Coulter’s Soccer Flop – Part Trois

Why Coulter Trashed Soccer and What It Reveals About Coulter

Ann Coulter garnered global attention for her nonsensical rants against soccer. Part I in this series addressed Coulter’s shoddy journalism (wrong in almost every detail), the national and international fallout from her essay, her attention-seeking with the resulting loss of her credibility, and her doubling down on her depravity.

Part 2 addressed Coulter’s xenophobia, obsession with immigration, and her narcissism, elitism, and irrational fears, which all stem from Coulter’s own self-identity and how America’s political and cultural identity swirl around her.[1]

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Here we dig a little deeper, discovering that Coulter’s hatred of soccer has its source in Coulter, not in the sport she claims is not a sport.

Attention Seeking

There is almost universal agreement among those critiquing Coulter’s soccer columns that her intent is to get attention. Chris Osterndorf put it well:

“The only agenda Ann Coulter is advancing in this case, and in every other, is her own. Coulter is a master at the art of trolling – because she knows that if you are offensive all the time and every time, it doesn’t matter what you say. All that matters is that you pay attention to who’s saying it. Which, in this case, is her.”[2]

Consequently, Coulter gained international attention spanning almost every continent. Osterndorf has certainly grasped Coulter’s very self-absorbed nature, noting:

“Trolls are always charlatans,[3] by their very nature. Through riling people up, screaming about how right they are, and how wrong everyone else is, trolls reveal that they aren’t really interested in anything except themselves. A troll’s main goal is to be noticed, not be taken seriously.”

But Coulter wants to be both noticed and taken seriously.

One blogger clearly discerned this aspect of Coulter’s nature, addressing Coulter, “It reads like a self-asserting monologue, not like a dialogue; it seems to me your interest is not discussing any topic but disposing of any other opinions, save yours.”[4]

Some, like Michael Kolander, view Coulter’s diatribe as simply a marketing strategy and they have a point, to a point. The problem is – Coulter believes every word she writes. Kolander’s five-points praising Coulter:[5]

  1. 1. She Doesn’t Give A Damn About The Blow-back
  2. 2. She Lets Her Haters Do The Heavy Lifting
  3. 3. She Played On People’s Emotions
  4. 4. She Used The List Format
  5. 5. She Piggybacked On A Trending Topic

Ironically, as Coulter garners attention for herself she diminishes her own credibility (and that of the conservative movement).

Dunning-Kruger Effect

For two weeks, Coulter’s columns, tweets, and interviews have shown her utter ignorance of soccer. (And she wonders why people are upset.) Even Fox News hosts trashed Coulter’s column. [6] Brian Kilmeade said, “I will outline what she said and try to find anything factual in it. That will be an interesting little exercise.” Kilmeade is an expert on sports who once covered soccer as a reporter. Shepard Smith also chimed in, noting, “I’m told it’s a sign of moral decay. It’s not.”

Did Coulter write about something of which she knew she was ignorant? Or did she think, as is her wont, that she understood it perfectly? In other words, was Coulter ignorant of her ignorance?

In this instance, Coulter may have suffered from “The Dunning-Kruger effect [which] is a slightly more specific case of the bias known as illusory superiority, where people tend to overestimate their good points in comparison to others around them, while concurrently underestimating their negative points.”

Not knowing what she doesn’t know – or how much she doesn’t know – she assumes she knows enough and that it can’t be all that difficult. In this case, her critique of soccer revealed her ignorance of even the most rudimentary facts.

Coulter doesn’t understand soccer, so she doesn’t like it. She wants to change the rules because she doesn’t like the rules. Because Coulter doesn’t like soccer as a sport, it 1) can’t be a “sport” and 2) must be bad. Being bad, it must be liberal.

Coulter’s sense of superiority pervades so much of her commentary. One blogger writes: “But having no idea what … she’s talking about is, for Coulter, a badge. It’s a credential of her Americanness. Ann Coulter, to quote Chris Rock, loves to not know. Not knowing anything about soccer lets Ann Coulter feel superior to it, even though Ann Coulter, of all people, shouldn’t feel superior to anything in the world for any reason.[7]

Arrogance

One could reasonably call Coulter the stereotypical “Ugly American,” flaunting her ignorance of geography and sports and providing the definitive derogatory: “It’s foreign.” Coulter is certainly a poor ambassador for America and for Conservatism. Disparaging soccer as a “game for girls,” Coulter wrote: “a guy from the Paraguay team (Uruguay? Who cares?).” Quite a few people, actually.

