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BEAMING THEM UP! Why are conservatives having more fun? It's fun when there's no opposition:


WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, YELL “LIBERAL:” Andrew Sullivan is quite upset with “liberal journalist Patrick Tyler.” Here’s the link from to Tyler’s piece in today’s New York Times:

SULLIVAN: Liberal journalist Patrick Tyler tries yet another anti-Bush spin-job today, but it’s looking desperate.
Speaking of desperate, that’s how we felt when we tried to discern Tyler’s troubling “spin job.” The scribe is somewhat cheeky as he starts, but his piece seems fair and balanced to us. Can anyone find the spin job here? And if we’re going to accuse a scribe of running a “spin job,” shouldn’t we maybe say what it is?

LOOK HIM UP: Alex Beam—showing good sense in citing the HOWLER—says Ann Coulter is Having More Fun. Pull him up, in yesterday’s Boston Globe:

BEAM: Is it true, to paraphrase the famous Clairol marketing campaign: Do conservatives really have more fun? The answer is yes, incontrovertibly so… Everywhere you look, conservatives are living large.
According to Beam—a self-identified liberal—“Half the fun of being a conservative is taunting liberals and watching them rise to the bait.” Here are his tongue-in-cheek comments on Coulter:
BEAM: Look at right-wing telebimbo Ann Coulter. She’s having a gas. She’s got a huge, best-selling “book,” “Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right,” recounting how the media is biased against conservatives like her. Clever gambit!…and it’s working for her! Liberals really are idiots, we see, as Katie Couric invites Coulter to hawk her wares on the “Today” show to prove Big Media isn’t biased. Thanks, Katie! Ker-ching!
Beam notes that a lot of Coulter’s book isn’t true, as has been “well documented on Bob Somerby’s Web site, The Daily Howler. But remember, he’s a liberal, so he’s biased.”

Exactly! Why are conservatives Having More Fun? Because it’s easy to Have More Fun when the rules are all stacked in your favor. In the late 60s, Abby Hoffman was Having More Fun—because the weltanschauung of the era allowed pseudo-liberals to say any dumb thing they liked. Now, the same red carpet is rolled out for pseudo-cons, who are allowed to just make their sh*t up. When Coulter tangled with Couric, for example, Mickey Kaus politely pretended that Coulter had won the big battle of words (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 7/20/02). Kausfiles readers were encouraged not to know the truth about Coulter’s—yes—lying.

Why are conservatives Having More Fun? Because the Washington Generals pretend not to notice, and others pander reflexively to them. By the way, Beam’s HOWLER reference reminded us instantly; we’ve long said that the Boston Globe is one of our national treasures.

RED KLOTZ BAITING: At THE HOWLER, we’ve long admired E. J. Dionne for his decency and his intelligence. But on which undisclosed planet has Dionne lived in the year since September 11? This Tuesday, his Washington Post column was titled, “End of The Vietnam Divide.” No, we’re not making this up:

DIONNE: Sept. 11 stilled the post-Vietnam battles over culture and patriotism. Most of the left came to recognize that, flaws and all, the United States represents the pole of liberty now, as it did in World War II. The right accepted that the counterculture of the 1960s had not, after all, sapped America’s moral energies and that celebrating diversity was not simply a pet project of the postmodern professoriate but an essentially American impulse.
Say what? To all appearances, Rip Van Dionne slept through the recent (and ongoing) NEA-baiting. And he must have slumbered when our best-selling author said that Tim McVeigh should have blown up the Times (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/22/02). Citizens ought to be disturbed that Dionne would sleep-walk through history this way. E. J., you’ve long been an excellent man. But it’s time you rejoined waking life.

Why is Coulter Having More Fun? Look who keeps watch from the other side! But then, diminutive Generals player-coach “Red” Klotz always knew not to challenge the Trotters. Dionne, typing pleasing tales, seems to know his role too.

