Tuesday, March 6

VolvoDrivingLiberal's revenge.


Ask not for whom the Volvo tolls . . .

Unless you've been locked in rehab with Britney Spears for the last week and been deprived of TV, radio, and newspapers during that time, you probably heard about the comment Ann Coulter made at a conservative political conference in which she basically called Democrat John Edwards a "faggot." Classy stuff, yes, but pretty much what we've come to expect from her.

As many of you know, on my previous blog I had a regular feature for a while called "Ann Coulter Is A Lousy Writer And She Isn't Even That Hot" (because, contrary to what the right wing will tell you, she is neither a good writer nor hot), basically picking apart each one of her syndicated columns week after week. It was fun for a while, then it got significantly less so -- mainly because she ran out of spurious, context-free "facts" I could disprove with less than five minutes of Googling and instead descended into 100-percent name-calling -- and I dropped it. Since then, Coulter has become more of a joke with each passing day, to the point where pretty much anyone who's not a total retard -- even those on the right side of the spectrum -- now recognizes that she is, at best, a shitty stand-up comic as opposed to an actual political commentator.

And honestly, as far as I'm concerned she's gone from being a dangerous cheerleader for the right to being a terrific asset for the Democrats. Whatever the far right wing thinks, mainstream American voters don't particularly want to throw their lot in with a side that can do no better than call the other party "faggots," and at this point every time Coulter opens her mouth she probably drives 10 moderates or independents into the Democrats' camp. So there's a part of me that hears stuff like that and smiles and thinks, Flame on, Annie.

Nevertheless, if you've ever decried the intractable political environment in Washington or the sorry state of political debate in this country -- and I have -- you kind of have to recognize that Coulter and people like her are the motor driving a lot of that. So there's probably a case to be made for marginalizing her as much as possible, for the good of the country if nothing else. That's where VolvoDrivingLiberal comes in.

VDL just happens to be a good friend of mine, and true to his name, he is both a Volvo driver and a liberal. He's also a dedicated diarist on Daily Kos, and over the weekend he put up this post listing the corporations that advertise on Coulter's Web site and how to contact them. VDL didn't even ask for a boycott, he just thought that these companies should be informed about where their ads are ending up and asked to account for it.

VolvoDrivingLiberal was even honored with a name-drop (or handle-drop) on CNN's "The Situation Room" over the weekend -- and now Verizon, Sallie Mae, and NetBank have all pulled their ads from Coulter's site. Obviously that's a great start, but there's still pressure to be applied, so click on over to VDL's post and e-mail some of those companies.

And before anyone even mentions it, no, this isn't a violation of anyone's First Amendment rights. Coulter still has the constitutional right to launch whatever slurs she wants; corporations, however, have no obligation to sponsor her. If anything, this is straight-up capitalism we're looking at here, because some of those corporations might find their reputations sullied by any kind of association with Coulter and would thus be interested in taking steps to avoid that.

Anyway, good job, my Volvo-driving brother. I'll update this post if I hear of any other companies making like Catholics and pulling out.

15 comments:

Josh said...

Ugh, this is just what that harpy wants - blog posts about every asinine thing she says. I say this to my 5th graders every day when somebody annoys them: JUST IGNORE THEM AND THEY'LL GO AWAY!

alex(andra) said...

Ann Coulter is the Howard Stern of politics. She exists only for her sensational news value, not for any substantive commentary.

txfan76 said...

OK....I give....I started reading this blog for your College Football coverage and I became a fan pretty quick but I can't let this go by without a response. I enjoy your writing and I think you have some good points concerning Coulter(she's not hot and her writing could be better), but I think you are missing what she was really trying to say. Her commentary was not necessarily directed towards Edwards, even though she obviously does not think very highly of the former Senator from North Carolina, but more towards the stupidity of political correctness. For goodness sake, a man went to rehab for being ignorant. Is this what it has come to? As far as writing her corporate sponsors, I say go right ahead....I would just ask you to do the same to Bill Maher's sponsors or HBO to complain about him advocating the assassination of our Vice President. It is no less offensive than Coulter's statement....it's just not as publicized for some reason. I hope you keep writing (especially about college football) and I look forward to seeing how this all plays out.

Josh said...

Actually, I would think advocating the assassination of the vice president is worse than calling somebody a "faggot." But what do I know?

And as much as I hate Maher and his slimy, pretentious, oily self, he only sorta said that.

Doug said...

TXfan, I'll concede that tweaking political correctness was part of Coulter's aim, but insulting Edwards was still the main part. If she didn't really want to call Edwards a faggot, there were plenty of ways she could've told that "joke" that didn't bring his name into it but still made the political-correctness point.

And Josh, say what you will about Maher's comment -- he spoke about Cheney in unwise terms and I don't agree with it myself -- but in no way, shape, or form did he advocate the assassination of Dick Cheney. Some of the comments currently being attributed to him weren't even his, it was stuff he was reading from someplace else.

