Paper Tiger


A new meme is making its way around the blogs of the left, sparked by Sid Blumenthal's comments in a recent New York Observer piece. How (the bloggers have been wondering) is it that Ann Coulter manages to place a badly researched pile of cheap invective so high on the bestseller lists? Are our collective political sensibilities really that debased?

Well, maybe not. See, if you look at the current NY Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list, you'll notice that Treason is unique in having a little "(+)" symbol appended to its listing, signalling that bookstores have reported getting bulk orders for the book. Maybe some of those are going to Web sites like Human Events and NewsMax, which are handing out free copies of the book to subscribers. This somewhat restores my faith in humanity. (Via Tom Spencer)

NEXT: Jesus Christ, Superstar

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  1. i like ann coulter. she’s blonde LSD.

  2. Anyone?

    What was it exactly that Coulter got wrong in her “badly researched pile of cheap invective?”

  3. “What was it exactly that Coulter got wrong in her “badly researched pile of cheap invective?”

    Horowitz’ review (I think it’s at the Front Page site) is a good place to start.

  4. Ray – She was too nice.

  5. Fletcher,

    Read it already, he knocks her for her stance, not her research or facts per se but I will re-read it.

    And Horowitz and her have had a personal fallout so he is an odd one to be critisizing. That and he is one of the more over-the-top pundits to be found so again, he is an odd one to quote.

    And if this is such a badly researched piece of garbage, you, and especially Julian, should be able to pick it apart with relative ease.

  6. ray, she didn’t get anything “wrong” — she articulates a point of view that can charitably be characterized as faith-based, meaning she isn’t reliant on fact but instead has the freedom to speculate, infer and demonize without limit because she is writing opinion. she’s ranting on points of conservative religion. and how can one’s faith be “wrong”? can their be a moral viewpoint that is “wrong”, unless viewed from another moral viewpoint?

    if one argued that her book, instead of being “right”, was “factual” — then there’d be room for an argument, because her diatribe is plainly anything but. however, the answer to your question (as far as i am capable of answering it) is that there isn’t anything “wrong” with it.

  7. aaaagh! “there” — sorry, a pet peeve…

  8. mak-

    So you’re not answering the question as to her faulty research. Every critique I’ve heard or read has taken issue with her “invective” or opinion but no one has been able to fault her facts.

    This is a problem because everyone eludes to her lack of factual accuracy though no one can produce an example, and, having read her book, it is indeed full of factual evidence that dispells the McCarthy mythology. That it is laced with her own wit and sarcasm, regardless of whether it suits your taste, does not change the factual content of her writing.

  9. There is another thread in progress where posters are ripping up George Will for his opinions, so we have posters’ opinions about Will’s opinions, no big deal.

    But the anti-Coulter crowd is attacking her on a false premise instead of just saying she’s an invective flame thrower, which is true.

  10. Soooo, . . .

    What was it exactly that Coulter got wrong in her “badly researched pile of cheap invective?”

    Julian is a parasite in the world of journalism. He picks up on little tid bits of info that he knows full well are incomplete and of dubious origin and proceeds with posts like this.

    I guess this is what they do to increase traffic at the site and it does keep us coming back but with all of the genuine news and events taking place, the hacker can’t seem to come up with anything better.

  11. Ray you are right as usual. Ann Coulter’s book is a brilliant piece of diligently researched and prodigiously footnoted truth. Her primary conclusion that the entire American left and its running dog partners the Democratic party are congenital traitors and should be shot at dawn is indisputable. They have been traitors since about, what, 1945? Every card-carrying member of the traitor party should be stripped of their citizenship immediately. All facts. These United States are in grave peril of falling to the evil, treasonous plot by the lefties…
    (Do you get the point, Ray? When someone says all of you loony gun-loving Bushophiles are antidemocratic fascists, you don’t have to dissect the argument to dismiss it, likewise Coulter’s amusing claims.)

  12. chomsky has lots of footnotes

    he be smarter dan stupidhead conservatives

  13. Sid’s comments are jealousy, plain and simple, after his book slipped off the bestseller list astonishingly fast. He too got to push his book on such outlets as Hannity’s radio show and The Daily Show.

  14. If you think the squealing is bad now, think what it will be when she compares Dick Tuck with the Watergate burglars.

  15. xman,

    Do you get the point? I’ve already pointed out myself that she is invective flamethrower.

    I’ve asked about her faulty research, not yours or anyone else’s opinion as to her wit or humor.

    Was she wrong? It has been implied that her facts are not complete or fabricated but no one will back up their own invective with any evidence of her “bad research.”

    So, what exactly is it that makes her research so faulty or poorly put together?

