On Wednesday (12/6/05) Ann Coulter cut a short the speech she was giving to a University of Conneticut audience of 2,600 when boos and jeers from the crowd drowned out her prepared text.
According to an AP story ("Heckling causes Coulter to cut UConn speech short") :
Coulter cut off the talk after 15 minutes and instead held a half-hour question-and-answer session.
"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the 2,600 people at Jorgensen Auditorium.
Coulter's appearance prompted protests from several groups, including Students Against Hate and the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center. They criticized her for spreading a message of hate and intolerance.
Nearly 100 students gathered inside the Student Union for a rally against Coulter. About a half-dozen people held protest signs outside the auditorium.
After a book signing following her appearance, Coulter called the
audience's reaction "typical."
Coulter, originally from New Canaan, Conn., has a history of bashing Democrats in best-selling books, frequent television appearances and speeches. Harding University in Arkansas dropped her from its lecture series in September, citing her abrasive image.
Last April, the president of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota denounced a speech on the campus by Coulter, calling it hateful. In October 2004, University of Arizona police arrested two men who ran on stage and threw custard pies at Coulter; one of the pies glanced off her shoulder.
When she takes her dog-and-pony show* on the road she is doing no more than Limbaugh would do if he had the nerve to address more than a hand-picked audience.
Yes, they are both spewing filth.
Racist, xenophobic and bigoted.
But, in the U.S. at least, both she and Limbaugh do have the right to express themselves, within very broad limits.
What the opposing audiences needs to realize is that every one of them that shows up for one of her speeches just to boo her feeds the pseudo-con frenzy. They, and Coulter, can then make the claim that "liberals are trying to prevent her from speaking the truth!" Neither side "wins," and the far-right bigots get to look put-upon and victimized, which, in *their* book, equals a virtual "win"
The only time to actually show up for an "Ann Coulter event" is if it will actually be a debate between her and someone who is articulate and can ignore her B.S. without getting hot under the collar.
Yes, there will be throngs of the tighty-whiteys who will show up and stroke her ego, but it violates no constitutional rule to just ignore her. And, after awhile, when only her hard-core fans show up, the novelty will wear off.
Don't want to have her go unchallenged? Fine. Take her published works, and publicly demolish them, point by point - it's not like it's rocket science.
Want to show her up as the blowhard she really is? Get articulate opposing speakers who will be able to nuke her arguments without letting her absurdity get them mad. And, every time she refuses such a venue, *publicize it*
Soon enough, she will be shown as the fool and liar she is (when she accepts) and as the coward and liar she is (when she refuses).
As with publication of such hateful and abhorrent works such as Mien Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, let them be published. Let her speak. Let the world see what the hatemongers really believe.
Leave it in the open light of day.
When you deny open examination and discussion the true hate speech is just given the patina of having "legitimacy," for then the hatemongers can say "see -- it must be true, else they would not be afraid of it being seen!"
TMV has an article on this speech of Coulter's, and especially look to the comments section, in order to see examples of just what I was speaking of, from both the left and the right sides of the aisle.
On the subject of "spontaneous" comments in the Q&A session, I heard, on the radio, a sound bite of Coulter repeating her "stupider than I am" remark. It was on the Hannity and Coombs show. I guess if you work that hard to find a "good" line you want to keep using it.
Over and over.
"Dog and Pony show" has several possible interpretations. Choose the least personally offensive.