When Rush Limbaugh made an ass of himself by “slut shaming” Sandra Fluke for weeks on end, the one last nerve of those within earshot of his blathering, blubbering mouth was snapped and the villagers took their pitchforks into the town square of modern media and demanded the monster be taken down. And he was. A notch or two. In fact, currently advertisers see sticking with the likes of Limbaugh as a death of sorts; or, as one put it, “those who do not adapt will be swallowed up.” (see Rats Leaving The Sinking Ship — Conservative Radio Still Shedding Advertisers)
The Limbaugh boycott was a seminal moment in cultural history. It was a noble gesture from people of varied political, social, religious and ethnic assignations who came together to say that carrying on about politicians is one thing, sliming a young girl with the courage to stand up for her beliefs is another. “There are just some points too low to go,” as one woman put it. We’d had enough of a caustic, cynical, repulsively ill-mannered and deeply unacceptable talk show host who has no self-censoring capacity and, so, required a little course correction from a jury of his peers. Boycotts were plentiful and they had impact, still do. Evolution, thinning the herd; it’s what we do.
Isn’t it time Annie got her gunnin’?
In her slavish attempt to be a less male version of Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, she of the dubious accomplishments beyond a mouth that roars and a sort of queasy, “I can’t look away” appeal to certain Right Wing boys and Left Wing media men (i.e., Bill Maher), Coulter seems fixated on making her mark as a petty provocateur, spewing toads like a Harry Potter character but saying so very little of value. Instead, she comes off as childish as a narcissistic toddler angling for attention at an adult dinner party by saying “poop,” trying hard to shock and awe with the most idiotic, inflammatory thing she can think to say. On the night of the third presidential debate, she said “poop” with the following Tweet:
Limbaugh must be rollin’ over in his swivel chair.
Sam Kinison, the late shock comic who happened to be a friend of mine way back when, once told me the point of his comedy was to get a rise out of people. After watching him provoke and embarrass the hell out of a young couple in a club by spewing, in his inimitable high-decibel style, a volley of hyper-sexual insults about their personal lives, I was put off and told him so after the show.
“Yeah,” he countered snidely, “but at least I got their attention.”
“Anyone can get anyone’s attention by hitting them over the head,” I retorted dryly. “It doesn’t take talent.”
He didn’t talk to me much after that.
The same mission statement seems to be Coulter’s as well. Getting attention. Not for anything particularly noble or noteworthy, simply to be able to say, “Yeah, well at least I got their attention.”
I have no idea what Coulter’s childhood entailed and don’t have the interest to explore it. But some have suggested, in responding Tweets, that it’s likely she was hurt by someone, missed some critical elements of love and affection throughout her life to have evolved into such a uniformly unpleasant and distasteful character. It does seem she’s acting out on the public stage so I wondered if a public therapist would be willing to take her on…Dr. Phil? Dr. Drew?
For the rest of us, the time has come to ask: when it’s within a person’s wheelhouse to call the President of the United States a “retard” and blast that incendiary label across the world-wide media, isn’t time to stand up and give her the Limbaugh treatment? Boycotts, petitions, media shutdowns? She doesn’t have a show so there’s nothing to boycott there, but surely a point can be made, big enough to make the point, that her brand of cultural comment is not acceptable. I dunno, I’m riffing here.
There are some who say, ignore her; as with that narcissistic toddler, ignoring bad behavior deflects attention and will ultimately send a signal that it’s not an effective means of getting it. Good advice for a toddler; not so much for a Coulter. It seems she’s immune to that logic: ignore her and she just speaks louder, gets on another show; ups the ante on her hate-speak. Like Limbaugh, Trump, the Westboro Church, Opposite Vampires, or Counter-Intuitive Cockroaches, if she goes too long without media glare, she simply demands it – and gets it. All lit up and golden to spew another day.
So if ignoring her doesn’t work, she doesn’t have a show to boycott, and most of us wouldn’t buy her books anyway, what are the options to shut her down? Beyond not watching Maher when he has her on and continuing to eschew Fox News, how do we solve a problem like Ann Coulter?
We’re open to suggestions. Let us know your thoughts, share some ideas. It’s time. We’ve taken on Limbaugh, we can surely take down Little Miss Obnoxious Annie.