  16. (disclaimer: I haven’t read the entire thread, maybe this got addressed later on and I’m flogging a dead horse, but…)

    My wife is a $7 per hour Barnes and Noble employee. She and her co-workers don’t have discretion on where to put books, the manager tells them where. She can’t decide “I’m going to hide Ann Coulter’s book behind Noam Chomsky’s.” I asked her a few weeks ago if people actually buy Coulter’s books and she said Coulter does quite well. This is in Santa Barbara, a town with a lot of limousine liberals.

    If books get miscategorized it’s probably because of inadequately informed management, not devious employees conspiring to hide a book they don’t like. Maybe the manager is poorly informed and doesn’t know who much about Thomas Sowell’s writing and thinks “Oh, black author” (in reference to the person who noted that Sowell often gets put in the African-American section, despite his wishes to the contrary).

    Final thought: Even if devious employees were conspiring to hide books, what makes you think all of them would have a liberal agenda? Isn’t it possible that bookworms might hide novels that they don’t like, or just hide books based on some preference other than leftist slant?

  17. Ray. You win, the entire left are traitors. They can’t help it. She said it, and you seem to believe it. I assume you’ve read the book, and found it to be entirely factually based. When do I get my cigarette and blindfold?

    If I did years of research and wrote an error-free book proving that the earth is flat, would you do me a favor and start walking west and don’t stop until you get to the edge. Actually, don’t stop when you get to the edge.

    I’m sure Coulter’s research and facts are as sloppy as any other journalists, I don’t have time to dissect it, because I know where it leads, to a false conclusion. You, on the other hand, truly belive her premise and so all of her little factoids probably make you quite happy and smug.

  18. thoreau,

    You’re right, I should have clarified about the management part. The accounts I’ve read of differing displays at book stores were attributed to the management and it wasn’t just B&N cited but bookstores in general. I should start cataloging this stuff.

    On Sowell, there’s nothing about his books that would tell you he is a black author. This definitely comes from the top down though I have personally never seen it, I’ve always found his books in current events or social sciences. But I have no reason not to believe Mr. Sowell. He has mentioned this ‘black’ author thing a few times in his articles, I guess that’s another thing I could add to this proposed catalogue.

    And for the “devious employees” go in to a few different Borders and B&Ns. The typical employee is most often someone that you would find at a WTO protest.

  19. I’m sure you can use Google, Ray, but let’s start here:

    More damning, as I see it, is the assessment of journalist and historian Anne Applebaum, who found it frustrating that Coulter just one-sidedly clipped her information from sympathetic sources, eliding whatever evidence didn’t fit with her thesis.

  20. I think this covers the entire Coulter as liar/idiot fairly well.

  21. Ray-

    My wife’s co-workers tend to be, to the extent one can generalize, the type who would be reading a novel rather than attending a protest. They maintain a more reserved image than the Borders down the street, which tries to maintain a more hip image.

    I don’t know how to tell who would be attending a WTO protest, at least not from appearances.

  22. One other thing about protests: I’ve attended a few anti-war protests, dressed rather conservatively and marching next to a friend with a t-shirt showing a masked SWAT officer and the caption “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” (My friend is a very active Libertarian who wears the shirt at LP conventions.) One of my wife’s co-workers attended, a religious fundamentalist from an extreme pacifist sect.

    So how do we stereotype effectively?

  23. So, all of that and no one can give me a simple example where Coulter was wrong?

    I am open to change my mind here. I have read her book but not checked her facts. But I have also read a number of other pieces over the years documenting the Venona project, FDR’s complacent attitude (towards Kulaks massacre for example) how someone like Hiss made it to the levels that he did and so on.

    I will go to the sites Julian suggested but, and this bears pointing out, there are journalists and entire websites dedicating themselves to debunking Coulter. So 1) Julian & Co. are culling their own information from sympathetic sources and 2) they still cannot produce an easily shown instance of Coulter’s faulty research.

    I’m not asking for a book, but the anti-Coulter crowd has painted such a bad picture of her research that it should be easier than you guys are proving it to be.

  24. Thoreau – your question, how do we stereotype effectively? is ironically put. Ray stereotypes effectively all the time. He paints anyone to the left of him as a commie-loving, jesus- and gun-hating traitor.
    That’s one of the things that bugs me about all these right wingers who think they are libertarians, they love to generalize about their opponents. (see the irony in that one, Ray?)

    More examples: Teachers are all evil and lazy… Bookstore employees are WTO protesters… Julian is a parasite (oh, wait, that wasn’t a generalization, just kind of mean.)

  25. thoreau,

    That is why I said a few different book stores. Maybe the WTO protester is a bit of an extreme example but they are definitely not prototypical citizens. Typically though you’ll find the pierced tongues, shoe polish black hair and so on.

  26. Julian is still a parasite. When asked repeatedly to back up his “mean” assertions of Coulter’s faulty research, he falls back on his own criticisms of her writing. Relying on sympathetic sources while seemingly drawing no concrete conclusions.