COULTER 1, PURDUM 0: With Dionne and colleagues slumbering sweetly, Coulter can mouth any bullshit she likes. Yesterday, a reader e-mailed an update about one of the queen’s recent howlers. On the August 20 Crossfire, Coulter hammered—who else?—Gotham’s mustachio-twirling Times:

COULTER: I also find it especially interesting how Representative Dick Armey from Texas, the Republican, who has been described in the pages of the New York Times, by the exact same reporter, in fact, as the crazy woman who had to be kept in the attic just a few years ago, now that he opposes invading Iraq, is suddenly given puff pieces in which he’s described as former economics professor, free market conservative, who has opposed wasteful spending.
Coulter stated her point two more times (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/22/02). For the record, the recent “puff piece” to which she referred had been penned by Todd Purdum and liberal journalist Patrick Tyler. But had either reporter ever described Armey as a “crazy woman in the attic?” We couldn’t find a case in which either dude had ever limned Armey this way.

Our reader may have found Coulter’s reference. Needless to say, Purdum and Tyler were not involved. The Timesman in question was Adam Clymer—and he hadn’t called Armey naughty names either. Clymer wrote on August 16, 2000, during the Dem Convention:

CLYMER: Democrats cannot stop talking about the “closet” in which Republicans confined their most conservative lawmakers [at the GOP Convention]. Jennifer Backus, press secretary of the Democratic National Committee, said Republicans treated their leaders, like Mr. DeLay and Representatives Dick Armey, the majority leader, and Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and leader of the effort to impeach President Clinton, “like the crazy aunt in the attic.”

“They wanted to hide them away,” Ms. Backus said.

Is this the piece to which Coulter referred? Who knows? And what difference could it possibly make? In a world where pseudo-conservatives Have More Fun, Coulter can craft any bullroar she likes. How do things work in the world of Ann Coulter? Clymer quoted remarks by a Democratic spokeswoman. So Coulter, needing a better tale, said that Purdum made the remarks himself. But then, Coulter has long established a new, gonzo policy; if a “liberal reporter” quotes a comment she doesn’t like, then that “liberal reporter” made the comment himself! It was on this basis that Coulter slimed Couric for remarks she didn’t make about Reagan.

Coulter’s Crossfire claim was simply untrue, but it made her fist-shaking statement sound better. Let’s all keep an eye on Kausfiles, where someone may be gearing up to announce Coulter’s latest big win.

T AND A OF THE BEHOLDER: Male reviewers won’t stop producing weird accounts of Blue Crush. Here’s how Greg Milner’s puzzling piece kicked off in Tuesday’s Slate:

MILNER: Blue Crush is one piece of cinematic surf-sploitation that doesn’t skimp on the surf or the -sploitation. Its dramatic surf footage is matched only by director John Stockwell’s determination to pursue as much T and A as possible without depicting any actual T or A.
Say what? Is incoherence now a requirement? In fact, as Milner seems to acknowledge, there is no “T and A” in Blue Crush. Granted, the three lead characters wear bathing suits; it would be hard to make a credible film in which female surfers appeared in full burqa. But Crush’s stars aren’t Baywatch types, and there isn’t a wet t-shirt in the whole movie. Alas! Some men can’t see young women in suits without obsessing on “T and A.” Often, such fellows can’t see that the focus is theirs, not that of some sick film director.

Milner’s review gets stranger as it goes; he ends up accusing the lead character of engaging in virtual prostitution. (“The real conflict is how Anne Marie will handle the sale of her own body.”) Translation: Anne Marie, 19 years old, had sex in this film. And she didn’t have sex with Greg Milner! (Bill Clinton paid a large price for the same offense—having sex without male scribes’ permission.)

In Blue Crush, Stockwell portrayed a bunch of mostly good-natured male surfers who couldn’t take female surfers seriously. But alas! He managed to lose himself millions of clams when male reviewers acted out the same way.