Friday, April 22, 2005

Ms. Wrong Never Looked So Right

The most dangerous place in the world is between Ann Coulter and a camera, because she will do or say almost anything for a soundbite. Among my favorites from the mistress of the microphone: "Congress should pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave." "A cruise missile is more important than Head Start." "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

Given her history of histrionics, it's laughable that she is outraged by the current cover of Time. Coulter says the editors distorted her appearance, making her feet appear large and head too big.

Let's set the record straight: Her head is too big.

Aside from the small matter of her large feet, Ann Coulter is a reactionary demagogue that delights in throwing verbal Molotov cocktails. Whether she honestly believes these outlandish statements is immaterial; Coulter says them with uncompromising conviction. So it's sheer irony that Time's editors chose a dramatic treatment for her cover, and as usual, she went ballistic. The uncomprising, alleged Ivy League convictions dissolve into superficial concerns of hair, make-up and tacky boat-sized shoes.

The Time article is actually quite balanced in its presentation of such an unbalanced subject. "She is the bogeyman of politics, the figure that liberals use when reaching for the ultimate insult, the way conservatives use Michael Moore," the editors said, taking pains to treat her with kid gloves. At times they poke gentle fun at her neo-fascism, other times jokes with her and sometimes ... fawn with compliments.

Here is one of many references that liken the 44 year old pundit to a sex symbol on college campuses. "Wearing an ankle-length fur and a wide-eyed expression, Coulter had to be pushed through the crowd by a team of handlers. When she swept past the spot I was wedged into, the young men near me went aflutter."

Something tells me these boys don't get out very often.