    The difference of course is that Coulter uses such sound evidence, not just sympathetic literature, that Julian nor anyone here can actually produce example A) Ann said this when in actuality, the truth was thus.

    xman, you’ve admitted that you haven’t read the book and have only answered my calls for facts with ad hominem drivel. So you don’t even know what Coulter said and you’re only taking the word of the parasite. Talk about stereo typing.

    And go to more than 3 major book stores and tell me the typical employee isn’t the pierced tongue polished black hair type.

  27. Here’s an example.

    Such an such an historian says that FDR was a great president that brought our country out of the Great Depression.

    My reply:
    Not exactly, FDR’s New Deal actually exasperated the depression and largely thought to have been responsible (though not solely) for the 1937 relapse in our economy. Furthermore, he ignored well placed information as to the murderous practices in place in the Soviet Union and held Stalin in such regard as to ignore reams of information that not only was his Uncle Joe a mass murderer, but his own advisors were on the Soviet payroll. Just look up the Yalta talks.

    If Coulter is polarizing for your sensitive tastes, pick up “The New Dealers’ War” by Thomas Fleming.

  28. xray,

    You tell me, does Ann use faulty information?

  29. I’ve left myself open here by admitting I will change my mind if shown some contradicting facts and admitting that I haven’t checked her facts yet.

    But before I dive off into reading these various pieces. . . .

    Can’t someone show me some conclusive? If her research is that bad it really should be easy as my lengthy but pithy example above was.

  30. Ray,

    If anyone is spouting ad hominem drivel its you.

  31. Ad hominem drivel? I’d resent that if it weren’t so (charmingly) self-referential.

    Speaking of drivel, Ray, your logic continues to astound. You ask Julian for examples of what is wrong with Coulter’s oeuvre. He gives you some sources and you dismiss them as “sympathetic sources.” Hmmm. Julian go out and find a source which is both sympathetic to Coulter and yet agrees with your premise – Ray and I are waiting.
    (BTW, Applebaum ain’t exactly a commie-lover like Sanchez, if I’m not mistaken.)

  32. x-

    and if anyone takes umbrage with her calling the Dems cogenital traitors and the like, they’re letting their emotions get the best of them.

    We’re not discussing her opinions, the question is her faulty research. If you don’t like her wit, don’t read her. Oh, sorry, you haven’t read the book in question. In other words, you’re rambling on about something you know nothing about. Go figure.

  33. i agree with jean, ray is just a hateful fuck

  34. Ray, I’m not sure I grasp the full import of your post about the new deal, but it is an excellent example of changing the subject when you are losing a debate.

    So, here is a simple question, you can answer yes or no. (Or don’t know!)

    Is this an accurate quote from chapter one? “Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy.”

  35. No xman,

    I pointed out the fallacy in Julian’s premise that Coulter’s facts were all culled from sympathetic sources while he could only cite one journalist as a source of contention.

    You really are letting your emotion get in the way of your rational mind here.

    All I’ve asked for is a simple example of where her research was so faulted. It really, really shouldn’t be this difficult.

    Yet you pour all of this emotion into a subject you admittedly don’t anything about. If you had any objectivity, you might realize that I’m not arguing for Coulter but in defense of her basic position, that FDR and Truman did indeed cause us the otherwise avoidable decades of Cold War tensions and threats.

    Eastern Europe didn’t have to be ceded to the USSR. The Rosenbergs could have been stopped from sharing our nuclear secrets, and so on.

  36. Ray: Coulter has research proving that FDR and Truman caused the cold war? It could have/would have been avoided but for those two traitors? I apologize, the book must be entirely based on facts. That assertion is so resplendent in inherent truthfulness, it could never be called an opinion.

  37. Ray,

    Sounds like to me you are rather frightened of visiting these websites.

    However, I will reward your laziness, and give you of factual error in _Treason_.

    In her book, Coulter states that “…Democrats had never, not once, responded with genuine anger to Soviet espionage.” That’s a fairly strong, declarative statement – “never, not once….”

    The answer to this lie is course found in the Aldrich Ames incident, who was unmasked as a Russian spy during the Clinton administration. After the aforementioned unmasking, Clinton angrily demanded that Moscow immediately remove from Washington anyone who had been involved in the case. Clinton also ordered the explusion of a top-ranking Russian diplomat, and Democrats in the Congress launched full investigations into matter.

  38. You’re catching on xray, –

    The line you cited (Amazon search?) is Coulter’s opinion. If you want to argue whether or not FDR and Truman kept known Soviet spies in our government through conscience malice or through ingorant complacency as to the Soviet threat, ask Julian to start another thread.

