How the Media Erects Scarecrows
By Esther Hartstein
January 17, 2002
I am fond of Ann Coulter, and can never recall feeling otherwise. In a world of unflattering portrayals of conservative women (and conservatives in general), Ann has been stunning ray of enlightenment. Call me vain, but I proudly feel that I am most honorably represented in the media by an extremely educated, brilliant, witty, kick-butt, and impassioned conservative bombshell like Ann. With more than a twinge of self-pity, I have often found myself asking, "What would Ann Coulter do?" in the face of difficulty, and I flounder for the confidence that Ann seems to portray in its infallible extreme. She is a hard-nosed conservative commentator smart enough to get away with seductive attire and playboy-worthy looks free of allegations of "ditz" and "dumb blonde". (Not an easy feat, I might add.) There is just something about her no-holds-barred, relentless, and hard-line reasoning that appeals to real non-touchy-feel-y 's like myself, making me feel almost like there is someone out there, in the huge, whirling media, representing me and fighting for my causes, almost as if mandated by G-d to do so. To me, and many others as well, Ann represents the suppressed glamour of the forsaken conservative movement, the beauty of a political creed demonized and otherwise largely ignored by a cold, left wing media.
Time passes, and I am older and wiser now. I realize that the concept of a politically extreme, famous, financially successful, whip-smart, dead gorgeous, supremely educated, loudly argumentative, not-at-all-nurturing, and kick-butt confident conservative woman is not too appealing to most. In fact, Ann Coulter's base of spectators consists of a huge bloc of people she offends, people she intimidates, people she confuses, people she amuses, alongside the people she empowers, and people just as radical as she. Some of this may be due to envy, but most of it stems from the fundamental belief among large quantities of the human populace that the rich, blond, and beautiful are inherently evil; Ann's cold, hard logic and partisan tenacity is perceived by some, namely the touchy-feel-y's of the world, to be cruel insensitivity and obnoxious aggression. Talk Magazine has labeled her "militantly partisan"; even fellow conservatives like David Brock, who openly implies that her firing from MSNBC was justified, and Thor Hesla, who has called her a "castrating bitch" and "intolerant", have little good to say about her.
Perhaps Ann is genuinely obnoxious. Or maybe she chooses to rub th e audience the way she does for showbiz value. Furthermore, it could be that Ann is no witch, for I genuinely try to be compassionate towards mankind, and I've been called many of those things in my lifetime. Whatever the case may be, it is this loathsome persona of Ann's that has allowed her to rise to the ranks of fame in a media notorious for its bias against conservatives. Leading liberal forces such as CNN, ABC, CNBC, and MSNBC have featured and even promoted Ann's wisdom for the lucrative value of conservative viewership, taking the bucks while simultaneously telling viewers, "This is the Conservative populace. Rich, spoiled, insensitive; people that you cannot relate to. People who will be as mean to you in office as this one is on air. Run away from them, I tell you!" So involuntarily and probably unknowingly, Ann is serving as a lovely, right wing decoy for the left. She is furthering the left's "Conservatives are rich, conceited, and out of touch with your suffering" agenda even as she promotes her own, though only a tiny fraction of the populace is eating the effect of this up as intended.
My dear Ann Coulter, you have shown us that it is possible to be a symptom, victim, and beneficiary of the liberal media at the same time. The Milady de Winter of the Right Wing Conspiracy has been silently beaten at her own game.
Copyright 2002 by Esther Hartstein. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All rights reserved.