UPDATE: This is rapidly turning into “Barack the Magic Negro…” Sigh.
OK, there seems to be some confusion abroad in the land about what Robert Stacy McCain’s post is about, even though — having anticipated your confusion — he actually explains very carefully what he’s saying.
If I may, let’s try this one more time, although I doubt it will make any difference — people are determined to believe what they want to believe.
Here it is. Are you ready? OK:
Coulter’s primary point is NOT that this white supremacist group isn’t white supremacist.
She is contrasting the media coverage given to one speech each that two GOP politicians foolishly agreed to make to this white supremacist group without checking them out, to the media’s relatively muted response to Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s attendance at a black supremacist church for 20 years.
Coulter believes the media coverage of the two was disproportionate.
We can all play duelling Lexis Nexis to enforce or counter her claim about the media coverage. Do that on your own time. Sounds cool.
Here, since apparently Certain People Out There can’t be bothered to read McCain’s actual post, is the point:
The fundamental premise of Potok’s piece — that Coulter was “bolstering” or “defending” the CCC — is false. For that matter, her putative “defense” of the CCC doesn’t occupy “the better part of three pages,” but actually less than two, beginning on the middle of page 24 and ending at the top of page 26.
What Coulter is actually doing in this passage — is Mark Potok dishonest or merely dense? — is contrasting the differing treatment that the media gave to
(a) Barack Obama’s 20-year membership in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, and
(b) the CCC associations of Republicans Trent Lott and Bob Barr.
The CCC sound like white supremacists to me. Like everyone else — at LGF, etc. — I’m going by what’s on their website. I never heard of them before yesterday. What Ann Coulter really thinks of the CCC, I couldn’t tell you. I lost my magical ESP powers in a tragic lawnmower accident.
Come to think of it: it actually undermines her own thesis when she underplays the CC’s white supremacism. Equally undermining is the fact that most of us are finding out just now, through her new book, about these two GOP speeches to the CCC which she claims were covered out of all proportion. But I’m not her substantive editor and/or don’t own a time machine.)
That. Is. Not. The. Point.
They evidently didn’t sound very crazy to the mainstream media however, because if they had, Barack Obama would not be President today. The media would have smeared him into oblivion.
I guess we’ve reached the point where merely mentioning a group like the CCC in a book to make a broader point — even if you don’t endorse their weird policies — is enough to get an author smeared. This would be like some idiot saying, “Hey, a guy wrote book about Canadian neo-Nazis — and the book has a swastika on the cover. He must endorse neo-Nazis!” Any ignorant person who said such an outrageously stupid thing would rightly expose themselves to ridicule, and worse.
Let’s review, then:
Obama goes to a black supremacist church for 20 years and gets to be President.
Ann Coulter mentions, in a book, two other people who gave one speech each to a white supremacist group that she is not a member of (to the best of my knowledge), and is using as an example to illustrate her broader thesis about media bias, which you may or may not agree with and are free to do so…
And SHE’S the bad guy.
Because “racist” is the new “commie” — the radioactive talismanic evil eye magic word of our era.
Do I have that pretty much right? OK, just checking.
Robert Stacy McCain unpacks the latest “
Kathy Shaidle Ann Coulter is a white supremacist” smear, and repeatedly head-butts one of my favourite targets — grasping, shallow careerist “conservative” hacks — in the process:
Beyond Potok’s frothy prose, what is worth examining here is the application of what a friend of mine who’s been smeared by the [Southern Poverty Law Center] (we are legion) has called their “ransom note method” of quotation: A phrase here, half a sentence there — the words are cut and pasted together like a kidnapper assembling a ransom note from cut-up magazines, with the SPLC’s own interpretative comments helpfully interlarded to tell their readers exactly what to think about the target. (…)
What Potok and the SPLC count on is that their gullible liberal readership will not bother to examine what Coulter actually wrote, nor question whether the SPLC’s bawdlerization of Coulter’s work is fair or accurate.
Potok understands that Coulter occupies a special place in the liberal demonology, and that liberals are prepared to believe the worst about her. So he distorts her argument — which, I repeat, is about media double standards — into an accusation that she is “defending” and “bolstering” the CCC, and expects no one to contradict him.
Why? Because Potok suspects conservatives of cowardice. If you defend Ann Coulter, you’ll be accused of sharing her “thinly veiled” sympathies, and there goes your book deal, there goes your think-tank fellowship, there goes your chance at a staff job in the next Republican administration.
Potok believes that your ambition, your cowardly craving to be considered “respectable,” will prevent you from defending the “rabid far-right” Coulter, and you will remain silent while she’s dishonestly smeared by the SPLC.
Fine. You have the right to remain silent. And who will defend you when the SPLC comes smearing you?