Ann & the "Jersey Girls"
I expected the Left (and some Republicans) would go nuts over Coulter's devoting 17 pages to the "martyrdom" of Willie Horton, but I have been surprised by the outrage over Coulter's critique of the "Jersey Girls." This is getting attention, I suppose, because it's what seemed to obsess Matt Lauer. (Once again, letting liberals set the agenda.)
Chapter 5 of GODLESS is called "Liberals' Doctrine of Infallibility: Sobbing Hysterical Women." Coulter points out that the so-called "Jersey Girls" -- a small group of women whose husbands were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center -- have been anointed by the media as spokeswomen for all 9/11 victims and survivors. The "Jersey Girls" are anti-Bush and anti-war, they demanded the "independent" 9/11 commission, and they have tried to exercise veto power over "Ground Zero" plans.
Oh, and each of them collected $1.6 million of taxpayers' money, then complained about the taxpayers' stinginess. (Why aren't libertarians coming to Ann's defense on this? By what theory of government is a taxpayer in Montana held responsible for the 9/11 deaths?)
Coulter lumps in this media-savvy group of 9/11 widows with Cindy Sheehan, saying that liberals use the grief of such people as a sort of Teflon shield against criticism. Sheehan says all sorts of crazy things and no one is allowed to respond, because to do so would be cruel to a grieving mother. Same with the "Jersey Girls": Criticize their activism and you're accused of being insensitive to their suffering.
Now I see that, following the lead of the New York Daily News, the media are doing to Ann what one friend of mine calls the "ransom note" method of character assassination: Take a few phrases or sentences of a writer's argument and then -- like a kidnapper assembling a ransom note by clipping words out of a magazine -- cut-and-paste to create the false impression that the writer is a bigot, a warmonger or, as in this case, a heartless monster.
If you haven't read the book, don't let the MSM bamboozle you into thinking that Ann has said something she hasn't said. The manufactured outrage over this only proves her point: Liberals are exploiting grief to silence their critics and advance their agenda.
Q&A with Ann Coulter
Michelle Malkin points out that Coulter is not the first to criticize the "Jersey Girls."
Allahpundit has the video of Coulter with Hannity. She hits hard on the points she makes in the book, namely that the Left wants to immunize its message by choosing messengers we're not allowed to respond to. She talks about "authenticity" in a way that reminds me of Allan Bloom's "Closing of the American Mind," saying to Hannity: "Am I not allowed to discuss the Irish Potato Famine because I don't understand it?" Watch it with those potato jokes around the Mick, sister!
Wizbang sez Ann "raises a good point," but wishes she had "chosen her words more carefully."
Layla Gonzalez sticks by Ann: "Like most in the MSM they cannot handle Ann Coulter's brutal honesty, which by the way is sorely needed in today's less than mentally healthy society."
BTW, am I the only person in the blogosphere old enough to know that, in calling the Jersey Girls the "Witches of East Brunswich," Coulter was making a wordplay on the 1987 movie "The Witches of Eastwick"?