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Slander

Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right
Ann Coulter
Crown, 2002

I see from the current issue of Reason that Ann Coulter is not entirely persona grata with other enemies of the left. “Why are conservatives trying to rehabilitate McCarthyism and the Japanese internment?” asks Cathy Young, but treats only the second half of her question. Coulter is faulted for her favourable view of McCarthy in her book Treason- but Young does not discuss it. “In both cases there was a geniune security risk and a wrong headed government response that did grave damage to the very freedoms it was supposed to protect,” she writes. In fact it is the pairing of the two issues that is wrong-headed. In Treason, Coulter says nothing about the rights and wrongs of the internment, but does point out that the “liberals” supported it. It “was praised by liberal luminaries such as Earl Warren, Felix Frankfurter and Hugo Black. The national ACLU didn’t make a peep… There was one lonely voice opposed to the Japanese internment: that of J. Edgar Hoover (pp. 194-5).” Moreover, the intermnet was (Democrat) government initiated and enforced; McCarthy was trying to stimulate government activity. Does Young mean by the “wrong-headed government response” its passivity and stonewalling of McCarthy’s attempts? I do not think so.

This introductory paragraph might not have been necessary if I had read Ann Coulter’s books in the right order, instead of coming across her Treason hardback (2003) in a charity shop before finding her Slander paperback (2002) for five times the price in Borders Books. In this book she attacks what she sees as bias against the right in what is now termed the Mainstream Media (MSM) in the US- effectively the press and TV networks. Our own media in Britain (as in the rest of the world) is left unexamined, though someone else might find it worth looking at to see what the differences are, both in variety of political orientation and in national coverage. The radio stations seem another matter, their ownership sufficiently dispersed, their impact seen perhaps as less influential, but their content dependent on their sponsors, in turn dependent on the market. Their “talk-show hosts” are, when right-wing, regarded by the left, in carefully phrased insinuations, as sufficently provocative to nourish the pathology of the Oklahoma City bomber. They are undoubtedly more popular; Coulter gives several examples of failed attempts by left-wing talk-show hosts to break into the market. Significantly, the only place for survivors is on National Public Radio, where they are heavily subsidised by the taxpayer- does the parallel with the BBC (unmentioned by Coulter) come to mind? The Internet is also an information and opinion source under suspicion by the left, and a number of them, including Mrs Clinton, have wondered how it can be muzzled.

Assisted by the Index, it is informative to list what she has in her sights. Most of the material from the (in Ann Coulter’s view) left leaning press comes from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, Newsweek and Time, with supporting quotes from The Boston Globe, The Chicago Sun-Times, Church & State, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Columbia Journalism Review, Glamour, Harper’s Magazine, The Kansas City Star, and USA Today. As for TV:

The one TV station that is not an ocean of liberal Democrats punctuated by the occasional ‘from the right’ opinion commentator is Fox News Channel.

So what difference does this make? The first chapter is a somewhat scattergun blast, targeting what I hope are the more far-out manifestations of leftist behavior. Republicans are regularly compared to Nazis. Ken Starr (remember him?) is compared to Heinrich Himmler (remember him?) Women who testify against Clinton are ugly and in the case of Paula Jones is “some sleazy woman with big hair” [eh?]. After 9/11, Americans are warned that anti-abortion extremists are more of a threat then al-Queda, while an academic “agonized” over flying the stars and stripes, an unambiguous signal of patriotism, which worried others of like mind. Right-wing blacks, such as Colin Powell and Clarence Thomas, are “Uncle Toms”, with Clarence Thomas being a “chicken-and-biscuit-eating Uncle Tom”, a “house Negro”, a “handkerchief head” and a “Colored lawn jockey for conservative white interests:, the meaning of which I would love to have explained. “Strict constructionists” of the Constitution, like Robert Bork, are intent on bringing back back-street aboritions, segregated lunch counters, and probably slavery itself. That’s according to Teddy Kennedy, survivor of Chappaquiddick. Newt Gingrich’s now abandonded and forgotten “Contract with America” (“Contract on America” as Clinton wittily put it) was equated with Hitler’s genocide. The “Christian right” (more about which later) “inflamed the air”, resulting in a “three-step process” that led to a couple of thugs beating a gay man to death in Wyoming. And of course, Bush wanted to add arsenic to the drinking water.

