Monday, April 18, 2005

Funnyman Coulter

I just posted this comment at Think Progress regarding Ann Coulter's presence on Time Magazine (and her apparently infallibility), and thought I'd just reprint part of it here for your viewing pleasure.

I don't understand why everyone treats Ann Coulter like she's a political pundit. She's clearly just a comedian and has no intent to be anything more. Read her stuff. She has absolutely no interest in the truth, and is just looking for punchlines. Her left-wing equivalent is Maureen Dowd, who never heard a snarky rumor that she wasn't willing to paraphrase into her own words. The only difference is that Dowd is far classier, far more willing to attack her own side (especially if they're named Gore or Kerry), and isn't as desperate for cheap laughs.

But neither of them performs any serious analysis on the world of politics; nor do they let facts get in the way of their targets. They're entertainers, with a focus on character assassination and mockery; not pundits. I see nothing wrong with people reading Maureen Dowd or Ann Coulter for the entertainment value. Even I have been known to agree with Dowd on occasion. I just don't think people should base their opinions on anything either of them say. Hell, many comedians like Louis Black and Margaret Cho deserve more respect than either Dowd or Coulter regarding political matters. They're openly going for laughs, but are still more trustworthy and intelligent than the two would-be pundits.

And I'm not comparing them to comedians to be rude. That really is the level that they choose to work at; assuming that it's their choice. They didn't gain a national audience based upon facts and truth-telling, as anyone can do that. It was their comedy stylings that gained that fame, and the truth often gets in the way of a good punchline. And that's why fact-checking Dowd or Coulter is like fact-checking Gallagher or Seinfeld. You might laugh, but the sock really didn't disappear in your laundry and you're really only there to see the watermelon busted open. Just because it's funny, doesn't make it true.

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