Who is that blond lady and why is everyone so afraid of her?
I’m talking about Ann Coulter, the right-wing designer pundit from the U.S. currently cutting a swath through Ontario and heading for Calgary, where right-wing pundits roam freely and the skies are not cloudy all day.
She’s probably the only good-looking fashionable right-wing pundit in America, which isn’t hard when the competition is Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.
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But while Coulter looks nice, she sure doesn’t sound nice. In fact, she writes books called Treason, and Guilty, and says the nastiest things about liberals, or Democrats, as they’re called in the U.S.
Here’s one of the nastiest:
“Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America’s self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.”
Woo. Fightin’ words.
But she’s got a million of them, so many, in fact, a few have leaked out on her scorched earth tour of Canada. She told a Muslim student at one gathering to “get a camel” because she should be on a no-fly list, and commented that gay men can’t throw a baseball “without looking like a girl.” I can hardly wait until she starts to get really comfortable in Canada.
Coulter was in trouble even before she got here. Her firebrand right-wing zingers so worried a VP at the University of Ottawa, the poor man thought it was a good idea to send her a pre-emptive note reminding her that in Canada our laws on free speech are “different” here and
“I therefore encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here.”
You don’t have to be Ann Coulter to be offended by the patronizing tone of that, but she’s something else. She has termed herself a victim of a “hate crime” and will file a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. The letter is a hate crime, she reasons, “or the whole commission is BS.”
Ann Coulter and her fellow bigmouths do serve a function: They test the limits of freedom of expression. There’s no one like her in this country, not even guys like Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn, who fly on her wing. Everyone here has either been cowed into politeness by the threat of ceaseless official harassment, or honestly believes we all have to be nice to each other in order to get along.
But freedom is noisy. And Ann Coulter, like it or not, is the noise that freedom makes.