Chapter Two starts with a section of what used to be called “radical chic” (not a term found here, perhaps outdated)> A billionare brags:”I dont need a tax cut.” Norman Mailer helps a murderer’s release from gail, puffs his book wiht its Marxist cliche’s, throws a dinner party for him, says it is “tragic” when he murders again. Naturally a pornographer who insults Christianity is a martyr for free speech. Then there is the sort of feminist that gets ignored – the right-wing one, Phyllis Schlafly. Coulter sketches her impressive biography which includes high academic achievements and ten books, none of which were reviewed by The New York Times, though at least one, A Choice not an Echo, which sold three million copies, was a best seller. Starting single-handed against the national consensus, she organised the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. Suck without trace, it is too late now to debate whether ERA would have benefited, penalised, or made no difference to women at all. There is a scathing rundown of her rivals on the left, particularly of Gloria Steinem, founder of the magazine Ms, which failed, despite a million dollar subsidy from a male media tycoon. Schlafly also bore six children: “You can start a career at 50, but not a family,” I believe she has said.

Nothing could be more contemptible then the insouciant attitude of American feminists to President Clinton’s treatment of women because he showed up positive to their “litmus test” of being pro-abortion. One might think there was nothing they could gain or lose since abortion as a right had been inserted into the Constitution by the Supreme Court ( Roe vs Wade) thereby preventing any legislation to reverse the situation. However, Surpreme Court judges not being immortal, there was always the danger that a Republican president (especially a right-wing one) might nominate the wrong man or woman to fill the vacancy. And Federal Surpreme Courts have reversed previous decisions. Under these circumstances, it is best to have as many Federal senators as possible doing their utmost to block a presidential nomination. That is why “moderate” Republican senators are cosseted by the media. What can happen when a moderate Republican senator is no longer needed, as when Clinton reached the White House, is recounted in the sad story of Bob Packwood. His harassing sexual behavior towards mainly, it seems, his office staff then became public knowledge, though it seems to have been continuous through the seventies and eighties, but kept undisclosed even by his own persecuted personnel, because of his position on aborition. Explained one, “For me, abortion rights where on the line,” so she held her tongue. Of course, the public disclosure radically altered Packwood’s image in the media, not that theydid not already know but, pre-Clinton, “were not interested in financing the story”. A deal between an investigative journalist and Vanity Fair “fell through”. And that in 1992 when Anita Hil nearly ruined Clarence Thomas. Coulter has an amusing collection of Before and After quotes on Packwood in her chapter How to go from being a “Jut-Jawed Maverick” to a “Clueless Neanderthal” in One Easy Step.

The next chapter documents the cosy relationship between Democrat politicians and their staff and jobs in the media, when they change from a career in one to a career in the other. After all, it shouldn’t be hard to get in: 89 % of media persons based in Washington voted for Clinton in 1992, when only 43% of the electorate did. Coulter lists 29 such career to career Democrats: I suppose it’s up to those who think that doesn’t suggest institutional bias to produce a similar list of Republicans. Another chapter is devoted to the bias of TV networks other than Fox. There is a long discussion on the behaviour of the networks on the Presidential Election night in 2000 (Gore vs Bush). By using exit polls networks can “call” a state for one or other candidate before the votes are counted, and even before the polls have closed. Coulter points out that networks other than Fox were quicker to “call” states that voted Gore than those that voted Bush. In the mess that Florida got into, NBC, CNN, ABC and Fox (as well) all called it for Gore on faulty exit data before the polls closed, thereby, subsequent surveys suggest, discouraging 10,000 to 37,000 Republicans from bothering to vote. But as actual counting got under way, prediction began to favour Bush and Fox was the first to call the state for him, followed by the other networks. Though they were all using the same data, and the trend was confirmed by the independent number crunching Voter News Service, and the prediction (unlike earlier ones) could have made no difference to the result, and which turned out to be correct, there was great indignation when it was discovered that a relative of Bush was working on the Fox team that night.

