Tag Archives: polemic

Coulter’s Berkeley Bluff

Ann Coulter has been undeservedly hailed a valiant heroine for the Battle at Berkeley, yet her perceived defiance of leftist mobs and censoring administrators was not really at all courageous.

In fact, Coulter never expected or intended to give a speech at Berkeley! It was all a clever ruse and publicity stunt. Bravado, not bravery, marked Coulter’s Berkeley bluff.

After successfully portraying herself as a courageous free speech warrior – having gotten exactly what she wanted: publicity and a new image – Coulter did not give what would have been a truly “free” (no honorarium) speech in what she herself insisted was the “safest place on earth” for her.

Before getting into details, let’s recall that Berkeley has justifiably been almost universally condemned (except by some on the far left) for not allowing Coulter to speak. Nevertheless, Coulter is not the courageous heroine she would have you believe her to be.

Coulter’s Last Stand

I gave Ann an Alamo Award in 1997 for her unquestioned courage – at that time – in speaking truth to power, at the risk of losing her livelihood. At Berkeley, Coulter risked nothing whatsoever. Indeed, regardless of the outcome, Coulter expected to gain that which she sought: publicity and an image of being a heroic-martyr.

This epic battle of wills pitting liberty lovers against academic censors saturated national news coverage. Coulter’s gambit was actually just a PR stunt from the very beginning. And it worked.

Her #BerkeleyBound mission perfectly suited her purposes. Whether or not she spoke, she won. If she spoke, she was heroic; if not, she was a courageous martyr. Win-win.

The Washington Post reported: “In a classic case of ‘heads I win, tails you lose,’ conservative provocateur Ann Coulter emerged from last week’s events at the University of California at Berkeley as a free-speech martyr.”

Coulter couldn’t lose. That was the plan from the start. It was all braggadocio and bravado, a marketing ploy explicitly designed to reinvigorate her reputation and career.

Lauded as the courageous conservative facing down Berkley rioters and university censors, the truth is otherwise: Coulter never intended to speak at Berkeley.

“Pranav Jandhyala, who founded [YAF’s] UC Berkeley chapter,” “acknowledged that it was now clear that Coulter’s intention wasn’t to engage in any real dialogue, but to prove her own point.”

Of course, YAF also wanted to use the entire scenario to promote itself and highlight the rampant trampling of the First Amendment on college campuses (and elsewhere).

Coulter’s Glory

Everything Coulter says or does accrues to Coulter’s benefit. That which she seeks most of all is glory. She became addicted to fame and power in late 1997 and she has never recovered from that pathology.

Coulter generated a tremendous amount of positive media coverage with her Berkeley kerfuffle, far more than during her last book tour. She gloried in her glory on The View.

Milking the situation for all it was worth, Coulter told KTVU that she was better than Milo Yiannopoulos: “I’m not even Milo. I mean, for Pete’s sake, I’m a twelve-time New York Times’ bestselling author.” (Actually, she’s only a ten-time bestselling author, as even McInnes admitted at Berkeley.)

Coulter also likened herself to heroic figures in the past: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Winston Churchill!

She boasted to Tucker Carlson: “By the way, I am giving the speech. What are they going to do, arrest me? They can put me in the Birmingham jail.” (King would have rejected both Coulter’s racial paradigm and anti-Christian behavior.)

The host on KTVU asked Coulter the most pertinent question imaginable: “Some people would say, ‘Ann Coulter is all about Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter wants to promote Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter wants to come here – and she’s gonna come here on Thursday – and she’s gonna be a rabble-rouser and she’s gonna try to incite people.’”

Usually in situations like this, Coulter reverts to using Jesus as her model of civil disobedience (upturning tables in temple, brood of vipers speech) to justify her own vitriol. On this occasion, she argued, “Winston Churchill was promoting himself with that ‘We shall fight on the beaches’ speech.”

Then she stridently claimed, “The idea that I’m trying to get publicity off of this event could not be further from the truth on the facts.”