At any rate, the difference between Maher and Coulter is that Maher was speaking from the pulpit of a cable talk show, Coulter was speaking from the pulpit of one of the biggest mainstream conservative conferences in the country. Maher may advocate many liberal positions, but he isn't a "spokesperson" for a particular political ideology; it's a lot harder for Coulter's supporters to say the same.

Josh said...

Look, I think we agree about most of this - you'll notice I didn't ascribe those comments to Maher, though he didn't go out of his way to refute them. But Coulter is elected to no more of an official position than Maher, Al Franken (yet), or Rosie O'Donnell. Hell, all of those people have even bigger pulpits than Coulter. Just because she spoke at the same conference as candidates means nothing - and anyway, my presumptive candidate wasn't at that freakfest anyway.

txfan76 said...

Advocate may have been a strong word there I'll admit, but his comments were out of line and Josh makes a good point. The thing is, there are plenty of people out there with opinions that the main stream would disagree with, but the beauty of our constitution is that we have the ability to disagree. They can be dumbasses and spout off their retarded ideology if they want. If I don't like it then I can respond or change the channel. To call it "hate speech" is ridiculous. She no more hates gay people than Robert Byrd hates African Americans....oh wait!

NCT said...

It is pretty clear that her "joke" was meant as an "inside" joke with her audience. "You and I know that prissy North Carolinian pretty-boy may as well be one of those pipe-smokers, but we're not allowed to say 'faggot' because the horrible liberals in this country won't let us speak the truth because we have to be politically correct."

It's not just that Coulter said something hateful. It's that her audience thinks it's ok -- attractive, even -- for her to use this kind of language at an influential, mainstream conservative political conference.

"Faggot" is a bomb. It is just as bad as if she had told some joke about Obama and threw out "nigger." That crap isn't funny. These words are meant to keep certain people in their "rightful" places. The fact that her audience found her fag joke amusing speaks volumes about that audience. The fact that some people don't see that it's a big deal speaks volumes about those people.

NCT said...

And on the subject of Maher, he said that he believed if Cheney wasn't in power, people wouldn't be dying needlessly. Then he went further and said that if Cheney died, "other people, more people would live." And the whole thing was a discussion of the appropriateness of Arianna Huffington's site blocking comments by readers that said they wished Cheney'd been killed.

Were Maher's statements in poor taste? I think the second was -- the one where if Cheney died, more people would live. But I also think it's absolutely true that if Cheney were not in power, fewer people would die needlessly.

Back to Coulter. Again, it's not that what she said was in egregiously poor taste. By using "faggot" and laughing about it, she and her audience were conspiring to demean and dehumanize gays. If anyone thinks Maher was conspiring to assassinate the vice president, they're crazy.

Anonymous said...

So - Doug - you apparently like dick. Or actually, "love" dick. When did this happen? Choose your words carefully. ;)

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Coulter drops the 'f' word in a pretty worthless joke about someone overreacting to someone else's overreaction.

How very middle school of her. I remember when there were conservatives in this country considered witty, now this is the best they got - the coolest kid on the bus ride home from middle school?

And her fight against 'political correctness' is absolutely laughable. She's being 'oppressed' for saying words my grandma didn't allow around the dinner table when I was ten years old. My Daddy's Mama didn't call that 'political correctness' or 'sensitivity training' though, she called it 'manners' and 'polite company.' But Coulter's a damnyankee, so I guess that's as good an explanation as any for her trash mouth.

Chris said...

But I also think it's absolutely true that if Cheney were not in power, fewer people would die needlessly.

Golly NCT, you almost sound like one of those people who try to rationalize the crimes of an abortion doctor killer.

Josh said...

"...it's absolutely true that if Cheney were not in power, fewer people would die needlessly."

Then hope the guy gets impeached or doesn't do any more damage (if that's your opinion) before he leaves office.

Look, I think the country will suffer if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Does that mean I want her dead? No, it means I don't want her to win. There's a subtle difference.

NCT said...

No, Chris. If I'd said that Cheney's death would result in the loss of fewer lives, I'd sound like an abortion-doctor-killer apologist. Since I said that his not being in power would result in the loss of fewer lives, my assertion is analagous to someone who wants abortion to be made illegal. Golly, indeed. I don't want Cheney dead. I just wish he wasn't in power.

Andrew said...

Doug,

Many thanks for helping to spread the Coulter advertiser story. The campaign thus far has been very successful, with a significant number of major advertisers pulling ads on www.anncoulter.com.

So far the list of advertisers who have officially pulled out are:

WAMU
NetBank
Verizon Communications
Sallie Mae
Mitsubishi
AT&T/Cingular
BellSouth
ING Financial (Screen cap here)
Dollar Rent-A-Car
Dogpile.com
Novica.com (in conjuction with National Geographic)
SmileTrain.org
University of Phoenix
Sallie Mae
LasikPlus
Power Chord Academy
Gulf Shores.com/Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ulta.com
Yellow Pages.com
Classmates.com (subsidiary of United Online)
Wireless Foundation

As of this morning, many Kossacks across the country are reporting no ads on Coulter's site. Thanks to everyone for helping on this. If new advertisers pop up, we will contact them.

Keep up the good work, Doug.

VDL