Saturday, June 30, 2007

James Foser on the media and Ann Coulter

From Media Matters

In 1996, MSNBC hired Ann Coulter as a contributor. The Washington Post later quoted an MSNBC official describing Coulter's performance: "What she said was so outrageous she was immediately put on probation, and the next one was even worse." Coulter has acknowledged: "They kept firing me, but then they'd rehire me." Coulter barely lasted a year before MSNBC fired her for good for on-air comments she made to Vietnam Veterans of America founder Bobby Muller.


It may be tempting to conclude that, despite the ridiculous decisions to hire the likes of Coulter and Savage in the first place, the firings indicate that MSNBC understands that their violent and hateful rhetoric adds nothing of value to the public discourse.

But maybe MSNBC has simply decided that it doesn't make much sense to pay the bigot when you can get the bile for free.

On Tuesday, for example, MSNBC's Hardball featured Ann Coulter as the sole guest for the entire hour. MSNBC continues to provide a platform for Coulter's hate; the network's just stopped paying her.

During Coulter's last appearance on Hardball, in July 2006, host Chris Matthews told her, "You write beautifully," and, "You have a brilliant brain." He described her as "the picture of heaven." Then Coulter called former Vice President Al Gore a "total fag," and Matthews ended the interview by saying of Coulter, "We'd love to have her back."

That says so much, doesn't it? Ann Coulter, despite her vile comments, despite her intellectual bankruptcy, and despite that everytime she writes a book The Rude Pundit demonstrates that significant passages of it are plagiarized, she shows up all over the place to promote her hate.

The bottom line, as Foser puts it, is:

It isn't Elizabeth Edwards who gives Ann Coulter publicity. It is the nation's leading news organizations. They may claim to find her distasteful, but they keep promoting her.

And they not only provide a forum for her hate speech and let her lie and dissemble without consequence, they repeat her false attacks on progressives as though they are true.

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