One of our mystery reporters (the one who guest-blogged for me last year) asked me to post this for him:
Every time Ann Coulter and her latest cracked jeremiad plays on talk shows, it seems, comes the inevitable attempt by her apologists to draw parallels with someone on the left -- never with examples given. Al Franken, they say, is just as irrational and hateful from the other end of the spectrum, or Michael Moore -- although, to my knowledge, Franken has never openly wished that Timothy McVeigh had bombed Fox News, and Moore has never openly called for the assassination of Pres. Bush.
But, you know, there may well be a Coulter of the Left, and he beat her on criticizing 9-11 widows by about four years. He also said shortly after Pres. Reagan's death that he "ought to be turning crispy brown about now," and that the Army was "looking for a few good homosexual rapists" after Abu Ghraib broke. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ted Rall.
And the larger point here isn't necessarily that there actually is someone on the liberal side who can be, on occasion, just as vicious and irrational as Coulter. The point here is that you see Rall's work on the web, or in alt-weeklies in places like Berkeley and Madison. You're not seeing Rall on the fucking "Today" show, are you, and he's not #1 on Amazon, is he?
Course not -- although he is, every now and then, on 'Hannity & Colmes,' just like Dreamboat Annie. The treatment each received on the show for saying essentially the same thing -- that certain 9-11 widows are capitalizing on their husbands' deaths -- was, shall we say, just a tad different.
Hannity to Rall, 6/8/04:
You are mean. You are cruel. You are thoughtless, and you are a hateful human being. You don't have a soul. And you don't care about anybody but yourself. And you do this for shock value so that your name could be noticed. You're a slob. You're an absolutely -- you're a hateful human being to do this to families that are suffering. There's no excuse for it. There's no rationale for what you're doing. You're mean, cruel and thoughtless.
Hannity and Coulter, 6/6/06:
HANNITY: I share a lot of your views. But I want you to explain to everybody what is the foundation of Ann Coulter? Because a lot of people, when I mention your name to liberals they melt. You are like Alka-Seltzer in water. They bubble, fizz, give off their energy. You are the anti-Christ to them. Who is--what is the Ann Coulter? Where does your philosophy come from?
COULTER: Well, that's the toughest question I'm probably going to get on the book tour. In as much as I don't like talking about myself, I'm a Christian, and everything comes from being a Christian. Everything I do, I mean, from the interview that Alan was just reading from to Human Events.
I mean, I do think Christianity fuels all of my books, because you are called upon to behave in a certain way as a Christian, and that is to fight lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy. That fuels everything.
HANNITY: All right. And I want to remind people, tomorrow, Book Review in Huntington. We're going to be there together from 2 to 6.
BONUS: Coulter afflicted by rhetorical Tourette's Syndrome.