Soulless: Ann Coulter and the Right-Wing Church of Hate
By Susan Estrich
"Ever since the publication of her Clinton-bashing debut, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, right-wing fire-brand Ann Coulter has made herself one of the most talked-about figures in contemporary American life-;and has done so by issuing a near-continuous barrage of insult and invective, which has been described as "shameless," "cruel," "shrill, bombastic, and mean-spirited," "grossly inappropriate," "hate speech." She has called the 9/11 widows "witches" and "harpies," referred to Muslims as "ragheads," called Al Gore a "total fag," and said that both New York Times editor Bill Keller and antiwar congressman Jack Murtha deserved to die. Yet with each new statement-;and each new book launch-;Coulter somehow manages to co-opt the media as a megaphone for her attacks, while emerging from the backlash miraculously unscathed.
Until now. With Soulless, political commentator Susan Estrich takes on Ann and the "Coulter culture" she has created, exposing how the pundit provocatrice has downgraded our political discourse with her irresponsible rhetoric, personal attacks, and slanderous asides. Trawling through Coulter's history of often-violent public statements, Estrich asks which are more cynical: the pundit and her headline-grabbing drive-by character assassinations, or the networks who happily bring her back for more. Soulless also casts a light on "the Anns," wannabes like Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck, whose imitation Coulterisms coarsen our culture with every passing news cycle. And, most important, she challenges us-;the readers, the voters-;to remember that behind the huckster's rhetoric lurks a dangerous reactionary whose real agenda is wildly out of step with the American public.
As Estrich says, "She knows exactly what she is doing. And she is scary as hell because of it."