Editorials

Another newspaper’s view: Why bring Coulter’s commercialized hate to the Valley?

Ann Coulter holds up her latest book during the Comedy Central roast of actor Rob Lowe. She was verbally drawn and quartered that night; one comedian even suggested she kill herself. Yet she grinned through it all because she does whatever it takes to pay the bills.
Ann Coulter holds up her latest book during the Comedy Central roast of actor Rob Lowe. She was verbally drawn and quartered that night; one comedian even suggested she kill herself. Yet she grinned through it all because she does whatever it takes to pay the bills.

We don’t blame Ann Coulter for coming to Modesto. She’s getting paid, and it’s clear she would endure just about anything to collect a paycheck.

Don’t believe it? Check out last year’s Comedy Central’s Roast of Rob Lowe, if you can stand it. Coulter, one of 10 speakers, is verbally drawn and quartered; one comedian suggests she kill herself. Yet she grins through it all.

Did she deserve it? Well, what goes around comes around.

Coulter once used the deaths of 168 people, including 19 infants and toddlers, to make a hateful point – saying she wished Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh had targeted the New York Times instead of the Murrah Building.

Coulter’s business is commercializing hate. She puts it in pithy packages then peddles her hatred in books and public appearances. For bite-sized hate biscuits, she uses Twitter. Bon appétit.

She’s good at it – one of many hate mongers plumbing our national psyche today.

Knowing she loses relevance – and audience – if she doesn’t say something more outrageous than whatever she said the day before, Coulter aims her venom for maximum effect. She once suggested putting rat poison in a Supreme Court justice’s crème brulè; just kidding, she said.

She’s on the record hating (in no particular order) liberals, Barack Obama, gay people, Bill Clinton, Catholics, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, Hillary Clinton, public schools, Mexicans, Nikki Haley, soccer, women in office, women who vote, women who are more powerful than she is, women who grieved the deaths of their husbands in the World Trade Center towers on 9/11 and, oh yes, the media.

She hates what she can’t live without. Her brand shrivels like dried fruit if the media doesn’t amplify her words and the ensuing outrage.

Her early support for Donald Trump has helped her visibility. Before his election, you could buy three of her books for $1 on her website. She must have a lot of them.

At $25,000, we’re guessing Jim DeMartini (and an anonymous donor) overpaid to book her. Like musical groups that show up on the free stage of the county fair, Coulter is past her sell-by date.

Mickey White, of the conservative website RedState.com wrote, “She is desperately trying to stay relevant, usually the first sign that your time in the spotlight is over.”

For their Lincoln Day Dinner, Republicans could have been entertained by Arnold Schwarzenegger; schooled by Kevin McCarthy; inspired by Ashley Swearengin or regaled by Duff Sundheim or Jean Fuller. Apparently, that’s not what they wanted. Taking a cue from the tone of our national discourse, they opted for a professional hater; someone to voice their own meanness and call it entertainment.

For $125, Valley conservatives can laugh and nod along as Coulter insults Obama, Hillary, Jerry Brown, Pope Francis, Megyn Kelly, The Modesto Bee – who knows? They can revel in every barb, insult, epitaph, slur and scandalous reference. A good time will be had by all.

Except maybe not by those who feel targeted. Just as Coulter has the right to speak, so too do those she denigrates and demeans. They also have the right to gather on public property and express their anger. Violence would shock us, and if any occurs those responsible must be arrested. But that doesn’t mean people can’t reply in kind.

Unfortunately, any anger, including this editorial, plays right into Coulter’s hands; she’s already mentioning the reaction to her April 28 date on angry-talk radio. She’s booked a date the night before in Berkeley.

Blaming Coulter for her words is as pointless as blaming fire for being hot; blaming night for the darkness. Better to remember exactly who invited her here and hold them accountable.

If you attend, look around the room. Recognize that most of those sitting nearby are among our county’s most privileged. Is Coulter helping you rub that privilege in the faces of those she insults?

We know what Coulter’s about. Being outrageous is her occupation. Intolerance is her brand. Hate is the product she sells. Watching that TV roast, we could see that she decided long ago to trade self respect to help sell her product.

But what about your self respect?

Enjoy the show.

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