The cover of Slander states it to be “The #1 New York Times Bestseller”, referring presumably to the hardback edition. This would be doubly gratifying to the author, since her strictures against media bias include the world of publishing: “publishers don’t like conservative books, the major media ignore them, and bookstores refuse to stock them.” It would be hard to deny that this seems to be the case with Glasgow’s Borders Books where a wall of books on the US are nearly all anti-war, anti-Bush and anti-American – and by Americans. However, Coulter points out that when a conservative book does surmount the three hurdles she mentions and then does well, it tends to be called “a surprise best-seller” and lists seventeen books with that very phrase attached. “Surprise” right wing best sellers wouldn’t, of course, have had good reviews. Candidates on the left would, and some would also have been given generous advances by their publishers – but then flopped. For good measure, Coulter adds the uncritical media treatment of literary frauds, such as Rigoberta Menchu, uncovered as an autobiographical liar after winning a Nobel Peace Prize (unrecovered: there was, its Director said, “no question of revoking the prize”), or Michael A. Bellesiles, author of Arming America , who made up data purporting to show that early Americans possessed hardly any guns. Eager to believe, publishers gave a $25,000 advance for a book alleging that President Bush had a cocaine conviction covered up so successfully that no evidence remained, only the word of the author. They withdrew it from the shops when they discovered he was a twice convicted criminal.

There are two chapters examining the perennial left-wing chant that Republicans, and especially Republican Presidents are stupid: “The Dumb Republican/Smart Democrat myth lives in a world devoid of rational thought and logical consistency. It never occurs to anyone to ponder why the Republican Party would pursue such a crazy strategy of consistently running really dumb guys for office – much less president. Or why the Democratic Party insists on tapping presidential candidates who are so mind-bogglingly smart they can never connect with the average voter.” Need one say more? Only that the left mindset seems unable to admit that anyone can disagree with it and be intelligent.

Finally Ann Coulter looks at, or perhaps looks for the “religious right”. This category of persons is difficult to identify or enumerate. And if “religious right” is a tautology for “religious Republicans” where is the surprise if they vote Republican? Another leftist bugbear “organized religion” turns out to be remarkably unorganized, at least in support of the Republicans. After all, the most organized religion in the US, Roman Catholicism, split almost evenly between the two parties both in 2000 and 2004. The less organized Protestants favoured the Republicans, but at 55%, only by 1% more than white men did. Even only 41% of self-styled Evangelicals register themselves as Republicans. According to The New York Times, the religious right uses its influence in two ways, with its money and its bloc voting. But where, in that case, are the large amounts of money that the religious right contributes to the Republican cause? Coulter can find nothing much and certainly nothing to match the $7 million trial lawyers gave to the Democrats for the election in 2000. As for the notion of a “bloc vote”, no religious bloc can be identified comparable in any way with the Democrat-favouring black (90%), Jewish (79%), Hispanic (67%) and unmarried womenf0 /mothers?f1 (63%) vote in 2000. And where is its leadership, charismatic or otherwise? The four most prominent (and familiar) overtly religious politicians are Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Buchanan and Gary Bauer. Two – Robertson and Buchanan – have run in Republican presidential primaries, but neither have been supported by the others; indeed Bauer endorsed Senator McCain who was attacking both Falwell and Robertson as “agents of intolerance and forces of evil”. To quote a source known to all of them: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Ann Coulter is frankly partisan, a prosecuting council with no nonsense of allowing the Whig dogs to get the best of it, as our bludgeon wielding Dr Johnson would put it. Does her book convincingly demonstrate that there is left wing media bias, or just her paranoia?

To turn things round the other way, does the left have the same sort of grievances against the right? Could a similar book be written (perhaps it has?) about “the vast, right-wing conspiracy” that Mrs Clinton complained about following the fuss made about her husband’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky?

26 comments to Slander

  • There are two chapters examining the perennial left-wing chant that Republicans, and especially Republican Presidents are stupid

    People who believe that the economy can be stimulated by increasing business taxes have no business calling conservatives dumb.

    In her musings on the religious right, Coulter should note that it is not the cultural monolith that many blue-staters think it to be. One example was the media flurry over the revelation that Bill Bennett gambles (or used to). What a hypocrite – oops, he’s a Catholic, and Catholicism doesn’t oppose gambling. (I suspect that evangelicals have varied positions on the issue, too.)

    Leftists tend to compartmentalize people into discrete classes with little overlap between them. The truth is just the opposite: everybody has multiple cultural identities, all of which overlap each other to varying degrees. Of course leftists see religious conservatives as monolithic – they see themselves the same way, except within a competing monolith.

  • Gary Gunnels

    You should provide a link to Young’s article if you are going to criticize it.

    Alan,

    Leftists tend to compartmentalize people into discrete classes with little overlap between them.

