Anne Coulter: Performance art for conservatives. Yuck!

0 Posted by - March 26, 2010 - Blog, Performance, Public art

Is Anne Coulter a pundit, a performance artist or a baffoon? Une question tres important.

Coulter’s talk at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday this week was canceled. Students who disagree with her particular brand of over-the-top conservative histrionics marched and shouted (I think someone pulled the fire alarm) and, apparently on the advice of her security staff, she withdrew from the show.

So now Coulter is filing a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. She alleges that an e-mail from Ottawa U that asked her to use “restraint, respect and consideration” when speaking, and explained that freedom of speech in Canada is defined differently than in the U.S., makes her the victim of a “hate crime.” Her point is that the email targeted her as a member of an identifiable group and thus was hate speech and a hate crime.

A quick look at the Criminal Code of Canada suggests that hate crime is committed with the intention to intimidate, harm or terrify a group of people who are targeted for who they are and not for anything they have done. Hate crimes involve physical force or threat of physical force against a person, a family or a property; intimidation, harassment.

Coulter’s claim is that she is being targeted as a conservative and not for anything she has done. To help set the record the straight, here are a few choice quotes that issued from Coulter’s mind, mouth and pen over the past few years:

“We just want Jews to be perfected … That is what Christianity is … that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. video

“If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.” video

“On the bright side, and in conclusion, at least college campuses serve as sort of internment camp for useless leftists in wartime. We know where they are, this way. And, as General Patton said, ‘I love it when they come out and shoot at me because then I know where they are and I can shoot the bastards.'” — Ann Coulter, CPAC conference, 2002

“My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that’s because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism.” — MSNBC 2/8/97

“Airports scrupulously apply the same laughably ineffective airport harassment to Suzy Chapstick as to Muslim hijackers. It is preposterous to assume every passenger is a potential crazed homicidal maniac. We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.” Sept 13, 2001

“I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out that you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I’m – so, kind of at an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards, so I think I’ll just conclude here and take your questions.” video

* * *

And the list could go on for a looong time – the point is, Ann Coulter has done something. When’s the last time there was a student protest to prevent Joe Clark from speaking? It’s not because she is conservative, but because she is deliberately provocative.

And despite rallying support from another arch conservative commentator Ezra Levant who apparently described the email from Ottawa U as a “veiled threat”, hate crime doesn’t really fit the bill. In fact, one might easily mistake the allegation for stupidity.

But Coulter knows what she is doing. These aren’t accidents or slips of the tongue. The more I watch her interviews and listen to her, the more absurd she is: When asked on MSNBC by Donny Deutsch if all her wishes came true, what would America look like – she replied a Republican National Convention in New York. Bingo!! It’s arch conservative performance art! A trick and pony show of intentionally inflammatory buffoonery!

Too bad it sucks.

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