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day permlink Tuesday, 1 July 2003

permlink MT/Safari Bookmarklets

Mmmmm... Safari Movable Type bookmarklets. Thanks, Dori & Al! permlink  

permlink Coulter vs. facts

Spinsanity does some wide-ranging fact-checking of Ann Coulter's latest 'work': Screed: With Treason, Ann Coulter once again defines a new low in America's political debate [Spinsanity] in her syndicated columns (many of which are adapted in the book) and her previous book Slander: Liberal Lies Against the American Right, Coulter's case relies in large part on irrational rhetoric and pervasive factual errors and deceptions. Regardless of your opinions about Democrats, liberals or the left, her work should not be taken at face value.

...In latching onto a powerful word with a specific legal meaning and casually leveling the charge as a blanket accusation against a wide array of people (as she did with slander, which is a defamatory verbal statement), Coulter is attempting to smear virtually anyone who disagrees with her views on foreign policy as treasonous.

...the press is labeled as "traitorous" for treating HUAC unfairly, the Democrats are called the "Treason Party" and their alleged stupidity (which does not imply malevolent intent) is condemned as "treasonous." These cartoonish ad hominem attacks obscure key distinctions between individuals, particularly with regard to their involvement in these debates and the differences in motives that guided their actions. Put simply, being wrong about the scope and severity of the Soviet threat does not make one a traitor.

...[After 9/11] Liberal syndicated columnist Molly Ivins is described as coming "[f]rom the traitor lobby's women's auxiliary." (p. 134) ... Notice the logic here -- criticizing the US or US policy is equivalent to hoping for its defeat.

Coulter makes at least five factual claims that are indisputably false. First, she writes "When the United States made an alliance with mad mullahs in Afghanistan against the USSR, no sensible American would go sign up with the Taliban." (p. 51) However, the Taliban did not form a militia until 1994, several years after the Soviet Union's withdrawal from Afghanistan (1989) and its subsequent collapse (1991). [etc. etc.]

...Treason is the culmination of a dismaying trend toward factually misleading and inflammatory books from pundits such as Michael Moore, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage... These authors may delight partisans and make their publishers rich, but their work impoverishes our political discourse.
There are many supporting examples in the piece; these are just the high-level points. Thanks to Spinsanity for wading through it all. permlink  

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