Ugly American is a pejorative term used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless, ignorant, and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home.” Does Coulter come to mind?

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Jonathan Corbett writes: “Ann’s not a sports writer, she’s a button pusher. And that button is attached to a machine that spews out bizarre, hate-filled rants about liberals, the New York Times and foreigners.”[8] A Forbes columnist observed, “She’s never happy in her skin unless your jaw is around your ankles.”[9]

Ann Coulter is arrogant.[10] She has a finely-calibrated sense of superiority, both personal and cultural. But that sense of superiority masks deep-rooted insecurities from others and from herself.[11]

As noted earlier, Coulter has a deep-seated fear of the Other as revealed in her attacks against non-whites, non-Americans, immigrants, liberals, multiculturalism, and soccer – the poster-game for Evil.

But Coulter has an even greater fear of exposure: that her flaws, weaknesses, and fears will be seen by others, especially by those closest to her.

Coulter’s Cover-up

In an act of pure evil – and calling evil good and good evil is, in and of itself, evil – Coulter’s close friend and ally, Sean Hannity, fully supported Coulter’s wretched columns in a rather intriguing manner.

On June 30th, Coulter appeared on Hannity’s TV show via satellite from Paris! (Did Coulter fly to France just to appear on an overseas satellite link to look important?) Surely her appearance was designed as an optic to counter her shoddy journalism regarding soccer. (Perhaps next time she can pose as a war correspondent.)

Hannity willingly became the propaganda arm for Coulter’s nonsense. Fox News promoted his show that evening with a graphic of Coulter referencing her soccer column. Hannity himself gave teasers on his show telling viewers Coulter would be on to discuss fallout from her soccer column.

But what were the top news stories of the day, also featured on Hannity? Topics included two Supreme Court decisions (Hobby Lobby, unions), the Benghazi terrorist arriving in DC, the establishment of the Islamic State in Iraq, and the burgeoning crisis of child refugees on our southern border.

Still, Hannity’s sole promotion for his show that evening was a graphic of Coulter and her soccer imbroglio.

On his show, Hannity brought up the soccer controversy without addressing any of the substantive criticisms. Instead, he allowed Coulter to attack her critics for their “hissy fits” and affirmed the boring nature of soccer. Hannity ended the segment with approval for Coulter, saying, “I agree with you on soccer and immigration.” Hannity utterly ignored the myriad mistakes in Coulter’s column and, in the end, unconditionally validated her.

Cute strategy: ignore her errors, attack her critics, and claim she is perfect.

Hannity-Enabled

Are you surprised at Hannity’s conspiracy with Coulter? Don’t be. He does it all the time. Most famously when Coulter defamed the 9/11 widows[12] – Hannity spent most of that week defending her.

Late last year, Hannity admitted, “Ann and I have been friends for many, many years. She’s gotten me in trouble on radio and TV many, many times. And, I’m like, ‘Ann, did you have to say that?’ But she’s a dear friend. She is a true American original and a patriot and a wonderful human being.”[13]

Hannity added, “I spend half my life defending her.”

If Coulter is such “a wonderful human being” then why does he have to spend half his “life defending her?” Why the hypocrisy?

Hannity frequently condemns the “breathtaking”[14] hypocrisy of Obama and his administration. He claims, “I don’t like to be lied to.”[15] He proffers, “You never go wrong in doing the right thing.”[16]

Yet, Hannity never points out Coulter’s hypocrisy, allows Coulter to lie on his show, and commends her when she most certainly does not do the right thing.

Classic enabling.

Impenitence

Ann Coulter boasts of being impenitent.[17] Indeed, Coulter is renowned for never apologizing or admitting error. She is recalcitrant and impenitent. All to her own detriment.

Calling herself an exemplary Christian, Coulter eschews repentance. How can that be?

“One could reasonably conclude that a person who won’t repent can’t be a Christian. Repentance is crucial to salvation and to living a Christian life. Both Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles called people to repentance. Repentance is, after all, a requirement for salvation. Strikingly, both John the Baptist and Jesus Christ used identical words early in their ministries: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [Matthew 3:2; 4:17].”[18]

As noted by Lauren Ashburn, “The arc of a mistake story goes as long and as high as it takes you to apologize.”[19] Because of Coulter’s refusal to apologize or to admit error – and her orchestrated cover-up with Hannity – her controversy was prolonged and her credibility was further damaged.

