Towers attacks.

    So while you, Captious, and I agree that victimhood confers no expertise, it is only fair to Jarvis himself to add that this does not imply its converse, that victimhood requires silence. Jarvis’ presence at the Twin Towers gives him standing to describe his experience, but not special standing to prescribe what public policy should follow it.

    It is a puzzle, though, why Coulter thinks this is worth commenting on now.

    Remember the Presidential debate in 1988, when CNN’s Bernard Shaw callously asked Michael Dukakis to imagine the rape and murder of Kitty, his wife? Shaw asked the imaginary widower whether he would then support capital punishment. Think of what Shaw implied: that a grief-stricken widower is better qualified to decide the criminal code of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts than its elected Governor.

    No need, voters, to elect public officials to execute our laws! Let’s just have sympathetic victims decide to execute inmates.

  • Shoot, Tyndall agrees with me? I am going to have to rethink my stance then.

    Just kidding.

    I certainly have stong opinions on many things but my comment focused squarely on Ann Coulter.

    What kills me about Ann is that she’s roundly decried as a bombthrowing radical. Since when did writing a book rife with sourced facts become an act of radicalism? Surely the indefatigible free speech advocates on this blog celebrate her right to spread obscene notions.

    If cataloging the actions of four Jersey widows constitutes a radical response to 9/11, how would the critics characterize, say taking a bat to the head of Jamie Gorelick?

    Perhaps as arch radical?

    Personally, Ann’s a little too moderate for my taste.

    Congratulations Mr. Tyndall, you are the 1,000th person to tell me that you often disagree with me. My pachydermal memory doesn’t recall ever having argued with you in a comment thread (Am I wrong?). Please don’t be like the others. The next time I set you off, formalize your criticism in a specific written comment. I’m sick of arguing with myself and would consider it a personal favor. Thanks.

  • bill

    She is always a bit impolite but seems many in NYC agree with her from what Ive read. But they were somewhat less accomodating with their terms for the “Jersey Girls” and Girls was not the terms most often touted for them. Most seemed to start with either a T or a C.

    Myself, I have always had an affinity for the term Harpies, it seems quaint.

  • Usual Suspect

    Does Jeff read any of the books he criticizes?

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  • Usual Suspect

    p.s. In the old days Jeff’s scholarship involved a depthful analysis (sometimes on the television) of the book’s jacket, but it seems even this impressive benchmark has withered.

  • tigh


    I have had some slightly digestive moments to somewhat digest this woman’s comments. I do not care what Anne Coulter has to say about anything, but she hit a nerve with me!

    I am at a major network. I was part of the story but will not go into that.

    When we could not find my sister I had gone to a Church. Any Church. I wept. I prayed. I was asked by a woman to hold her. She had just gotten off the phone with her soon to be husband who was choking on smoke. He died on the phone.

    She was vocal in the days/months following. She met with Jordan’s wonderful Queen. She met with Arafat. She became a spokesperson for the 911 women. She has since left NY. We lost a person of courage. A person who never made a dollar from that, they had not married and she was not interested in settlement. A person who befriended Ms Coulter’s nemisis.

    I also worked with Safe Horizons, every Saturday for months (these were my neighbors, my neighborhood). I was doing intake as a volunteer. I would take people’s inventory and administer funds to them. Yes, I saw some rediculous claims. By in large, however, most were modest. I recall a woman who came in from Duane St, all she wanted was help to clean her drapes.





    We will take in anyone. I accept Mexico, Canada, Jordan, anyone. MS COULTER, YOU MAKE IT HARD FOR US TO ACCEPT CONNECTICUT!

    I do not like her. Nor will I read her book! I certainly will never pay for trash!

  • Usual Suspect

    (at least you haven’t gone off the deep end)

  • tigh

    I am sorry for that last comment. It was said out of anger and I take that back. I just finished Ms Coulter’s missive. She is right about a lot of things, wrong about others; in my opinion.

    What still grabs me is the fact that she chooses to market her book with such vile, vitriolic rhetoric. She shamelessly attacks people whom she has never met. She did this as a media stunt. She shamelessly admits this.