    Insert “humans” for “leftists.” As a libertarian I am constantly verbally assaulted by Republicans who go apeshit when I argue for the end of the “war on drugs.” They start calling me a “liberal” and a “Democrat” (never mind that the Democratic party is just as bad the Republican party when it comes to support for the “war on drugs).

  • GCooper

    An interesting review of what sounds like an interesting book.

    I’d make two observations. The first is that the parallels with the media in the UK are extremely close (with the exception that we gain by having some non-Left newspapers, but lose because talk radio in the UK stinks).

    The second is something that always troubles me when Americans say: “X per cent of trial lawyers voted Y” and “Z per cent of journalists voted N”.

    While I admit it would nice to have it confrmed that in excess of 85 per cent of BBC “journalists” voted Labour or LibDem (my guess), it nonetheless makes me wonder about the sanctity of the secret ballot.

    Do they know this, or is it a statistical guess?

  • DS

    “While I admit it would nice to have it confrmed that in excess of 85 per cent of BBC “journalists” voted Labour or LibDem (my guess), it nonetheless makes me wonder about the sanctity of the secret ballot.

    Do they know this, or is it a statistical guess?”

    This comes from numerous polls of media members done since the early 1960’s. Not even liberals dispute these numbers. They are accepted as fact by almost everybody in America. Liberals just claim that as “journalists” they are objective, so it doesn’t matter.

  • llamas

    Regarding the ‘colored lawn jockey’ slur cast at Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas – this is easily explained.

    A popular lawn ornament in years past, in certain parts of the US, was a cast replica, usually about half-scale, of a stereotypically-exaggerated black man dressed in jockey’s clothing and holding up one hand as though to take the reins of a horse. The hand sometimes carries a lantern. By ‘sterotypically-exaggerated’, I mean big eyes with the whites painted in, large red lips, large, flat nose and curly hair. These pieces of art were typically carefully painted in gaudy colours for the uniform and the flesh of the statue a uniform gloss black.

    It is said that the ‘lawn jockey’ actually has its roots in the tale of one Jocko Graves, an African-American boy who served with General George Washington at the time that he crossed the Delaware to carry out his surpise attack on British forces at Trenton, NJ. The General thought him too young to take along on such a dangerous attack, so left him on the Pennsylvania side to tend to the horses and to keep a light on the bank for their return. So the story goes, the boy, faithful to his post and his orders, froze to death on the river bank during the night, the lantern still in his hand. The General was so much moved by the boy’s devotion to his duty that he had a statue sculpted and cast of him, holding the lantern, and had it installed at his Mount Vernon estate. No records exist to support any of this story, but it has passed into popular folklore, especially in the African-American community.

    In the days of the Underground Railroad. so it is said, the idea and the sculpture of the boy became a ‘secret sign’ on the routes that escaped slaves took to freedom, the arm of the staue pointing the right road and the colours painted on his uniform giving warning of dangers ahead. Original ‘lawn-jockeys’ of this period command absorbent prices on the African-American memorabilia market, for this reason.

    Despite his probably-honourable roots, there’s little doubt that the stereotypical ‘lawn jockey’ figure, with red lips, white eyes, broad grin of white teeth and generally servile cast, was a popular symbol of distaste for integration and civil rights in this century, especially in the South.

    Lawn jockeys are still sold today, although modern ones are rigourously Caucasian and lack the stereotypically-racial features and paintwork of past years. The ‘lawn jockey’ is/has become a powerful symbol of subservience, racial oppression and slavery, and is generally considered to be in very poor taste these days. To call an African-American a ‘lawn jockey’ is to imply that he is servile, enslaved, indebted to white men for anything he may have or have done, and generally ‘a traitor to his race’, cf, Uncle Tom, Aunt Jemima, Butterly McQueen, Stepin Fetchit, and so forth. It is a very popular slur among the left-wing African-American establishment, which applies it to anyone (like Justice Thomas) who does not fall in line with their liberal social agenda on matters like affirmative action, race-based preferences or slavery reparations.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Rhukatah

    A similar book has been written by a man named Eric Alterman. Basically, Alterman tries a point-by-point refutation of Coulter.

    I have not read the book but Alterman was interviewd on WLS 890 (Chicago) by Eileen Byrne. He was the single rudest interviewee I have ever had the displeasure to listen to. He refused to answer any of her questions and shouted her down when she attempted to debate him.

