"It isn't offensive to gays. It has nothing to do with gays."--Ann Coulter, last night, on the word "faggot" --Isaac Chotiner
Ann Coulter appeared on Hannity and Colmes last night. She was booked with former Democratic strategist Pat Caddell, presumably for that "balance" we hear so much about. And here's how Caddell got started after Coulter's initial, non-remorseful volley: ALAN COLMES: Pat Caddell, I'd like to have you weigh in here. You want to respond to what you heard so far? PAT CADDELL: Look, I love Ann. You can imagine where it went from there. Caddell's bottom line: "People take all this stuff far too seriously." Which is Coulter's position. So why bother having him there?
Eric Alterman, who's spilled loads of virtual--and real--ink on the subject of Ann Coulter (see here, here, and here, for starters), is decidedly nonplussed by the furor over her CPAC appearance. He writes: I gotta say, this CPAC flap is really, really dumb. Everyone's playing their assigned Pavlovian role. Look, Coulter wanted her name in the media and she got it. She wanted liberals to look like prigs and she got it. How many times is it going to work when she says "Jump?" Look, the word "faggot" which is a word one hears in private conversation quite frequently; she just said it in public.
Red State, Malkin, and other conservative bloggers refuse to defend Ann Coulter. It's the least they should do. But that doesn't mean I assumed they would. --Michael Crowley
I realize it's pointless to complain about Ann Coulter--as Andrew Sullivan memorably put it, she's a "drag queen fascist impersonator," and rich because of it. But what about the groups that host her and cheer on her calculatedly offensive statements? If the Huffington Post has to apologize for some anonymous commenters' sick remarks about Dick Cheney, what sort of penance should CPAC perform for giving Coulter a platform from which she's allowed to call--and, given the applause, seemingly rewarded for calling--John Edwards a "faggot"? --Jason Zengerle
Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America By Ted Morgan (Random House, 685 pp., $35) NEARLY FIFTY YEARS AGO the United States Senate voted to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy. Within three years of his disgrace, McCarthy was dead, his health destroyed by heavy drinking. His time in the limelight had been brief.
IDIOCY WATCH: The disaster of September 11 has prompted many, many dumb and outrageous observations: Such an enormity addles the mind, and many minds have been addled. But there is nothing more dumb and more outrageous, surely, than the suggestion that a terrorist attack never took place. That suggestion would denote either a complete collapse of the moral sense or a complete collapse of the sense of reality. Nowhere to be found, right? Wrong. To Reuters goes the shameful distinction of having suffered both those collapses. The news agency has decided not to refer to what happened in New York