    After 50 odd posts though, I just want to know, where her research was flawed. That’s all I’m asking. You shouldn’t have to leave me google addresses if her research was so egregious.

    And calling someone a name that is accurate and pertinent to the debate is not ad hominem. Julian is a parasite because practices the same polemics that he accuses Coulter of. Using his logic, any source that confirms McCarthy was right in his hearings is a sympathetic source while quoting one or two journalists or bloggers is completely objective and accurate.

  39. Ray,

    Need you be reminded that it was Churchill who was the primary mover concerning Soviet influence in eastern Europe after the end of the war?

    BTW, how exactly were FDR & Truman going to arrest the USSR’s clear desire to challenge the US for world-wide hegemony?

  40. Jean,

    You don’t see Clinton’s action, as to whether or not it was an angry reaction, as a rather subjective topic?

    We could argue all day about silly stuff like that.

    What I want to know, was McCarthy really the ruin of so many personal lives as the modern Left tells us or was he actually right in his assertions concerning communists in the government?

    Was Hiss innocent?

    Did the Venona project really prove that FDR and Truman knowingly keep Soviet spies and communist sympathizers in their governments?

    My example of FDR before was to show how one could easily refute someone if their declarations were false i.e. FDR was this great leader yadayadayada.

  41. Ray,

    It was a CLEAR factual error on her part. Case closed. Quit whining.

  42. Ray: Now I get it, when you believe something, it is a fact, when anyone else thinks it, it is an opinion.
    Coulter said “Whenever the nation is under attack, from within or without, liberals side with the enemy.” How is that not a statement of fact? It seems pretty definitive to me. Or will that be your defense for anything anyone else presents as an error? “Sorry that’s an opinion, not a fact.”

  43. Jean

    The Soviet industrial complex was fragile at best at the end of WW2. They stood no chance had we challenged them on their occupation of eastern Europe.

    Thomas Fleming is something of a libertarian if I’m correct. Try his book, “The New Dealers’ War.” Very telling and no where near as subjective in pronouncements.

    Or just google some articles on Yalta, Churchill was shutout of some one on one meeting between FDR, Uncle Joe and FDR’s Soviet spy advisors.

  44. Ray,

    See the problem is that even if I show you a CLEAR factual error, you are so intellectually disposed to discounting it, that you are willing to dissemble in order to avoid accepting what I have clearly given you. You have raging “true believerism” and nothing I or anyone else points out will dissuade you from your nearly millinarian course.

  45. Ok Ray. Tell me when Bill Clinton said, “‘They have good reason to hate us … after all, we sent the Crusaders to try and conquer them.” As Ann says he does? Pg 229

  46. Ray,

    Hmm, the USSR wasn’t nearly as “delicate” as you make them out to be; though there is some amount of wishful thinking out there about this. By 1945, the USSR’s military production capacity was only rivalled by the USA. And you still have not discussed Churchill’s complicity in all of this! That member of the pantheon of conservatives made deals with the Soviets! My word! 🙂

  47. x-

    Your examples are subjective. One person can easily say that a person’s reaction wasn’t strong enough or was negligent or constituted a consciencely malice act of treason.

    But that’s not the question. Did prominent Democrat leaders knowlingly harbor Soviet spies. Yes, they did.

    Coulter calls it treason, I call it a travesty though I believe it was through ignorance of their ideology and not meant to strengthen our enemies. What would you call their actions?

  48. Mo: You’ve missed Ray’s point, that was only Coulter’s opinion that Clinton said that. Find us a real error!

  49. Ray,

    In the 1940s and 1950s; Coulter twists these events to declare that every Democrat that followed was treasonous. If that is your sense of what good scholarship is all about, then you clearly are deluded.

  50. Ray,

    You’ll keep raising the bar until we finally give up in frustration. There is no convincing you with logic or fact, so what’s the point of having a discussion? There is none.

  51. Ray, Coulter makes the jump from finding fault with a few lefties to turning that into a blanket condemnation of a whole movement. Do you think I could find a right wing libertarian whose views verge on racism? Of course I could, but I don’t then decide that all right wing libertarians are racists. That would be… Coulteresque.

  52. Jean

    Ok, we’re getting off on an interesting subject but it’s a different subject.

    Coulter basically says so much of what we went through in the Cold War- and this is the subjective part – could have been avoided if FDR and Truman, along with their Dem underlings, had not knowlingly – this is the part pertaining to factual research – had not knowlingly harbored and even abetted Soviet spies.

    Now, if someone wants to debate what someone’s attitude was via their reaction to this or that, that is a different topic.

    The heading of this thread said that Coulter’s book was a pile of badly researched invective.

    Her pronouncements or opinions may be termed invective but her research i.e. Soviet spies in Dem administrations and their efforts to abet them, her research is solid.

