Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ann Coulter: "Political discourse resembles professional wrestling"

Many people have arrived at the analogy that Politics and Punditry is not unlike pro-wrestling. Wrestlers interested in Politics have come to this conclusion, just ask Don "Cyrus" Callis and the legendary Mick Foley. Politicos interested in wrestling have observed likewise, see Marc Ambinder.

So do pundits see themselves as wrestlers? Arguably the most wrestler-like pundit of them all, Ann Coulter seems to think so.
In her book 'Slander' she writes"
Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right. (2002) by Ann Coulter
Political "debate" in this country is insufferable. Whether conducted in Congress, on the political talk shows, or played out at dinners and cocktail parties, politics is a nasty sport...

Instead of actual debate about ideas and issues with real consequences, the country is trapped in a political discourse that increasingly resembles professional wrestling.
Her observation seemingly delivered without the slightest hint of irony was not surprisingly pounced on by her detractors.

Fellow wrestling pundit, Al Franken mentions this quote verbatim in his own book. Countering with
Lies (And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them): A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (2003) by Al Franken
So what is Coulter's contribution to civilizing our political discourse? Well, in the entire 206 pages, she never actually makes a case for any conservative issue. Not school vouchers, not supply-side tax cuts... The entire book is filled with distortions, factual errors and vicious invective - slander, if you will...
Sarah Augusto in a review for Political Research site 'Publiceye.org' offer this assessment of Ann Coulter
A Review of Ann Coulter’s Slander!
If political debate in the United States is the World Wrestling Federation, then Ann Coulter is the SmackDown champion. Slander consists of little more than an angry tirade against all things liberal expressed through sarcastic, inflammatory, and often misleading language. For someone so concerned with the quality of political debate, it is interesting that Coulter seems more concerned with bashing liberals and glorifying conservatives than presenting rational, coherent arguments.
Bryan Keefer in a 'Slander' book review first published in Salon Magazine reservedly agrees with Ann
Throwing the book at her
she derides "arguments by demonization" and argues that "lies and personal attacks are deeply corrosive of public debate and democratic compromises." She correctly observes that perceptions and falsehoods promulgated in the media have a self-reinforcing quality... But given how she herself uses these tactics throughout the book, even Coulter's more astute observations raise obvious charges of hypocrisy.

Yet Slander's sales, alongside those of Coulter's political opposite, Michael Moore, reveal something sad and important about the state of the country: Those with a talent for inflammatory rhetoric rather than facts have their fingers on the pulse of contemporary political debate.
Other links:
- Politics is wrestling, Quote roundup: Ann Coulter, Jon Stewart, Mick Foley, Marc Ambinder, Matt Lewis, Wyatt Cenac, Mick Foley

1 comment:

Swamp Pirate said...

Pretty much that's what we've been saying. This is one of those rare times that I will completely agree with something Ann says.

We call her the 'Queen of Political Extreme' in PCW- a play on ECW's 'Queen of Extreme' Francine.

Good stuff as always, Jim.