    (But of course, we Republicans are the the party that mistreats women. Never mind that Wyoming was the first state to let them vote.)

    The book’s title is What Liberal Media?

  • Gary Gunnels

    Ann Coulter is generally speaking the Michael Moore of the “right” (and that isn’t meant as a compliment).

    llamas,

    Where I come from (lower Alabama – LA as we call it) black “lawn jockies” are pretty common. I’ve also seen them at flea markets and such places. Are you sure they aren’t still made?

  • Gary Gunnels

    Rhukatah,

    Actually, Wyoming extended suffrage to women in 1869 (largely as a means to encourage women to move there), that is long before it became a state in 1890.

    Anyway, many Republicans and Democrats were opposed to universal suffrage right up to the passage of the 19th Amendment. Anyway, culture (and the individual attitudes associated with it) explains discriminatory attitudes towards women far more than party status does.

  • telcontar

    Mr. Gunnels;

    If Ann Coulter is the Michael Moore of the right, then it should be just as easy to fisk anything she says. I submit that it is not, and that this is the great difference between the far left and far right. The far right is annoying and says improprietious things (see most of talk radio); the far left uses bogus statistics, slurs and outright lies.

    One wonders if this is the result of decontructionism being embraced by portions of the left.

  • llamas

    What telcontar siad. I don’t always agree with Ann Coulter, and she can be just as strident and partisan for her ideas as Michael Moore can for his. The difference is that she bases her arguments in facts, and provides voluminous references for everything she says. She is the only writer I know of, for example, who footnotes the specific Lexis-Nexis search terms that she uses, so that anyone may perform the identical database searches that she did.

    Her latest book (How to Talk To a Liberal – If you Must) includes a hilarious column in which she takes on various people who have tried to fisk her facts. With the same voluminous references, she takes them off at the knees – it’s a fun read. Argue with her politics if you like but her data are impeccable, and her logic from data to conclusions is often the same way. Because Michael Moore and his ilk so often start with incorrect or incomplete data, that’s a target that they can never reach.

    Regarding ‘black’ lawn-jockeys – it may well be as you suggest. I could not find a manufacturer of new ‘black’ lawn jockeys with a quick Google search although there’s any number of suppliers for ‘white’ ones. As I siad, old ones are something of a collectible item.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Mary in LA

    Original ‘lawn-jockeys’ of this period command absorbent prices on the African-American memorabilia market, for this reason.

    Llamas, thanks for the background story of the lawn jockey! But I think you meant “exorbitant prices”, not “absorbent” ones — though I have to admit that shopping does absorb an exorbitant amount of my income. ;-)
    In any case, that was a fascinating story. I remember seeing those lawn jockeys advertised in various mail-order catalogs when I was much younger, but I had no idea of their history. Thanks again!

  • llamas

    Mary in LA – no, actually, I meant what I wrote. ‘An absorbent price’ is an fine example of the ancient art of malapropism, quoted directly from one of the best works of a fine author – a large drink for the first person to correctly identify it. Your explanation of why it is funny – is why it is funny.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Verity

    Yes. What Telcontar said. Fisking the left is easy. I would like to see one successful fisk of Ann Coulter.

  • “Significantly, the only place for survivors is on National Public Radio, where they are heavily subsidised by the taxpayer- does the parallel with the BBC (unmentioned by Coulter) come to mind?”

    I’m not a parituclarly big fan of NPR, but in light of the above quote I think a little perspective is in order here:

    “A small amount of NPR money comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a federally created private, not-for-profit corporation that administers some of the money allocated by Congress for public broadcasting. CPB funding amounts to between 1-2 percent of NPR’s budget and it’s often “seed” money for new programs. NPR must bid for these grants annually and there is no guarantee that NPR will get them. Funding also comes from other federally supported foundations such as the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. But money from those organizations accounts for less than 1 percent of the budget.”

    NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin

    Outside of the money referred to by Dvorkin above, NPR’s budget is underwritten by corporations, foundations, or local listeners. NPR is simply not heavily susidized by taxpayers, especially not in any sense that approaches the BBC. There is some taxpayer money involved, true, but anything under a fifth of the budget just doesn’t strike me as a heavy subsidy. Should it be taken away? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to overstate the case.

  • David

    Ann Coulter is, by self-admission, a polemicist in the best sense of the word. She never pretends to be unbiased – merely objective – which is why I love reading her books. Some of my favorite lines:

    1. Historically, the best way to convert a liberal is to have them move our of their parents’ home, get a job, and start paying taxes.