  53. Ray: I don’t doubt that elected officials of all political stripes do stupid, dangerous things and make these idiotic decisions for misguided reasons, often unintentional. That’s why I don’t trust those in government to do much right no matter which shoe they tie first. (It’s just my opinion, but we probably agree on that much.)

    The problem with Coulter is her ardent desire for collective punishment for the left combined with her intentional blindness to any flaws on the blessed right. If you want to spend the day going over the social, economic and military history of the last century, I bet I can match you gaff for gaff, corruption for corruption, misjudgement for misjudgement the left and right conspired together to fuck up our future!

  54. Mo,

    What are you asking in context to Clinton’s crusaders statement?

    What I think of it? What?

    Does it show that Clinton is a soulless opportunist? Yes, in my opinion.

    What does it tell you?

    Not that I care, we’re talking about Coulter’s faulty research, . . . right?

  55. Ray,
    Coulter didn’t say that a couple of douche bag Democrats were soft on the Soviets, she said the whole party is the party of traitors. Kennedy getting tough with the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis was apparently treasonous. LBJ increasing our commitment in Vietnam? Soft on the commies.

    If I said all Republicans are theocratic nutjobs, I would be, rightly, told that this is an incorrect generalizalization. That this is an opinion with no basis on fact (I don’t think this is true, merely making a parallel example).

    If I wrote a book called “Theocratic Nutjobs” and cherry-picked examples of the Republicans bending over backwards for the religious right. I could ignore any opposing evidence to my thesis and have pages of examples of why my claim is true. Every piece of evidence I could bring up could be 100% factually accurate. If I ignore all evidence to the contrary, then my screed would not be “well-researched,” it would be an ideological screed.

  56. I’m still on the topic of whether booksellers are all scruffy hippies:

    My wife’s B&N store has a dress code. I’ve never seen anybody in jeans, sneakers, or t-shirts. Everybody is very neat and conservative in their attire. Most other B&N stores I’ve been to are the same way.

    Borders, at least around here, goes for a more relaxed image. The employees look more like typical college students, but I haven’t noticed any piercing or obnoxiously dyed hair. (OK, I doubt all of the blonde women are real blondes, but I haven’t noticed much ultra-black hair or purple hair or whatever.)

    I have no idea what all of them think politically. My wife’s colleagues strike me as pretty reserved. The people at Borders seem to be mostly students trying to pay the bills. I know that students tend to be somewhat left of center, but that still leaves a wide range of opinions, and the ones who would go to Seattle and burn down a Starbucks are a pretty tiny fraction of the student population. Remembers, Barnes and Noble SELLS Starbucks coffee, so don’t look for any B&N employees to start attacking Starbucks.

    The complicated thing about life is that it’s so complicated, and not everybody fits a stereotype. Darn!

  57. x-

    So far you’ve matched my citing of facts with your opinion of other peoples opinions.

    Coulter is an invective flamethrower. Big deal.

    Julian and others however, are not faulting her for her over-the-top opinions on the facts at hand, they are trying to say that her facts themselves are flawed and no one can show me where.

  58. Nice try Mo. I predict Ray will once agin miss the point and start off on another tangent. That’s a fact!

  59. She misquoted Clinton, that is a factual error. That is all I am saying. She said that Clinton said, “They have good reason to hate us … after all, we sent the Crusaders to try and conquer them.” He never said this, therefore it is a factual error. Better research would’ve uncovered that error.

  60. On the left and spies:

    A few years ago a spy named Hansen was uncovered in the FBI. He helped the Soviets. I seem to recall that he was a pretty conservative Catholic. Should I conclude that all traditional Catholics are traitors? Then again, my wife and I are Catholic, and she does work at a bookstore…. 😉

  61. On the bookstore employees that look like the WTO protestor types that burn down Starbucks.

    When I lived in San Francisco, the Starbucks employees looked like the stereotype described: jet black hair, piercings up the wazoo and wacky tatoos. Maybe those protestors don’t really hate Starbucks as much as they want a few extra days off.

  62. mo,

    Read the book, really.

    She addresses JFK and LBJ and their mishandling of the Bay of Pigs and the VIetnam war.

    See? There’s a combination of subjective and objective information.

    Did JFK mishandle the Bay of Pigs? Yes but it is rather subjective to attempt to explain his convictions and motives and so on.

    Was Vietnam mishandled, regardless of troop numbers? Of course it was, that’s the understatement of the century.

    So Democrats have caused much unneeded blood shed through their own mishandling of foreign affairs: Coulter calls it treason, I call it incompetence, Julian says it never happened.

  63. mo,

    Coulter’s take on the missile crisis is basically that, if the Dems had taken the correct stance prior to even JFK taking office, they wouldn’t have been in a position to put missiles in Cuba.