Timeline

Here’s the actual timeline of events according to Coulter and her speech sponsors:

BridgeUSA and YAF sponsored Coulter’s speech. She knew – given riots at Milo Yiannopoulos’ event in February – that she wouldn’t be giving her speech. The university and/or rioters would surely shut it down.

Berkeley placed ever-demanding restrictions on Coulter’s speech. She insisted that YAF concede to every single demand. Coulter could not quit. She had to wait – and wait patiently she did (because she knew it was inevitable) – for Berkeley to cancel, making her a martyr. She told Tucker Carlson, “Well, they changed the rules every ten minutes. I kept agreeing to all of their conditions – they were hoping I would cancel.”

In this high-stakes game of chicken, Berkeley flinched. Berkeley caved and cancelled her speech, enabling Coulter to play the heroic victim of institutional censorship and mob rule.

Under intense media and political pressure, Berkeley offered an alternative date, which Coulter refused, keeping the pressure on Berkeley. Her sponsors filed lawsuits.

Coulter demanded her original speaking slot, insisted she would speak, and suggested she would speak in Sproul Plaza, if need be.

Berkeley announced that it could not ensure the safety of the speaker and attendees. Then YAF folded. Coulter wrote, “We were on [the] cusp of victory and YAF backed down, refused to seek a court order or allow the College Republicans to request a court order.  It’s a sad day for free speech.”

Coulter’s sponsors caved. Coulter was incensed. Why? She wanted Berkeley to cave and herself be vindicated as a heroine. Instead, she would have to speak outdoors, something she did not want to do.

In the end, Gavin McInnes, her good friend and latest knight in shining armor, gave Coulter’s extremely-short speech on her behalf in Sproul Plaza. Coulter was there, in Berkeley, but not at that peaceful event. Afterward, she joined McInnes and supporters for drinks at George and Walt’s.

Broken Vow

To KTVU, Coulter vowed: “I was invited to give a speech. I have a contract to give a speech. I’m giving a speech.” To the Hollywood Reporter, Coulter swore, “Yes, it was officially banned, but they can’t stop me. I’m an American. I have constitutional rights.”

Just the night before, Coulter told Sean Hannity: “I do think it is possible that the Berkeley campus will be the safest place on the face of the earth because so many people are flying in to defend me.”

At the airport, Coulter said, “Safest place on earth for me, but these cowards! Who has a better idea of what the campus is gonna be like than the person who’s going there as opposed to the moron sitting in Washington?”

So – both the day before and the afternoon of “the speech” – Coulter declared Berkeley “the safest place on earth for me,” yet she assigned her speech to McInnes! She gave him that assignment the day before the speech, which she emailed to him.

Coulter is there, but does not speak herself?

Gavin McInnes tweeted the day before the speech: “The @AnnCoulter event in Berkeley is NOT canceled. I will be speaking tomorrow with @Lauren_Southern @FaithGoldy @BrittPettibone #POYB.”

Two days earlier, Coulter tweeted: “Nice day for an outdoor speech at Berkeley,” implying she would give her speech in the plaza, if necessary. Coulter told AP, “I have my flights, so I thought I might stroll around the graveyard of the First Amendment.”

Five days later, Coulter told Lou Dobbs, “I would have preferred to have spoken.”

Coulter regularly advertises upcoming speeches on her website as soon as she has them booked. She never advertised her Berkeley speech on her own website – even though YAF did on theirs – complete with date, time, and location. Why?

She never intended to speak. It was all a charade. She wanted credit for courage without being courageous. She knew Berkeley would give in.

Nothing changed between Milo and Ann and the results were wholly predictable – and expected.

Coulter’s Speech

If Coulter really planned on speaking, then she must have prepared an astonishing speech. Indeed, Coulter boasted to Carlson that it would be “a searingly brilliant speech on immigration.”

McInnes said, “Ann sent me her speech,” and then he read it, breaking in with his own running commentary. Coulter’s actual speech was less than four minutes and contained nothing new, except for her comparison of immigrants to rat feces (contained in the lead paragraph). It contained zero references to Berkeley.

Hardly “searingly brilliant.”

