Thursday, June 08, 2006

 

Take the Ann Coulter/Zacarias Moussaoui Quiz

If you're reading this, you probably already know about author Ann Coulter's recent statements about the 9/11 widows. So let's make this a water cooler quiz. Go to work and find someone who hasn't been following the news and give him/her the following short quiz. The answer for each of the questions is either 1) a brutal terrorist sentenced for the 9/11 attacks; or 2) an author respected in conservative and Republican circles:
1. Who said that statements from bereaved family members of 9/11 were "disgusting"?
2. Who, referring to bereaved 9/11 widows, said, "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much"?
3. Who said, "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis"?
4. Who referred to 9/11 widows who lived in East Brunswick, New Jersey as "the witches of East Brunswick"?

Let me know in the comments how you or others did on the quiz.

Answer key: 1. Zacarias Moussaoui 2. Ann Coulter 3. Ann Coulter 4. Ann Coulter

Even though Coulter's statements in the book should have made her a national pariah, the right's media network is doing a competent (but soulless) effort to partially shield Coulter from all the condemnation she deserves (click here and here).

Probably the biggest hypocrite of the Coulter is Sean Hannity. After cartoonist Ted Rall made a woefully failed attempt at humor about the 9/11 widows (and which caused the New York Times to drop Rall's cartoons), Hannity rightfully lambasted Rall when he appeared on Hannity & Colmes. Now Slanthead is an ardent defender of a vicious personal attack on the widows that goes much more beyond the pale than Rall’s tasteless cartoon:
"You're saying that liberalism cannot be sold by the people in office, and you feel people like Cindy Sheehan ... Jack Murtha, who was a former Marine... [t]he Jersey Girls ... are being used by the left to make points that they [liberals] cannot make on their own. Isn't that the point of the chapter?"

"You're saying they've entered the political arena. Now, I've gone and I've been looking at some of the comments, for example, of the Jersey Women in particular. ... [T]hey have been harsh about [Secretary of State] Condi Rice, about [White House senior adviser] Karl Rove ... about President Bush, very outspoken. They were on the campaign trail with [Sen.] John Edwards [D-NC] and with [Sen.] John Kerry [D-MA]. ... So basically what you're saying is, if they're going to enter the political arena separate from the loss of their husbands, that now this is a dialogue. If they call the president a liar, this is now a dialogue. And you're saying most people won't dare get engaged with them because of what they've been through."

"[T]he point here is, is that they [the 9-11 widows] have taken a strong, a harsh line politically against the president, that they name-call on their side, and that now it's time to challenge them, based on what these issues are, because they've gotten a pass because of their positions."

The Said-Without-Irony Award has to goes to Mike Gallagher. I heard a few minutes of his radio show today and he was commenting on the poor sales for the Dixie Chicks' concert tour and said that was a good thing because, according to Gallagher, the Chicks are anti-American and anti-war-on-terror for daring to give their opinion about George W. Bush. Gallagher then made a seamless segue into vociferously defending Coulter's personal attacks on the 9/11 widows. Gallagher's rationale was the straw man that if the widows want to take policy positions, they can receive criticism for them. Earth to lame middle-aged guy: accusing a bereaved widow of being a celebrity-seeking “broad” who enjoyed her husband's death doesn't address any policy issues.

Comments:
It's about time someone called the "Jersey Girls" to account for being liberal operatives who chose to exploit the husbands' deaths for more than the money
 
The thought process of a liberal never ceases to amaze. Let me 'splain some things to you. I'll type slow so you can understand.
1. Nobody is shielding Coulter from anything. She makes herself open and available every day out in public and in the marketplace of ideas, where she takes all incoming shots and she fires back. She might be the most courageous woman in America.
2. The Jersey Girlie-Girls have every right in the world to verbalize whatever ignorant little thought pops into their empty little heads. Coulter has never attempted to restrict what they say--that's what liberal do. What Coulter is saying is that it is reprehensible for the little strumpets to deflect all criticism by saying "No fair! I'm a widow!"
3. It is beyond reprehensible for the Fearful Foursome of Floozies to turn our national tragedy into their personal cash cow. They have publicists, for crying out loud! Most Americans find their behavior to be loathsome. Congratulations to Coulter for her spot-on analysis!
 
