Coulter's Shtick

Monday, April 18, 2005

Coulter's Shtick

Earlier, I noted Ann Coulter's appearance on the cover of the new issue of Time. Now CNN has reprinted the relevant article and, from reading it, it becomes pretty clear that Coulter's persona really is little more than well-paying shtick.

The author of the article doesn't see it that way, but you can be the judge
But as Coulter herself points out in Is It True What They Say About Ann?, "I think the way to convert people is to make them laugh or to make them enraged ... Even if I could be convinced that if I had gone through 17 on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hands, I might convince one more liberal out there, I think I'd still write the way I write, because it gives me laughs." Coulter told me that when her editor suggests cutting a line from a column to save space, "I'll ask him, 'But is it funny?' And if he says it's funny, I'll cut an actual fact [instead]."


Although it drives Coulter crazy, even friends sometimes say her public and private personas differ. Kent Brownridge, 63, general manager of Wenner Media and a longtime Democrat who used to work for George McGovern, says, "You couldn't find a nicer friend" than Coulter.

But, he adds, "I think she has a professional point of view or a shtick or whatever ... Ann has perfected a thing she does on TV because she is outrageous and funny. That's her business, public commentator."
I long ago gave up getting outraged by what Coulter had to say when I began to suspect that her statements were concocted mainly to maximize their shock-value.

Whether or not she really believes the things she says is wholly irrelevant at this point. She is, in many ways, a lot like Andrew Dice Clay in that her career is predicated on her ability to capitalize on the outrage she generates. And perhaps once people realize that, she, like Andrew Dice Clay before her, will disappear into obscurity.

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