Ann Coulter, Perfect
Idiot. Normally I don't watch or listen to talk shows, nor do I pay much attention to what Ann Coulter says, unless I read about her inane opinions elsewhere. In this case, I followed a link from today's post by Laila Lalami to a transcript of Coulter's interview with Donny Deutsch on his CNBC show "The Big Idea" last Monday. I could not believe it. Just as Deutsch kept pressing Coulter to clarify her statements to the effect that Jews need to be "perfected" by becoming Christians, I kept reading through the transcript trying to figure out if my eyes were deceiving me—in other words, trying to figure out if, at any time during the interview, she'd made a statement that would make sense to an intelligent person.
Now I want to be fair. I couldn't find the actual word "need" in her statements in the transcript. However, it does start off with this startling exchange:
DEUTSCH: Christian -- so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?
DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?
COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?
Later, in response to Deutsch's attempt to compare her to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the head of Iran, she clarifies as follows:
COULTER: No, we think -- we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.
DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?
Are these the dumbest things she's ever said or written? Not even close. Do I think she's as bad as Ahmadinejad? Not really. But did her statements take her down a rhetorical path well-travelled by anti-semites? Absolutely! I love the last lines of the transcript:
DEUTSCH: You said -- your exact words were, "Jews need to be perfected." Those are the words out of your mouth.
COULTER: No, I'm saying that's what a Christian is.
DEUTSCH: But that's what you said -- don't you see how hateful, how anti-Semitic --
DEUTSCH: How do you not see? You're an educated woman. How do you not see that?
COULTER: That isn't hateful at all.
DEUTSCH: But that's even a scarier thought.
Excerpts reproduced from Editor & Publisher (E & P Staff, October 11, 2007 12:15 AM ET updated 1:30 PM ET).
I like to call these attempts by media arch-conservatives to communicate their ideas "close encounters of the sixth, seventh, or eighth kind" (according to Wikipedia, first through fifth are taken), which I define respectively as "An entity is observed, but no intelligent activity is reported in the area at that time", "An entity is observed, but the subject (observer, listener, viewer) experiences some kind of 'unintelligible or incoherent communication' ", and "Attempted abduction of intelligence by alien entities in the form of right-wing media pundits". Note that, unlike other classes of alien sightings and encounters, these can be observed with high frequency by large numbers of humans under ordinary conditions.