    As for his actual involvement, we still lost that round. Nikita threatens and we end up pulling already established missile positions out of Turkey and a few other conceessions while the Soviets didn’t do anything. They could have been bluffing all along. I’m not saying they were but when the missile crisis facts are laid out on paper and looked at objectively, we lost that round yet everyone thinks JFK did this great thing. It’s a lie.

  64. Ray: That’s very Coulteresque of you. Where, and when, did Julian say Democrats never made a mistake in their handling of foreign affairs? You are just making things up. I can think of a couple of choice words for that – liar, obfuscator, deciever, strawman-creating ad-hominalist. But that would just be my opinion, wouldn’t it?

  65. mo & thoreau,

    Read back over my posts if you have any patience left, I’m not arguing for Coulter’s opinions but the facts that she based them on.

    For Julian and many others to attack her for “badly researched invective” (she had to research her own invective?) is disingenious. She points out stuff that should have been block buster news the second it came out and yet few have ever heard of the Venona project or know that FDR did indeed hand eastern Europe over on the advice of his Soviet employed advisors.

    She calls it Treason but her research is sound whether or not anyone agrees it was actually, preplanned malice.

  66. Ray,

    The missiles in Turkey were outdated and were to due to be removed anyway.

    And of course I would suspect that Coulter ignores Nixon’s bumbling in Viet Nam (why did he give up – must be secret commie inclinations); Nixon’s nefarious dealings with the Red Chinese; Reagan’s bumbling in the middle east (what about those Marines at the barracks in Lebanon, or Iran-Contra?); Bush pere’s bumbling in the middle east (couldn’t the first Gulf War have been avoided after all?); and Bush pere’s secret money deals with the Red Chinese!

    Coulter’s ranks up there with the all-time nutball conspiracy theorists.

  67. Ray,

    I honestly have no desire to spend my money supporting Ann. Her columns are more than enough for me to read. My point is that just because there aren’t many inaccuracies (I acknowledge that some are bound to exist in any piece of writing), it does not necessarily follow that a piece of writing is well researched, see my “Theocratic Nutjobs” example.

  68. Ray,

    The Venona Project has been well known since 1995. Give your conspiracy theorist desires a rest, why don’t you?

  69. Jean,

    What’s conspiracy theorist about pointing that most people don’t know what the Venona project was?

    Anyway, still, 90 posts and the only thing people refute is her opinions.

    I was honestly expecting someone to actually prove that McCarthy really had ruined an innocent person’s life or some such factoid.

    All that we’ve established is what we already knew, she’s a bombthrower and you guys hate her, regardless of the subject matter.

  70. This is a meme worthy of Thomas Pynchon.

    Talk Left, Atrios, and Democratic Underground are taking up Sid Blumenthal’s talking points, loudly wondering how somebody could have gotten a “badly researched pile of cheap invective so high on the bestseller lists” and pondering whether “our collective political sensibilities [are] really that debased?”

    So a bunch of Blumenthal acolytes are unaware of how cheap invective, bad research and debased political sensibilities could prosper?

    Sid Blumenthal wonders about this?

    Sid Blumenthal?

    Oh dear god, the irony is killing me…

  71. Ray,

    I refuted her claim, and did so easily. Are you a pathological liar?

  72. I gave you a factual inaccuracy as well as an example of how being factually accurate does not equal being well-researched. I’m done with this thread. T’was a pleasure Ray.

  73. “And of course I would suspect that Coulter ignores Nixon’s bumbling in Viet Nam (why did he give up – must be secret commie inclinations); Nixon’s nefarious dealings with the Red Chinese; Reagan’s bumbling in the middle east (what about those Marines at the barracks in Lebanon, or Iran-Contra?); Bush pere’s bumbling in the middle east (couldn’t the first Gulf War have been avoided after all?); and Bush pere’s secret money deals with the Red Chinese!”

    Exactly, Jean–just the kind of functionally treasonous behavior she would demonize and run with as far as she could go–if it were done by people on the other side of her dichotomy.

  74. Okay Ray, what’s Coulter’s evidence that FDR and Truman “knowingly” (isn’t that subjective, unless we can read their minds?) harbored Soviet spies?

    And if you tell me to read the book, I’ll accuse you of using sympathetic sources!! 🙂

  75. Ray

    Not that it matters to you but I think with some short research you will find hundreds of acting careers, political careers, military professionals, private citizens and govt. employees were ruined by the crap that McCarthy spewed from the ‘not liable for libel’ halls of Congress. His despot like hearings were an absolutely awful stain on this country with people being accused of being communist traitors and having to ‘prove their innocence.’ It was actually the publicity around the conduct of his hearings which began to turn people off and for people to recognize what McCarthy was actually doing. He was a despicable despot who used communist paranoia to attempt to fuel his political career. Sort of an Al Sharpton for the post WWII Republican.