Coulter told Carlson that her speech was about enforcement of existing immigration laws. Her speech – given by McInnes – never addressed that issue.

Earlier that week, Coulter said she would be updating her speech. Pretty good gig, $20,000 for a four-minute speech.

McInnes introduced her speech, saying, “Ann was betrayed. She was censored. They put all the legal onus upon her so that if someone gets hurt tonight, it would have been on her head. Now it’s on my head.”

If it was so dangerous that Coulter couldn’t give her speech, why did she have McInnes risk his life – and the lives of those in the audience – to do so on her behalf?

But what did she say shortly before McInnes gave her speech? “Safest place on earth for me, but these cowards!”

Yet, Coulter wasn’t about to nail her 95 Theses on Berkeley’s wall. She let her friend do it for her, while she took all the credit.

Speech Sponsors

The non-partisan BridgeUSA and conservative Young America’s Foundation co-sponsored Coulter’s speech. [Both YAF and BridgeUSA were non-responsive to my interview requests.]

The founder of BridgeUSA explained why his organization co-sponsored Coulter’s speech – “to facilitate dialogue between political opposites.” Ironically, he wrote: “Free speech isn’t about provocation, violence, publicity stunts, selling books or testing limits” – precisely what Coulter does on a regular basis.

Further, BridgeUSA “refuse[s] to invoke the right to free speech to inflame, attack and generate publicity” – exactly the modus operandi Coulter has embraced for the past two decades.

He added, “instigating controversy for publicity does not fix a broken system,” yet BridgeUSA sponsored a self-proclaimed provocateur and polemicist to do just that. How well would David Duke be received by the Black Panthers?

At CPAC 2002, Coulter posited the notion that she should keep going further and further right to draw the culture and the left toward her. Shortly thereafter, Coulter coined a series of “rules” for talking to a liberal: being as outrageous as you can be to inflame them. No reconciliation there.

Alheli Picazo writes, “People like Coulter and Yiannopoulos aren’t brought to campus to contribute substance – hearing either speak for a few minutes quickly puts lie to claims of their brilliance. They are skilled antagonists who can reliably incite backlash from a perceived enemy.”

It is unclear why Coulter is the best spokesman for YAF on anything, even immigration (the purported topic of the series of speeches spearheaded by BridgeUSA).

YAF has 100 speakers on its roster. Only five speakers are listed for immigration; Coulter is not among them. Were none of the actual “experts” on immigration available?

Moreover, only eight YAF speakers require an honorarium of $20K or more. Surely YAF could have selected a better representative of conservatism for less money.

YAF previously sponsored Milo Yiannopoulos, who isn’t even listed on its roster. Coulter claimed she is not like Yiannopoulos, yet they are both leaders of the Alt-Right and share an Alt-Right worldview. Is YAF in agreement with those views?

Unanswered Questions

One YAF tweet was particularly confusing: “At no time was there ever a space or lecture time confirmed for Ann Coulter to speak.” Yet YAF’s event page listed the location, date, and time as 110 Sprout Hall from 7:00 to 8:30 pm on 4/27/17. What really happened?

Would it be fair to say that YAF chose both Yiannopoulos and Coulter to generate controversy, anticipating a backlash which would then highlight the thuggish behavior on the Left and their threats to the First Amendment?

Coulter’s Courage

Conservative heroine Ann Coulter has proven herself a cowardly fraud. The free speech battle at Berkeley was merely a publicity stunt for this polemicist and provocateur.

As noted above, Coulter exhibited genuine courage in 1996-97. Hence her Alamo Award.

Since then, Coulter has gotten edgier and edgier while simultaneously abandoning her principles and ideals. In doing so, Coulter has actually embraced her fears. Now she is desperately grasping for the glory she once had and which increasingly eludes her.

What she fears most is facing the truth about the person she has become. Moreover, Coulter fears that she is beyond redemption, so why not continue on her downward path. (Ann, My Redeemer Lives, and so does yours!)

Ann Coulter isn’t a voice for freedom or free speech. Ann Coulter is a voice for Ann Coulter.