The hero of Rob Roy (1995) remarked in a pivotal point in the story, “Honor is the gift a man gives to himself.” The same could be said of repentance. When we repent, we bring ourselves back into the good graces of God and we can be at peace with ourselves.[20]

Resources:

Never Trust Ann Coulter – at ANY Age at www.coulterwatch.com/never.pdf.

Endnotes:

[1]       See Chapter 3: “Pride – All is Vanity,” Vanity: Ann Coulter’s Quest for Glory, 2012, at www.coulterwatch.com/vanity.pdf.

[2]       Chris Osterndorf, “An annotated history of Ann Coulter trolling America: She is the best at being the worst,” The Daily Dot, 7/1/14, http://theweek.com/article/index/263990/an-annotated-history-of-ann-coulter-trolling-america.

[3]       See also The Beauty of Conservatism, 2011,at www.coulterwatch.com/beauty.pdf.

[4]       Montserrat Algarabel, “A letter for Ann Coulter on the ‘evils’ of soccer, part deux,” 7/6/14, http://nimbemon.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-letter-for-ann-coulter-on-evils-of.html.

[5]       Michael Kolander, “5 Reasons Ann Coulter’s Anti-Soccer Rant Is Brilliant,” 6/27/14, http://www.break.com/article/ann-coulters-anti-soccer-rant-is-brilliant-2643760.

[6]       Drew MacKenzie, “Ann Coulter Slammed by Conservatives for Dissing Soccer,” Newsmax, 7/1/14, http://www.newsmax.com/US/Ann-Coulter-soccer-World-Cup/2014/07/01/id/580242/.

[7]       “Ann Coulter is not so much wrong as stupid about Soccer,” 6/26/14, http://flowbear.blogspot.com/2014/06/ann-coulter-is-not-so-much-wrong-as.html.

[8]       Jonathan Corbett, “Americans enjoying the World Cup is driving Ann Coulter crazy,” 6/26/14, http://happyplace.someecards.com/world-cup/americans-enjoying-the-world-cup-is-driving-ann-coulter-crazy-usa-usa-etc/.

[9]       Maury Brown, “How Ann Coulter Lost Her Mind Over World Cup Soccer,” Forbes, 6/26/14, http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2014/06/26/how-ann-coulter-lost-her-mind-over-world-cup-soccer/.

[10]     See Preface: “Arrogance of Power,” Never Trust Ann Coulter – at ANY Age, 2013, www.coulterwatch.com/never.pdf. For a series of case studies showing how her arrogance is manifested, see Vanity: Ann Coulter’s Quest for Glory, 2012, at www.coulterwatch.com/vanity.pdf.

[11]     For an examination of how addictive thinking (denial, projection, rationalization, etc.) plague Coulter, see The Beauty of Conservatism, 2011, at www.coulterwatch.com/beauty/pdf.

[12]     See Chapter 8: “Truth – True Freedom in Christ,” The Gospel According to Ann Coulter, 2012, www.coulterwatch.com/gospel.pdf.

[13]     Sean Hannity, Ft. Myers, FL, 12/21/13.

[14]     Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity Show, Premiere Radio Networks, 11/22/13.

[15]     Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity Show, Premiere Radio Networks, 11/1/13.

[16]     Sean Hannity, Sean Hannity Show, Premiere Radio Networks, 10/17/13.

[17]     See Chapter 7: “Embracing Liberty,” Never Trust Ann Coulter – at ANY Age, 2013, at www.coulterwatch.com/never.pdf, Chapter 16: “Conscience and Innocence,” Vanity: Ann Coulter’s Quest for Glory, 2012, at www.coulterwatch.com/vanity.pdf, Chapter 2: “The Cuckolding of Conscience,” The Beauty of Conservatism, 2011, at www.coulterwatch.com/beauty.pdf, and Chapter 4: “Forgiveness: Required of All Believers,” The Gospel According to Ann Coulter, 2012, www.coulterwatch.com/gospel.pdf.

[18]     Daniel Borchers, Never Trust Ann Coulter – at ANY Age, 2013, pg. 51, at www.coulterwatch.com/never.pdf.

[19]     Lauren Ashburn, Media Buzz, FNC, 6/29/14.

[20]     See Appendix 1: “Is Breaking Bad Breaking Good for Ann Coulter?” Never Trust Ann Coulter – at ANY Age, 2013, www.coulterwatch.com/never.pdf.

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