    To claim McCarthy was right is to ignore the numerous people he wrongly accused of being communist and to ignore the impact that had on their lives. That requires a pretty sick individual. Re-writing history to turn a nut job like McCarthy into anything else because the blunderbuss he was firing occaisionally did hit a communist is sick and sad.

    Coulter has trivialized herself so badly with Treason that she has become a bit of a joke. Her book sales do not mean that people agree with her, just that the most notorious writing tends to attract the most attention, very ‘McCarthy like’ of her. I think Coulter is smart enough to know better than what she has written, she was and is just trying to sell books. This makes her another sick and sad person.

    If you are willing to defend the behavior, or worse believe the conclusions, then you, Ray, are also sick and sad.

  76. Also, the right has an admirable marketing machine. She can go on Fox, Sean Hannity’s radio show, as well as the other 20000 Rush wannabees, Newsmax, etc., etc. – with all that behind you it’d be hard not to get on the best-seller list. It’s the equivalent of a crap movie that gets so heavily promoted that people go see it almost out of a civic obligation. (Independence Day was a good example. . .)

    The left doesn’t really have anything like it, although Michael Moore doesn’t look like he’s having difficulty eating or anything.

    (PS: you’ve got to admire Sean Hannity – he’s got the radio show, which can hump the show on Fox, the show on Fox can hump the radio show, both can hump his books. . . synergy! Despite the fact that he’s a remarkably mediocre polemist).

  77. I like the “….bookstores hide conservative books” line.

    Yeah, your book is in great demand, so we’ll hide it behind the Hilary books and cut down on our sales just to spite you.

    Gives ‘dumb broad’ credence.

  78. dude, i agree with you on this one. Ann is on every damn show nearly every damn day. the book has gotten tons of exposure through all of her appearances.

  79. Too bad “the left” won’t ask the same questions about Michael Moore.

  80. Great, Sid Blumenthal versus Ann Coulter. Blumenthal is the Clintonoids’ answer, in terms of sheer personal obnoxiousness and intellectual whoredom, to Ann Coulter. Reminds me of the Cheech and Chong skit “Con Talk.”

  81. What…where am I? Where are we going? Why am I in this handbasket?

  82. “A dagger (+) indicates that some bookstores report receiving bulk orders”
    How many stores? 2? 200?
    Are they required to report this by whatever group gathers these statistics?
    Can they choose to report this for one book and not another, (Like Hillary’s?)
    What is a bulk order? (2?, 200?, ?????).

    Not that I like Hillary, I don’t. But I am always suspiscious of ANYTHING the NYT does.

  83. What was it exactly that Coulter got wrong in her “badly researched pile of cheap invective?”

  84. you just don’t get it. it is hip for libertarians to hate Coulter.

  85. you just don’t get it. it is hip for libertarians to hate Coulter.

  86. you just don’t get it. it is hip for libertarians to hate Coulter.

  87. And speaking of bulk orders how is it that the Left wing media outlets, as a sector, are losing market share so consistently but Michael Moore can stay on the best seller list for so long?

    Who is buying that book?

    If Barbara Streisand’s house were searched today, would we find extra rooms filled to capacity with boxes of “Stupid White Men?”

  88. A lot of people in America have bad taste? Say it isn’t so!

  89. Steveinclearwater, I disagree. No bookstore OWNER would hide a book they didn’t like – they would simply not carry it if it bothered them enough to lose money on it. But a 19 year old $6 per hour liberal employee might do that and not even consider this might be the reason they only make $6 per hour. The people I see working in book stores don’t strike me as being financial analysts…they’re book worms and liberal arts types. I think you are giving them too much credit in thinking they have actually (ever) considered the effect of their actions on the store’s bottom line.

  90. Jough is right. A couple of different non-controversial writers have touched this subject over the years and basically, one Barnes & Noble will prominently display a book and the next one across town won’t.

    Also, Thomas Sowell has pointed out in the past that despite his and his publisher’s stated wishes, his books often find themselves in the “African-American Writers” section.

  91. “it is hip for libertarians to hate Coulter.”

    Translation: “I get a big kick out of watching Coulter trash the nasty librulls. Therefore, anyone who points out that her work is without merit must be doing so because it’s trendy. I will do everything possible to avoid thinking about why, exactly, this trend might have emerged.”

    Hate to break it to you, but straight-up conservatives are finally cutting her loose, too. Including some actual scholars like Anne Applebaum who, unlike Coulter, know what they’re talking about.

  92. BTW, I orderd my copy of Treason from along with a pretty funny deck of Hillary cards and got a free subscription to their right-wing “news” magazine.

    “Maybe some of those are going to Web sites like Human Events and NewsMax, which are handing out free copies of the book to subscribers”

    Julian, don’t know about Human Event, but Newsmax is definitely NOT giving books away. See opening sentence of this post.