[#NeverTrump: Coulter’s Alt-Right Utopia examines the origins, worldview, and impact of the Alt-Right movement. It is now available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2fzA9Mr.]

Ann Coulter Roasted

Polemicist Ann Coulter was roasted at Comedy Central’s Roast of Rob Lowe (see graphic).

Ann Coulter Roasted

Some of the jokes aimed at Coulter were vicious and vile, expressing the enmity she has evoked across the nation. (She has been called the most hated woman in America, after all.)

Coulter responded: “As a right-wing hate-monger, it is fantastic to be at a big Hollywood shindig with all these glittering celebrities that isn’t a fundraiser for Obama. There is nothing you can tell me to discourage me. My whole career has been an Ann Coulter roast.”

While Coulter has not lost her edge, she has lost her relevancy. More and more frequently, conservatives have come out against Coulter.

Since 9/11, many conservatives have frequently found fault with the substance and style of Coulter’s work, as well as with her integrity and veracity. In fact, conservative criticism of Coulter has increased dramatically in recent years.

Her current book, In Trump We Trust, has been completely undermined by her subject and savior, Donald Trump himself, prompting a slew of parody book covers. Coulter actually exhibited the five stages of grief in less than 36 hours.

Coulter has become an expert at one thing: turning herself into a parody.

dt_coulter

Coulter, Simply Offensive

Polemicist Ann Coulter delights in being offensive, while claiming her words and jokes are inoffensive.

Yes, Coulter is confused.[1] Just as when she reiterated her nonsensical claim,[2]I’m not a Libertarian, though I’m more libertarian than most libertarians.”[3] Or when she insists,[4] “[Romney] was better than Ronald Reagan.” Coulter persists[5] in these[6] fantasies.[7]

But on to her offensive remarks!

Offensive

Coulter has gone on the offensive, accusing liberals and conservatives alike of being stupid (or some variation thereof). Her jokes have become worldly and her elimination rhetoric are expressions of her enmity for the Left.

Offensive

Coulter tweeted, “Only offensive word is ‘offensive.’” And regrets not “using ‘raghead’ enough.”

Ann, “raghead” thwarts productive dialogue and does not actually identify the enemy – Islamic jihadists – who actually wear a variety of clothing.

(Coulter has long been an advocate of racial profiling to combat religious extremists.)[8]

In a tweet, Coulter defended using “retarded:”

“Only offensive word is ‘offensive.’ RT@carlabercrombie @AnnCoulter: ‘…looks hilariously retarded…’ Stop that word!!!!!! It’s offensive.”

Idiot Conservatives

After Romney announced he would not run for President, Coulter said that “sane Americans” favor Romney and that those opposed to him have a “suicidal tendency” and do not “actually care about the country.”[9]

She called Gov. Perry a “moron,” and lambasted “Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, all the alleged conservatives” as “idiot conservatives.”

In a diatribe against the Right,[10] Coulter alluded to the Bush dynasty as “imbeciles,” claimed “Jeb Bush, is catnip to the stupidest influence-seekers,” and asserted “most half-wits masquerading as conservative spokesmen on TV simply repeated whatever Sarah Palin said.”

Idiot Liberals

Speaking at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Coulter castigated the Left.[11] Repeating a talking point from previous speeches, Coulter said, “Mollusks can learn from what is in front of them. Clearly, Democrats cannot.”

On Fox News, Coulter elatedly bashed Hillary:

“I think Hillary’s just really dumb. … I think we know which one the dumb one was now. This is so massively stupid what she did. … It’s so stupid … something that is so stupid … I think she’s dumb … But the real problem is, she is dumb. … it’s just one stupid political move, sticking her foot in her mouth, creating these huge problems.”[12]

Coulter never noticed the irony in her last statement, that she herself so often sticks both feet in her own mouth, “creating these huge problems” for herself.[13]

Dumb

In a series of tweets which she undoubtedly considered witty, Coulter exposed the foolishness of her heart.