    2. Liberals dispute slight reductions in the marginal tax rates as if they are trying to prevent Charles Manson from slaughtering baby seals.

    3. The most crazed religious fanatic argues in more calm and reasoned tones than liberals responding to statistics on concealed-carry permits.

    4. Liberals hate America, they hate “flag-wavers,” they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam (post 9/11). Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now.

    5. After Andrew Sullivan attended a large church gathering to see the true face of the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” as Hillary Clinton called it, he discovered that “they seemed neither fanatics nor bigots.” Responding to Andrew Sullivan’s suggestions that those on the right should take similar excursions into the world of the left, Ann replied, “In point of fact, conservatives do spend time with the radicals they oppose-and lots of it. It can’t be avoided. Liberals are forever leaping out at us from our TV screens, newspapers, magazines, movies, and college lecterns. We know liberals and we know what they think. Unlike Sullivan’s exotic excursion into a right-wing gathering, any conservative can already attach names and faces to entire colonies of liberals. Ironically, regular church-going, middle-class Americans are far more cosmopolitan than the self-styled sophisticates of the left.”

    These quotes are both outrageous and funny, hence the work of a polemicist. But, unlike the polemicists of the left, Ann Coulter grounds her witticisms and observations on the firm bedrock of truth. As she put it, “At least when a right winger rants, they have a point.”

  • Findlay Dunachie

    Fascinating information about the lawnjockeys (though I knew it would draw a red herring across the fox hunt).

    Thanks, too, Jason, for the corrective information about NPR – but I’m not an American and National Public Radio does sound suspiciously like Nationalized Public Radio to someone in the UK. For what it’s worth, I believe that a lot of Foundations have been captured by the left – Ford, Macarthur especially. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Findlay –

    You’re right, the name of the network doesn’t help its image a bit. And it’s probably true that the foundations are leftist – there’s certainly a “oh whatever shall we do now that capitalism has despoiled our world” attitude behind a lot of NPR news that could be attributed to such a situation. But while I may disagree with the viewpoints, I don’t really have a problem with that sort of talk when it’s basically underwritten by private sources. To me it’s virtually the same as commercial radio, except there are pledge drives at certain times of year. If NPR were more like the BBC I’d probably be pretty upset, but that’s a scenario that will almost certainly never come to pass in this country.

  • llamas

    GCooper wrote:

    ‘The second is something that always troubles me when Americans say: “X per cent of trial lawyers voted Y” and “Z per cent of journalists voted N”.

    While I admit it would nice to have it confrmed that in excess of 85 per cent of BBC “journalists” voted Labour or LibDem (my guess), it nonetheless makes me wonder about the sanctity of the secret ballot.’

    Bear in mind that, in the US, party affiliation is usually recorded on voter-registration documents (for the purposes of primary voting) and so is a matter of public record. So American data on how a particular group votes (or might be expected to vote based on previously-declared party affiliation) is probably much more statistically-sound.

    Some of these analyses also rely on public records of monetary contributions to the various parties by individuals and lobbying groups, which are freely available and which also would be (I would suggest) a very strong indicator of voting patterns. I doubt, for example, that the American Bar Association donated the millions of dollars it donated to the Kerry campaign against the wishes of its members.

    Leaving that aside, many of these sorts of analyses are based on self-identification, as, for example, here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/nrof_bartlett/bartlett200412080850.asp

    This column speaks primarily to acedemics, but I think you will find that Ann Coulter’s assertions about the liberal leanings of journalists are supported by similar, referenced studies.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Coulter embarrassed me when she pointed out (somewhere in “Treason”, I think) that Ronald Reagan was the first American president to confront the Soviet Union with a direct moral challenge. I hadn’t thought of that before. She’s right, and that’s a big deal.

    (“I’ll take a drive to
    Beverly Hills
    Just before dawn
    I’ll knock the little jockeys off
    The rich peoples’ lawns…”

    Zappa, “Uncle Remus”)

  • Mary in LA

    Okay, Llamas, blast you, you’ve out-pedanted me! I surrender! For now, anyway… :-)
    I have no idea who first said “absorbent price”. I’ll take a wild guess: Was it the famous Mrs. Malaprop?

