The Great Debate! Big Al versus Anorexic Annie
Droppin’ Science with a Preacher’s Passion
On Thursday night Larry king hosted a debate between Rev. Al Sharpton and the foul mouth right-wing zealot and best selling author of incendiary right-wing diatribes Ann Coulter. I awaited the debate with great anticipation because Ann Coulter is a vulgar racist and soulless opportunist who has a flagrant disregard for fact and scholarship; routinely confusing glibness with gravitas. Al Sharpton, on the other hand, is a quick-witted master of the sound bite that is the standard television format. In fact he is so good at it that I once saw him spank the broadly learned motormouth Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz like he was his daddy. It is a skill that when coupled with his gift of gab is so effective the bible of the television industry, TV Guide, once published a feature story titled “Rev. Sound Bite!”
Beyond the differences in their basic style, most of what Ann Coulter has to say is sophistry; it cannot stand up to rigorous scrutiny. That fact was clearly manifested early on in the debate with Sharpton, who often seemed shocked at some of the absurd blather she attempted to pass of as serious argument. Yet one needed only go to YouTube and watch her encounter with Al Franken – a real intellectual with a Harvard sheepskin – who had exposed her for the lightweight intellectual poseur that she is. Time and again Franken revealed her to be a shallow charlatan whose claims were wishful thinking with no relation to reality. Al Sharpton, on the other hand, has been schooled in the experience of struggle, and he has been in the movement for black liberation and progressive change that would benefit all Americans his entire adult life.
I am no Sharpton sycophant; in fact I have written quite critically of him in the past. But when I look at the totality of his career in the struggle for justice in America, and compare it with many powerful white men in public life who are held in high esteem – Dick Cheney, Rudy Guiliani, Rush Limbaugh, Ronald Reagan, et al – Rev. Al’s virtues far outweigh his vices. That’s why he continues to command the following that he does. The most poor and powerless person in New York know that they can call on Rev. Al if they are the victim of injustice. And that’s a fact, Jack!
So I knew that the reverend would be well armed with real knowledge of what the realities of race are, whether the subject was police brutality, racist propaganda in the media, or discrimination in employment, promotion and capital investment, because he has worked on these issues for a generation all over the country, often in league with that venerable human rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson. On the question of character and social ethics, whatever criticisms may be justly made of Al Sharpton, he is a saint upside that race-baiting anorexic witch Ann Coulter. Although being negative and nasty is fundamental to her debating style, the full measure of her moral depravity was revealed in her vicious attack on young Meghan McCain.
Having watched her father go down to ignominious defeat in the presidential election by picking a verbose buffoon for a running mate and playing to the cheap seats, Ms. McCain set up her own blog to try and inform her fellow Republicans that their party was out of touch with the majority of the American electorate. Then she chanced to hear Anorexic Annie’s hysterical rap and was appalled that this wiggy woman was considered a major spokesman for the Republican Party. And she dared to point out that the Republicans would never win another national election with crazies like Coulter as their spokesman.
Instead of engaging the younger woman in a serious debate about ideas… Anorexic Annie attacked her for being fat! But Meghan refused to be bullied and went on The View, where all of the women, including the blond bubblehead, denounced Coulter’s guttersnipe tactics. But to everybody’s surprise and my great delight, Meghan looked into the camera and told Anorexic Annie and her partner in crime Livid Laura Ingram: “Kiss My Fat Ass!” Then she cited the beautiful and brainy Tyra Banks as her role model. I found the episode both amusing and instructive.
This exchange amuses me, because by attacking young Meghan’s weight – which incidentally I think is fine and Tyra is superfine! – she gave entree to those who would point out that the queen has no beef – thus calling attention to her own anorexic physique. It speaks volumes that Meghan said she had never heard of Coulter before their encounter, but she is an avid fan of Tyra Banks. For it shows just how far out of touch with the real America these far right kooks are. I have written my views on this Republican cat fight in a commentary titled “I’m With You Meghan, Laura and Annie Can Kiss My Ass Too!”
The pugnacious right-wing punditocracy, who trade on race-baiting to arouse the passions of the desperate and untutored white mob, must know that their act is passé, and that they are playing to smaller and smaller audiences on the lunatic fringe. And since they are intellectually bankrupt when it comes to offering constructive solutions to the gargantuan problems confronting the nation, they are reduced to standing on the margins throwing stink bombs. This is the crowd that Crazy Annie hangs out with. Hence she was true to form in the debate last Thursday night.