In just five back-to-back tweets, Coulter called Hillary “corrupt,” “venal,” “stupid,” “DUMB,” “corrupt,” and “D-U-M-M” (misspelling in the original). Sniping at Bill, Coulter tweeted, “Hillary told Bill they needed a private server & all the thought was ‘blonde or brunette?’”

Displaying tastelessness, Coulter tweeted, “Hillary puts emails on private server AS SECY OF STATE. Bill turns ‘em over & they’re all @ penis extensions and Viagra. See the difference?”

Kill All of Them

Not content to assassinate the character of political leaders from the Clintons to Sarah Palin, Coulter expressed actual death wishes toward whole groups of people.

“All we’ll have to do is organize the death panels for the people who destroyed America, and map out whose graves will be desecrated.”[14]

“I would totally take the Chinese approach and kill them [liberals] all, so I don’t discard all of the Communists’ ideas.”[15]

“So next time I say, liberal use of nukes, daisy cutters, drones.”[16]

“I am now a pacifist in favor of the liberal use of nukes.”[17]

Coulter wants to be taken seriously. Indeed, she wants to pick the next president and determine the future of America.[18]

“My thought is that everyone should just listen to me.”[19]

Why?

Endnotes:

[1]       See “Delusional – New Ann Coulter Book” at http://wp.me/p4jHFp-3z.

[2]       Ann Coulter, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2/19/15.

[3]       See “Chapter 2:.Delusional – Ann Coulter’s Self-Identity,” Propaganda: Orwell in the Age of Ann Coulter, 2014, available as a free PDF download at www.coulterwatch.com/propaganda.pdf.

[4]       Ann Coulter, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2/19/15.

[5]       See “Case Study # 7: Mitt Romney – Ideal Candidate” Vanity: Ann Coulter’s Quest for Glory, 2012, available as a free PDF download at www.coulterwatch.com/vanity.pdf.

[6]       See “Chapter 2: Presidential Follies,” Never Trust Ann Coulter – at ANY Age, 2013, available as a free PDF download at www.coulterwatch.com/never.pdf.

[7]       See “Case Study # 6: Romney v. Everyone Else,” Propaganda: Orwell in the Age of Ann Coulter, 2014, available as a free PDF download at www.coulterwatch.com/propaganda.pdf.

[8]       See “Chapter 5: Paint Chip Profiling,” Never Trust Ann Coulter – at ANY Age, 2013, available as a free PDF download at www.coulterwatch.com/never.pdf.

[9]       Ann Coulter, Joyce Kaufmann Show, WFTL, 2/2/15.

[10]     Ann Coulter, “Three Generations of Imbeciles Are Enough,” 2/4/15.

[11]     Ann Coulter, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2/19/15.

[12]     Ann Coulter, Justice with Judge Jeanine, FNC, 3/7/15.

[13]     See “Chapter 4: …Brains,” The Beauty of Conservatism, 2011, available as a free PDF download at www.coulterwatch.com/beauty.pdf.

[14]     Ann Coulter, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2/19/15.

[15]     Ibid.

[16]     Ann Coulter, Fox & Friends, FNC, 2/21/15.

[17]     Ibid.

[18]     See “Coulter Dictates” at http://wp.me/p4jHFp-3E.

[19]     Ann Coulter, Joyce Kaufmann Show, WFTL, 2/2/15.

Ann Coulter’s “Straightjacket Party”

Coulter claims to abhor Nazi and Fascist imagery. Coulter decries comparisons of conservatives to the Devil. Coulter also rebukes liberals who label conservatives as lunatics.

