During the most recent presidential debate, Ann Coulter repeatedly called Obama a “retard” on her Twitter account.
Naturally, this has led to a great deal of controversy.
I’ve seen numerous opinion pieces on several major news sites discussing this. When I was reading them, one thing surprised me.
None of them seemed particularly angry or furious, but rather, exasperated. In fact, most of the articles I read simply state that Coulter just doesn’t “get it,” that she’s so incredibly misguided that anything she says can hardly be taken seriously. It’s almost as if she’s so incredibly off the map with her language and her thoughts that she’s playing the part of a short circuiting robot Fox News built to say offensive things in order to make themselves look “fair and balanced.”
There was a time when Ann Coulter could generate genuine anger and hate. I myself loathed her for as long as I possibly could until I realized that she feeds off of hate; then I switched to apathy mixed with pity.
She attempts to keep steady foundation of the public’s hate through a few primary means; say and do offensive things on a national scale (i.e. call the president a “retard” on Twitter) and also write a yearly book that is carefully constructed in such a way so as offend as many people as possible. She then goes on a book tour says more offensive things, and then is yelled at by people who are saying that she’s crazy and that her opinions are terrible…
Which, of course, only serves to make her books best sellers. For instance, this year she wrote a book on race and how the O.J. Simpson verdict was really about Americans finally saying no to “white guilt.”
Well, you certainly won’t hear that angle from any sociologists or historians. But of course, she’s not emulating anyone with actual credibility; rather, she just sort of sits on a roof with a blow horn and a megaphone and shouts anything that comes to her head in hopes that she can generate a sentence that is both vaguely coherent and highly offensive.
These days, however, even I can’t even get up the energy to hate on Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh or any of the other hate/fear mongers currently occupying our popular culture. Why? Because I realize that my getting angry people like Ann Coulter is exactly what they want, and my anger and the anger of others builds them up and gives them something to market. People want to read what’s controversial to see what all the drama and arguing is about, and not much more.
But if controversy doesn’t exist, people don’t really care, do they? You’re credibility gets lost somewhere along the line when people stop being angry and start looking at you in the way that you rightfully deserve; an attention starved instigator makes their living off of being a red faced imbecile.
And I think others are feeling the same way as well.
It’s all old tricks. We’ve seen all of this before. Racism, sexism, and overall douche-baggery has been so played out, I have built up an immunity to it.
What I always wondered was, why do these people even exist? What purpose could they possibly serve? Except of course, ensuring the pharmaceutical companies stay in business due to the amount of Excedrin migraine medicine I have to pick up from listening to these crazies spew there garbage at an ungodly frequency…
Honestly, the way I see our political punditry on our 24 hour news channels is simply a soap opera playing out for our amusement. You’ve got your bad guys on the extreme ends of the spectrum, the good guys in the middle, you’ve got rivalries, scandals, fights; everything you need to a riveting television show. Our journalists no longer report the news; most of the time, they’re making it themselves.
The only problem is, people think they’re watching informational and factual television and instead they get what’s more or less a bunch of character actors in an eternal left versus right argument that’s meant to gain ratings more than its meant to inform the people.
And I think the backlash to all of this is already starting.
How many people do you know say that they refuse to watch the news, and how many of them do you know cringe a little when thinking about a 24 hour news network like CNN or Fox News?
People are tired of watching the same arguments with no solutions. They’re tired of being pandered and talked down to as if we’re children and our much smarter parents are doing the best they can to keep us occupied while they go off and make all of the important decisions.
Because honestly, we deserve better.
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