Friday, October 19, 2007

On the integrity of Ann Coulter

TigerHawk knew Ann Coulter in college days, and reminisces a bit about the conservative bomb-thrower:

I do not really know Ann now, but I knew her pretty well back at Michigan Law School. In the first week or two of my third year we threw a party at our house and Ann -- who had just arrived in Ann Arbor as a first year -- materialized as the date of one of my classmates. Mrs. TH and I ended up talking conservative politics with her at some length, and over the course of the 1985-86 academic year became pretty good friends. We would study in the Michigan Union and end up laughing (or ranting) about something hideous we had read in the New York Times (plus ça change...).

The thing is, she has not changed. Apart from being a tad more polished, the Ann you see on television is essentially identical in mannerism, turn of phrase, and bomb-throwing rhetoric to the Ann we shot the breeze with more than 20 years ago. Long before she had a book to sell or even envisioned a career as a pundit, she took great pleasure in phrasing her opinions in the starkest possible terms, especially if she could make her friends laugh guiltily or offend people who offended her. Ann's public life is just an extension of actual personality -- she has a sharp sense of humor, takes endless pleasure in irritating people to the left of her, and does not much care (or seem to care) what such people think of her.

So when people say that Ann says what she says to sell books, I do not think that is right. Mrs. TH and I agree that her public personality today conforms so well to her private personality back in the day that we are all seeing the real Ann. She does what she does because it gives her great pleasure. She is the rare celebrity, I think, who has found a way to have a public life that is not really in conflict with her private life.

Draw whatever conclusions you will.
That's a big excerpt, but it's not the whole post, and the comments are interesting. So go there and RTWT.

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