Archive - Mar 6, 2007

Her Day In Coult

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Memo to the courtroom: SETTLE DOWN.

I know this is a high-profile case, but I must insist on at least a minimum level of decorum from the audience. Let's try to keep it down to a dull roar, shall we? Now, I realize that the defendant in this case has, technically, had her number retired vis a vis being the subject of You Are Dumb, but Comedy Court must, by law, adjudicate all cases of comedy transgression. And so I give you:THE DEFENDANT: Ann Coulter, accused of making a hateful, homophobic, and inappropriate joke at the Conservative Political Action Caucus.

THE JOKE: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards."

THE DEFENSE: "C’mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean." (Coulter) "Faggot's not that bad a word, and anyway, you're stifling free speech, you PC liberals!" (various and sundry)

THE VERDICT: On the charge of telling a hateful joke, GUILTY. On the charge of telling a homophobic joke, GUILTY. On the charge of telling an inappropriate joke, NOT GUILTY.

Before I explain the verdict, let me go on to mention one other crime Ann Coulter would be guilty of here if the public sphere had seen fit to levy the charge against her. Saying, in essence, that "I'd love to call John Edwards a faggot, but I'd get in trouble if I did" is a huge comedy copout. Like LaShawn Barber, who thinks she's not saying "shit" when she types "sh**", all this is is weaseling, sniveling, pathetic bullshit. You're calling John Edwards a gay homo fag, and everyone knows it. Even the CPAC audience, although it took them a few seconds, because they're not very bright.

Anyway, the joke was clearly homophobic. Someone who hates gay people telling a room full of gay-hating conservatives that a Democrat is gay cannot possibly not be homophobic. It's a truism. It's the very definition of the term. The only way it could have been more homophobic is if Edwards had somehow been running past the room, and Coulter had pointed him out and yelled "SMEAR THE QUEER!"

The joke was also clearly hateful. The word "faggot" is full to bursting with hate-drenched connotation and history. I don't care if Dan Savage had people call him "faggot" in the early days of his column. This court does not acknowledge the arguments of people who desperately need to believe that words' meanings can be changed by context.

However, the joke was clearly not inappropriate. It got a big laugh and cheers, which means that the joke was matched with the audience it was aimed at. For that venue, and for that context, the joke was completely appropriate. People who believe otherwise must have a very different picture of CPAC, perhaps seeing it as some kind of refined forum where presidential candidates seek serious discussions of issues with their fellow conservative thinkers.

Therefore, any punishment meted out to Coulter must be mild at best. As she is obviously most in her element when telling simplistic, homophobic jokes to an audience of unreconstructed troglodytes, her punishment is merely that she should follow the same career path as all the other people who have based their lives on that singular skill.

No more going on Fox News and being asked what she thinks of stuff. No, Ann Coulter must go the way of Andrew Dice Clay. Make a big stir saying stupid, offensive shit for a laugh. Go away for a decade or so. Then come back to VH1, trying to fit into your old wardrobe and doing your old schtick in a pathetic grab for cash and attention.

In the interests of bettering society, Comedy Court exempts Ms. Coulter from having to make a counterpart to "The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane". CASE CLOSED.