Crazy00

In promoting Slander, Coulter argued:

“The big [lie] and the one I, I, that is really all the same lie is – Don’t listen to conservatives. They are stupid or they’re nuts. … This is how liberals respond to arguments, to principled arguments, to facts, to figures, to studies. They respond by calling the conservatives stupid, mean … This is one of, I think, the biggest lies. Liberals are incredibly vicious. They accuse Republicans and conservatives of every malfeasance imaginable and then they sit back and say, ‘Oh, both sides do it.’ Both sides don’t do it, as I demonstrate in my book.”[1]

Also in Slander, Coulter complained:

“This is how six-year-olds argue: They call everything ‘stupid.’ The left’s primary argument is the angry reaction of a helpless child deprived of the ability to mount logical counterarguments. Someday we will turn to the New York Times editorial page and find the Newspaper of Record denouncing President Bush for being a ‘penis-head.’”[2]

Nevertheless, with a straight face, Coulter contends: “Perhaps if conservatives had had total control over every major means of news dissemination for a quarter century, they would have forgotten how to debate, too, and would just call liberals stupid and mean. But that’s an alternative universe.”[3]

Yet, in this universe, that’s precisely what Coulter does.

Coulter’s Crazy Quotes

Coulter condemns the Left for its derogatory caricatures of Christians as crazy, writing, “The point of the phrase ‘religious right’ or ‘Christian conservative’ is not to define but to belittle. It informs the reader that the object of the sobriquet is presumptively insane by saying he is a member of it.”[4]

However, it is Coulter who is crazy about insanity.

In Slander alone, Coulter calls Sen. Jim Jeffords a “half-wit,” Gov. Gary Johnson “truly stupid,” and Gov. Christine Todd Whitman a “birdbrain” and “dimwit.” Coulter writes of “ideology-driven insanity,” “lunatic demands,” “lunatic overreaction” and “Telegenic half-wits.”

Note also this small sampling from her third book, Treason: “insane policies,” “crackpot ideas,” “this idiot,” “infantile logic-chopping games,” “worthless appeasers,” “raving column,” “the left’s dynamite combination of stupidity and arrogance,” “infantile Oedipal disorders,” “a nitwit’s hysteria,” “every idiot liberal,” “psychopathology of celebrity traitors,” “caterwauling idiot,” “knuckleheads,” and “hysterical fascist banshees.”

Insane

Ann Coulter is the Lois Lerner of the Republican Party. Her perspective on the Democratic Party is succinctly summarized in this statement: “In my lifetime, presidential elections have consisted not so much of Democrats versus Republicans, or even liberals versus conservatives, but the Straitjacket Party versus the Sane Party.”[5]

According to Coulter, “It’s as if all the brain-damaged people in America got together and formed a voting bloc.”[6] She blames the media (as well as institutions of higher learning) for this outcome. “Only total hegemonic control of all major means of news dissemination in America could possibly give rise to the insane pig Latin patois of the left.”[7]

Coulter believes, “Yes, of course liberalism is a mental defect.”[8] Indeed, she takes credit for that observation, asserting, “As I was the first to say and other people ripped it off, liberalism is an aspect of mental illness.”[9] And, of course, she wants to eliminate liberals: “Some liberals have become even too crazy for Texas to execute, which is a damn shame.”[10]

Indeed, she even takes credit for liberal lunacy itself: “The imminence of conservative victory has driven liberals to insanity. Have I contributed to this? Gosh, I hope so.”[11]

On her latest book tour, Glenn Beck exclaimed, “I’m sorry, Ann, you’re out of your mind crazy.”[12]

Endnotes:

[1]       Ann Coulter, FoxWire, FNC, 7/6/02.

[2]       Ann Coulter, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, Crown Forum, 2002, pg. 121.

[3]       Ann Coulter, Today Show, NBC, 6/26/02.

[4]       Ann Coulter, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, Crown Forum, 2002, pg. 208.

[5]       Ann Coulter, If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans, Crown Forum, 2007, pg. 97.

[6]       Ann Coulter, “Fork Replaces Donkey as Democratic Party Symbol,” 1/11/06.

[7]       Ann Coulter, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, Crown Forum, 2002, pg. 18.

[8]       Ann Coulter, Front Page Magazine, 1/12/04.

[9]       Ann Coulter, Hannity, FNC, 12/16/13.

[10]     Ann Coulter, speech, 5/4/05.

[11]     Ann Coulter, Baltimore Sun, 7/30/06.

[12]     Glenn Beck, Glenn Beck Show, 10/17/13.