    Hitler wrote a book too.

    I guess Outrage sells. But this is Outrage at the expense of many, many people. People who were touched by loss.

    Again; someone please cut Anne Coulter’s hair off. Her bile would not be read otherwise!

    I would gladly put Nair in her Shampoo!

  • tigh

    And as an asside to Ms Coulter of Fairfield County CT, I would rather have a Mexican as a next door neighbor than a cruel snob who has never met a Mexican!

    Again, stay in Connecticut!

  • Hardly matters who is intriguing against whom, simply focus on your objectives and let both be happy.

  • Speaking of Molly Ivins, she is every bit as hateful and meanspirited as Ann Coulter. Just not so sharp.

    Coulter called the Jersey Girls “harpies” — big woo. I couldn’t help but think about Jeff’s fave, that Woolcott guy, who said that red staters deserve to be killed in hurricanes, even as midwesterners were being killed in hurricanes.

    Liberals have thousands upon thousands of acidic tongues lolling about with merely alleged wit, but somehow it is only the few on the right — especially Ann Coulter — who represent a demeaning of debate, a lowering of our standards of political interchange, yadda yadda yadda… so we get people who in the past have who have called a female black Republican judge a “neanderthal” (Ted Kennedy), claiming that Republicans have an extra chromosome (Gore), spinning wild yarns of “vast right wing conspiracies” (Hillary Clinton), and telling outright lies through deceptively edited film footage (Moore) suddenly wringing their hands about how MEAN Republicans are for not publicly denouncing Ann Coulter.

    ‘scuse me, when did liberals stop *celebrating* and *lionizing* every mean-spirited ill-tempered, hate-mongering mouth who speaks for them? I don’t have to agree OR apoligize for anything Ann Coulter says any more than I need to agree or apologize for anything my sibling might say. She speaks up for what she believes; as Truman said about giving them hell…

  • Note to tigh:

    You can thank me because I am cutting off her hair. You are absolutely correct that she would not be listened to without it.

    Rather than Nair, I suggest that we just call all bleached women Brunettes; Bleached Brunettes.

    Since only a tiny, tiny 3% of women in the USA are Blonde then only 3% of the women could be Bleached Blondes.

    Clairol’s own stats claim that 40% of all Brunettes are bleached and have assumed the name Blonde.

    Nearly 95% of all American women are Brunette and yes, you heard me right, 40% of them are using the image and name Blonde to make tons of money by saying and doing whatever they want, with NO limits to their behavior, attitudes or actions at all.

    There are no limits because, to quote Dolly Parton; “Dumb Blonde jokes don’t bother me because I know I’m not Blonde.”

    So none of them care what anyone does to the image and name Blonde because they’re NOT BLONDE.

    Ask them, they’ll tell you that and laugh, because YOU DON”T GET IT, and they do; they’re never going to be named, blamed or shamed until they are called Brunette and they are pretty sure that’s never going to happen.

    They have insurance like Clairol’s feature-length hair-bleach commercial “Legally Blonde”. Miss the cameo of the bleach box in the opening frames? Go look, it’s there. Reese is no Blonde, in fact it’s her box of bleach.

    How ’bout another stat? 70% of prostitutes are Bleached Brunettes.

    Just call them Dumb Bleached Brunettes and other than some initial violence they will shrivel up and disappear out of SHAME.

    Calling them worthless trailer-trash dumb slut Bleached Blondes just gives them exactly what they want; the name Blonde at any price because the name Blonde is POWER.

    The name Blonde has as much power as the image so please, let’s just take the name away and call them Bleached Brunettes.

  • Kellie

    As a moderate, she inspires anger even in me. I’d like to rip out that stiff bleached hair of hers with my bare hands. She’s nothing but a Nazi pig, and should leave the US for a place that agrees with her opinions…if anyone would have her. Even some conservatives dislike her, because she’s making their party look even worse.

    As for her following, it’s mostly men, because they are hard for her bony body, her bleached hair, and her mannish features. They might as well be having a gay fantasy…

    She doesn’t really belong in the political arena; the way she flaunts her body, she should be in porn…