  • Robin Burk

    NPR *was* originally fully funded by the federal government for propgram production. Affiliated stations usually raised view funds for at least part of the cost of broadcasting them.

    Those subsidies began to be shrunk under the Reagan administration until today they are minimal.

  • FS

    Cathy Young’s Reason column is located here. She does in fact discuss “Treason”, though not in any great depth, as she’s already written on it before (here for example). Michelle Malkin is the primary person trying to rehabilitate internment, and Malkin is who the column is largely about.

    FWIW, Malkin has been, I think, very solidly debunked by Eric Muller.

  • llamas

    FS wrote:

    ‘Michelle Malkin is the primary person trying to rehabilitate internment, and Malkin is who the column is largely about.

    FWIW, Malkin has been, I think, very solidly debunked by Eric Muller.’

    Er, no, Michelle Malkin has been loudly challenged by Eric Muller – but not ‘solidly debunked’, nor anything like it.

    You can see all of their exchanges at michellemalkin.com – you may have to go into the archives a bit. Muller comes off as a nit-picking pedant who can’t get his facts straight. Malkin comes off pretty dam’ good, all things considered.

    I don’t think it’s fair to characterize Malkin’s book – which I have read, have you? – as trying to ‘rehabilitate’ the internment of Japanese-Americans in WW2. I think a better description might be that her book tends to show that the internment was not simply a knee-jerk racist/xenophobic reaction to Pearl Harbor, devoid of any real justification, which is the way that it is taught in the US and how it now sets in the public consciousness. Her book demonstrates that there were serious and substantive concerns about Japanses espionage and sabotage networks in the US, which may, at the time, have offered some justification for the internment.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Findlay Dunachie

    Thanks for the links: as a mere contributor I can ask for them, but not put them in. Sometimes I ask, sometimes I don’t want to cause bother.

    I was impressed by Coulter’s Treason and by her Slander. I have, of course, never seen her on TV, but surely it’s understandable that her personality, if combative, would come across more so when live and perhaps when provoked?

    The junction of the internment of the Japanese and McCarthyism was unfortunate and certainly poorly thought out. They were entirely different things. As I have emphasised, the internment was Government initiated and, by and large, nationally supported. Who dissented? Not even the National Council of Civil Liberties, though, as Coulter points out, the California branch did. The Government, with FDR President, was Democrat. However, before we get indignant post hoc, let us remember that this was 60 years ago, there was a war on and racism was far more a conventional element in society than is conceivable now.

    For what it’s worth, the Japanese interned or imprisoned all Allied Nationals, civilians and military respectively, in all the territories they occupied.

    Surely after all this time it is not unreasonable to ask whether the activities of McCarthy should be re-examined, rather than subjected to routine vilification? Coulter’s pages in Treason are worth reading in this respect. It may also be worth asking, “Was it a fact that he was nationally popular, but a hate figure of the media, academics and intellectuals?”

  • Dale Amon

    I’ll just chuck out a few historical items. Although I am not familiar with Malkin’s book, I imagine she basis her thesis on the documents declassified about a decade ago. The US had broken a lot of Japanese codes and had information that there were plans to use the Japanese American communities on the West Coast for espionage and sabotage. I’m certain you can come up with some copies of the documents via a google search.

    On Coulter: she does have a down side. I remember she had a real run in with one of our State Parties a couple of elections ago. She basically waltzed in and wanted to run without committing to the party platform. She wanted to use the LP for her own agenda and she is decidedly not a Libertarian, although I will at least agree she has more signs of reason than many in the other, less sane wing of the Demopublican Party.

    On McCarthy… after the old Communist regime in Russia came down, some historians got access to files there. And found out that there really were Communists under every bed. Well, at least there were inside the State Department. The trouble is, McCarthy and Nixon didn’t catch any of the real ones.

    It also came out of Russian records, much to my surprise, that the Rosenbergs really *were* guilty of passing nuclear weapon secrets on to the Soviets at a very dangerous time and thus really were guilty of high treason.

    On NPR. I grew up in Pittsburgh and have memories of the weeks long annual fundraising telethon’s on WQED as they begged the public to raise money. The station was most decidely and proudly community supported. WQED was, by the way, one of the key stations in the system, one of the ones that created programming. And yes, I actually did live in a house that was really in Misterrogers neighborhood. I was also in the neighborhood of the WQED studio for quite some time as it is just behind Mudge Graduate house at CMU…