I think Ann's central point, that if people enter the political fray their political views should not be off limits simply because they've been victims, is correct. Nevertheless, Ann's very personal attacks on the 9/11 widows show what kind of vicious hypocrite Coulter is. She's not debating or even attacking the Jersey Girl's ideas when she maintains that they enjoyed the deaths of their husbands or that they're profiteering off their personal tragedy, she's simply descending into hate-mongering. O'reilly is right when he says that she defeats her own argument.

I do think that the left has been using victimization as a shield in the last several years, and I'm writing as a liberal. This is, I believe, a response to the right's ability to portray any criticism of its policies as un-american or un-christian. In this sense, the right has long been playing the same game of trying to cloak their agenda in the rhetoric of moral unassailability.

The lesson: nobody should be surpriised when political animals act, well, political.
 
So wait ... When Bush brought out folks from ground zero to support his campaign in 2004, I didn't hear anybody calling them "conservative operatives" exploiting anybody's deaths. They were just stating what they believed.

But someone who disagrees with your position, obviously, must be a political operative and therefore open to personal attack.
 
What Coulter doesn't understand is that military service, in Murtha's case, or 9-11 losses, in the widows' case, isn't being used as a shield against criticism. She continually is claiming that they cannot use these as shields against dissent.

What this is being used as is CREDIBILITY. Anybody who disagrees with Bush, Coulter and the far right is accused as anti-american and unpatriotic. Ergo, military service or the losses from 9-11 are invoked, not as a barrier to dissent, but a protection from the right-wing's inane and frivolous argument that these people who dare disagree are unpatriotic.
 
I can honestly see Coulter's point that no one should get a free pass based on their victim status.

My question is, where was she when those supporting the war did their own share of pimping out the victims? I've certainly seen enough materials attempting to take things a step further and imply that being against the war is tantamount to dishonoring those who died on 9/11, which I'd line right up next to the Ted Rall cartoon.

There is a mythology out there that all of the 9/11 victims, and all of the soldiers fighting the war, MUST, by default, support the president and his war. But, they don't. Their opinions vary, like those of any other group.

When it comes to Murtha, I've never heard him claim that no one can contradict him because he is a Marine. On the other hand, his speaking out, whether he mentions his status or not, exposes as false the myth that all military and former military members must support this war - which in fact, again, they don't. Opinions vary.
 
Hey scooby,
you might like my Hitler or coulter quiz.
 
Hey Rev Dr. I got seven right i\on the Coulter quiz. How are others scoring?
 
Ha!

7 right out of 14 means that you can't tell the difference between Coulter and Hitler, as that is what would be predicted by picking quotes at random.

Don't worry though Scoobie, that means you're a good normal person who has neither memorized Coulter's, nor Hitler's, pscyhotic ravings.
 
AC accuses the "Jersey Girls" of expecting that the rest of America has to marinate in the stew of their own personal agony as if 9/11 only happened to them. But it was AC who wrote in a column shortly after 9/11 that we should invade the countries of the Arab world, depose their leaders and convert their people to Christianity. In other words, she wants everyone in the Muslim world to marinate in the stew of her own personal anger over 9/11.

And what was the crime of the "Jersey Girls" in Coulter's eyes? Gasp! They supported John Kerry for president in 2004. So fucking what! And Kerry lost! So obviously the "Jersey Girls" did not influence the election in favor of Kerry.

What annoys me in the interviews I have seen of Coulter on tv is that she sets up these false comparisons and no one calls her on them. For example, she argues that liberals get upset over a tree being cut down or the habitat of an endangered animal being destroyed but have no problem with killing unborn children. Wrong. Liberals, or shall I be more expansive and say supporters of abortion rights, are not gleefully trying to murder fetuses. No, those of us who support abortion rights believe that a women who is pregnant has the right to decide if she is going to carry a pregnancy to term and raise the child. That is why it is called a right to choose. And as for environmentalism, sure sometimes they go too far and deserve to be ridiculed. But whether or not one believes in God or the Bible, we are the stewards of this Earth, and we have to preserve and protect our environment so that our descendants will live in a world of clean air, clean water, sufficient populations of fish in the oceans, arable farm land etc.

Ann Coulter is the literary equivalent of junk food for ignorant right wingers.
 
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