    If imagining that her book sales are not really sales makes Coulter haters feel better, that’s fine. But it doesn’t reflect reality, or common sense or business sense. Read Steveinclearwater’s post, but twist it into, “Yeah, your book is NOT in great demand, so we’ll buy it and give it away for free to spite Hillary Clinton.” Makes no sense unless you like giving money away.

  93. Julian,

    What was it exactly that Coulter got wrong in her “badly researched pile of cheap invective?”

  94. If your faith in humanity is dependent on what’s on the bestseller lists, then I count you as an infidel right now.

    Maybe Blumenthal’s just pissy about the fact that his book isn’t on the bestseller list, which would certainly reflect just as poorly on “humanity” as the performance of Coulter’s book.

  95. BTW, National Review is selling “Treason” in a 3 for a dollar ad. Perhaps they’re being used as insulation.

  96. Thoreau and others have posted about bookstore employees. As a 20+-year veteran of bookselling, I’d have to say that the stories of staff “hiding” books they dislike aren’t exactly apocryphal, but are overblown by certain rotund radio commentators. I’ve worked for chain stores whose rules for what gets displayed where would give even the store’s manager very little discretion on which books get featured. I work for an independent shop in a top 30 market which has a much more eclectic take on what should get major play. But in neither case would my employers, once a book such as “Treason” hit the upper reaches of the NYT list, be so foolish as to bury a bestseller. Those books go up in the front of the store, with attractive discounts, to boot. Ann and Hilary are shrewish cheek by vixenish jowl.

    Oh, Rodham’s people pump sales, too.:

    When Deepak Chopra comes to town, and the public library has him speak before their “Freinds” group, in a 600-seat auditorium, and everyone who donates for a ticket gets a copy of his latest book from our store, which he signs, that might get reported as a “bulk sale.” AC and HRC’s bulk sales aren’t much different.

    One does have to watch out for authors and their confederates – usually family members – causing a spike in sales large enough to hit the top 15 or top 10 by ordering a few copies from every store they think reports, and those books being returned to the retailer after the new reporting period starts. The hope is that the book will pick up “buzz” and start to sell for real. If it tanks, you can still slap “the NYT bestseller” on the paperback, while warehouses full of remaindered copies await their eventual slot in the bargain bins. Very cheesy behavior.

    A point-of-sales reporrting system, Bookscan, has been rolled out, from the same folks who brought the CD/LP/cassette stores Soundscan. This should end reporting bias by “pinko bookstore clerks” in the same way it ensured accurately reported country and rap sales, while thwarting the bias of spiky-haired record store rock-snobs ten years ago.


  97. Not to mention that McCarthy did not make a good faith effort to find actualy spies, but applied that label to the opposition party indescriminately in order to advance personal and partisan interests. Those who claim that he was broadly correct or “on the right side of history” for being anticommunist ignore the fact that he exemplified the defining characteristic of all mid-20th century dictators from Hitler to Mao to Stalin to Castro; the rejection of the idea of a loyal opposition, that is, the conflation of patriotism with party loyalty. McCarthy didn’t accuse New Dealers, George Marshall, etc. of being traitors for giving documents to the KGB, but for BEING DEMOCRATS. Those cases where a supposed liberal actually was a crypto-communist were, in his mind (and Coulter’s) exemplary of the entire Democratic philosophy. Their biggest crime was not falling in line behind Republican politicians. Everything else followed from that.

    So no, the few actual spies identified by the Red Scare should not be viewed as evidence that is was a generally good thing that got off the rails, but as a exceptions to what was an assault on the basic principle of the American system – that you have the right to disagree with the policies and philosophy of a political movement.

  98. This is now an old thread, but since we put so much into it, I thought to leave this behind in case anyone stopped back by.

    After reviewing the links that Julian supplied, nothing has changed. Applebaum only criticizes Coulter’s over-the-top language and only obliquely attacks her “badly researched pile of invective.”

    And this is my point, I don’t care about Coulter nor do I believe that FDR or Truman committed a treasonous act.

    But, everyone has attacked Coulter’s research as flawed because they find her indictments distasteful.

    Were there any innocent lives ruined by McCarthy as the Left claims? No.

    Did FDR turn a blind eye to Soviet espionage run rampant in his administration? Yes.

    Did Truman, Acheson and the Democratic powers of that day attempt to save Hiss despite the overwhelming evidence against him? Yes.

    Did the Democrats of Trumans’ administration, literally lose China? Yes.

    And so on.

    If a man cheats on his wife and leaves his kids penniless and I call him a rake and you say it’s ok, you disagree with my indictment though your opinion in no way changes the rake’s actions.

    But I digress, nothing shall stand in the way of an emotional decision, hang her from the highest tree!

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