Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right
The idea behind attorney and conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s latest literary endeavor is to expose liberals’ flagrant and erroneous fingering of conservatives over the last two decades. Reasonable enough, but the book’s execution has an undignified undercurrent. Perhaps unintentionally, Coulter proves that those at opposite political poles are equally capable of mud-slinging. With each liberal lie and accusation she uncovers, she throws a few Right jabs of her own. It’s a shame, because what might have been a fair fight ends up like a brawl.
Coulter presents justifiable evidence of “left-wing indoctrination”—her term for the media’s contortive reporting of the truth. One chapter exposes the book industry’s liberal bias by looking at conservative bestsellers in relation to the number of publishers each author visited before signing a book deal; another delves into the slander aimed at George W. Bush cousin John Ellis, hired by Fox News as a consultant for election night 2000. Sections of other chapters feature intriguing arguments backed up with pertinent details.
Unfortunately, Coulter doesn’t stick with the rules of essay writing: State your thesis, and support it with facts. Would-be salient arguments are often bogged down in extremism and discredited by her tone, which tends to be sarcastic bordering on bitter. Although her voice can be thoughtful, she has a habit of subverting herself with brash or childish comments.
“Only conservative women have their looks held up to ridicule because only liberals would be so malevolent,” she writes. “A blind man in America would think the ugliest women ever to darken the planet are Paula Jones, Linda Tripp, and Katherine Harris. This from the party of Bella Abzug.”
Such hypocritical remarks undermine Coulter’s argument. The truth is that many women’s looks are slandered regardless of political affiliation—remember the ridicule Democrat Janet Reno endured? Perhaps Ann Coulter the writer should have consulted Ann Coulter the lawyer before accusing others of what she’s guilty of herself.