Given their style and temperament, had they been prize fighters in the ring it would have been a classic boxer puncher match-up, Ali/ Foreman for instance. A gun-totin’, dirty-mouth, type, a female verbal bully, Coulter has a style that is snide, sarcastic, and offensive. She is a verbal arsonist from the Bob Grant/Rush Limbaugh school who seems to fancy herself a literary though childless version of Ma Barker. She was tailor-made for Rev. Sharpton, who remained cool and deflected her verbal assaults, each of which had murderous intent.
Alas, Coulter’s arguments were nothing more than banal Republican dogma that she regurgitates on cue. The fact that they are dumb and ridiculous is of little concern to her because she is speaking to the dittoheads out in Television Land. And thus she is preaching to the converted, with the objectives of confirming them in their folly and boosting the readership for her books. Hence she doesn’t give a fig about the damage she is doing to Republican prospects for regaining national power. As with Rush Limbaugh, the fate of the Republican Party is a secondary consideration: media stardom and the financial perks that go with it are their real goal. All this makes my spirit dance, because the GOP has struck a Faustian bargain with these opportunistic bloviators and they are leading the party to hell in a hand-basket. Goody Goody!
Characteristic of Coulter’s argument is her ridiculous declaration that “the president engaged in racial profiling by assuming the Irish cop wanted to drink beer rather than Chablis.” Or her astonishing statement: “I don’t believe there is an epidemic of racial profiling…. I believe there is an epidemic of false claims about racial profiling.” Then she compared claims of racial profiling to “a man bites dog” story. The fact that evidence of persistent and institutionalized racism against black people is everywhere is apparently unknown to her. Crazy Annie’s arguments never arose above this embarrassing level, in fact they got worse!
As the debate progressed Coulter showed her characteristic contempt for the facts. Like her spiritual father, the Rotund Rushbo, this girl will say anything because when your audience is “dittoheads” – which is a synonym for “racist morons” – they are interested in catharsis, not enlightenment. Hence she is not subject to either peer review or fact checkers. And since she is a race hustler with no intellectual integrity, Crazy Annie evidently does not take the time to check the facts herself. The result is that she ends up saying absurd things like that the New Jersey State Police documented “eight billion” cars traversing their highways!
Al Sharpton, a model of cool, calm deliberation, informed her that there are not 8 billion people in the whole wide world; and on more than one occasion he had to remind Crazy Annie that he was trying to hold a rational discourse. But his pleas played past Annie like water rolling off a duck’s back. The low point in the debate came after Larry King interviewed a racist Boston Irish cop who had sent out an obscene mass email calling Prof. Gates a “Jungle Monkey” and stating how he would have gassed and beat Gates had he been the arresting officer! In Crazy Annie’s twisted mind the actions of this racist barbarian to whom the state had given a badge and gun was no more offensive that Professor Gate’s irate attitude over the invasion of his home. She also ranted on about how Officer Crowley would now be destroyed had he been cited for racist behavior prior to the incident.
Yet in this, as in so much else, Anorexic Anne doesn’t have a clue what she’s talking about. I have in my possession a letter from a Cambridge resident who filed a complaint against Crowley for abusing his authority last year. The letter of complaint said Crowley acted like he was both “judge and jury,” and warned the police commissioner that they should discipline Crowley “because one day he’s going to do this to the wrong person.” I will discuss the letter in a piece I am writing now on the Suds Summit at the White House. And I am researching a larger piece on the black community’s relations with the police in Cambridge and Boston, for which I intend to travel there and investigate the situation first hand next week.
Listening to Coulter’s BS on the racial profiling question, two things became crystal clear to me. Racist whites support white policemen, whatever they do to black men. And the Republican Party is infested with racist psychopaths. Through it all Reverend Al maintained his cool and systematically picked her silly diatribes apart, responding to her hysterical rhetoric with a calm presentation of the facts. It was a lot like the “ropadope,” that Muhammad Ali employed against the brutish George Foreman. She kept lobbing verbal bombs, but Al slipped them so skillfully that if they were in the ring she couldn’t hit him with a handful of rice at point blank range! But the difference between Ali and Al is that Rev. never went for the knockout. He was perfectly content to spar with her and win a unanimous decision on points. I admire his generosity and discipline.
I, however, am of a different temperament when it comes to debating racist right wing charlatans. My objective is to unmask and humiliate them: to bust their hearts! I would have savaged Crazy Annie without mercy. Her arguments were not worthy of the attention of serious people and I would have told her so! But Big Al was gracious with the spanking he gave this ignorant shameless hussy… and in that he is a far better man than I.
A Sadly Deluded Woman:
The Anorexic booga-bear who thinks she’s a “hot babe!”
July 31, 2009