Remember that lovey-dovey profile of Coulter that Time did two years ago? Well, they haven't broken up with her yet. No, they got their resident gay columnist to write this:
Coulter is heterosexual, so I suppose I should condemn her as well. But note that she was using the word "faggot" with virtual quote marks around it. Surely all of us are allowed to do that -- just the way I used the N word in quote marks above. She didn't say "John Edwards is a faggot." She would never say that -- not because she respects the rights of gays to full equality before the law (she doesn't) -- but because it wouldn't be funny. Coulter wants to make people laugh more than anything; she is, as I have argued here, a right-wing ironist and comedienne as much as she is a political commentator. This is obvious if you watch her speak with the sound off -- she is smiling or even giggling most of the time; she theatrically rolls her eyes; you can see her pause and toss her hair into a jaunty cant before delivering a punchline. We don't read her body language the way we normally do because the words she is uttering are so peremptory and shocking. If we did, we would put her in the same league as Bill Maher or Jackie Mason, not the dry policy analysts who are sometimes pitted against her on cable-news shows.
Yeah, we just didn't get the joke at all! She wasn't calling Edwards a faggot - she was making an astute ironic statement about the state of media commentary and the current stranglehold that political correctness has on it! And if you don't get her jokes, then you're just too clouded by the substance of what she says to notice her style! Joke's on you!
I guess the point of Time right now is to get her back on the public's good side so that she can go back to making wonderfully well-researched books to show Americans their stupidity in feeling compassion for the 9/11 widows and Vietnam veterans, not wanting to bomb the NY Times office, and ever, ever questioning the wisdom of Dear Leader. It bothers me that a supposedly credible magazine like Time would have such goals; it bothers me even more that they would put their on-staff homosexual on the case, because, you know, it sounds better if he defends her for calling Edwards a faggot than if a straight person did. No co-option of our people going on at Time.
This is all just months after Time published a column full of lies by James Dobson attacking gay parents. (To me, that was the equivalent of going to the KKK for a column about Colin Powell being the first African-American Secretary of State.)
On the Romney front, no more news recently. He released a statement calling her remark "offensive", but I'm sure he's pretty happy she made it. Watch him yuk it up with her at the CPAC:
He also was favored in the presidential straw poll at the CPAC, no doubt thanks in part to the glowing endorsement Coulter gave him. In my book, Romney hasn't denounced Coulter for her remark yet.
Via the Daily Dish, we also find out that the CPAC organizers aren't about to condemn her:
I just got an email from the American Conservative Union. They won't say if they'll disinvite Coulter from CPAC next year. They won't actually condemn Coulter's speech. Money quote:
'ACU and CPAC leave it to our audience to determine whether comments are appropriate or not. "Ann Coulter is known for comments that can be both provocative and outrageous. That was certainly the case in her 2007 CPAC appearance and previous ones as well. But as a point of clarification, let me make it clear that ACU and CPAC do not condone or endorse the use of hate speech," said David A. Keene, ACU Chairman.'
Does that mean he believes her speech was "hate-speech"? Why can he not just say so and disinvite her in the future? The answer: because the base would explode. Coulter is central to a core element of the conservative movement today. And Keene can't risk taking her on.
Oh, how provocative. It's also great that they leave the CPAC audience up to determining whether or not her comments were offensive. Because that's a really credible source here. They cheered and applauded and laughed at it, so I guess nothing was offensive there! How wrong I was to say anything when the esteemed CPAC audience had already decided that her comment wasn't offensive!
There was some material movement from the companies that put ads on her website. From CNN:
At least three major companies want their ads pulled from Ann Coulter's Web site, following customer complaints about the right-wing commentator referring to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a "faggot."
Verizon, Sallie Mae and Georgia-based NetBank each said they didn't know their ads were on AnnCoulter.com until they received the complaints.
A diarist at the liberal blog DailyKos.com posted contact information for dozens of companies with ads on Coulter's site after the commentator made her remarks about Edwards at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday.
I still haven't forgiven Verizon for buying up Deer Creek's naming rights, but this whole thing brings me one step closer. Also, notice how this change did not come from traditional media pressure or coverage of this story (has a network done a piece on this?), but from a diarist at Kos.
Ann Coulter herself doesn't think that this remark was offensive. From Americablog:
It's all a joke. And, we need to know is that Coulter now speaks for gays and lesbians across America. Verbatim quotes:
"The word I used has nothing to do with sexual preference. It is a schoolyard taunt."
"It isn't offensive to gays. It has nothing to do with gays."
Huh? Apparently, Ann Coulter has never been on the receiving end of that schoolyard taunt -- but Ann Coulter, like so many in the GOP, has made it acceptable to use that taunt against kids all over America. Just a schoolyard taunt? Say that to some kid who's had his face bashed in.
Words matter. She thinks it was "an excellent joke."
I'll give her points for being honest on this. No, she's not right, but she 's honest to say that: a) She is completely out of touch with the majority of gay people; b) She thinks that hate speech has a cherubic quality to it; c) She's homophobic, not just "Love the sinner, hate the sin". Oh, wait, she didn't say any of that? Oh well, she's made those points abundantly clear.
Last, but not least, the Edwards campaign released two statements concerning this matter. I briefly mentioned the first on Saturday, the one where his campaign manager thought that this was just a fund-raising opportunity. Tony mentioned the latter: Elizabeth Edwards' statement that at least mentioned the gays. I'm glad that she realized that Coulter's comments, while directed at John, were damaging, as always, at the GLBT community. I'm operating on the assumption on this one that she just released the statement instead of him because it seems more classy that way, when in fact it was probably written by a staffer. Either way, she still mentions fund-raising in it. If she wanted to bolster her husband's campaign with this issue, which I really can't fault a presidential campaign for trying to do, then why not highlight what policies he helped pass that benefited the GLBT community? Or maybe his support for full and equal rights for people of all sexualities?
Oh, wait, he doesn't support that.
Oh, and John Amaechi has a reality-based response to Coulter:
That's half of what this story's really about. Hurtful and violent language being used by one of the most prominent conservative commentors of our time. The other half of it is the fact that no one really cares.