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15 May 2002

Our current howler (EXTRA): Dumb and dumber

Synopsis: We live in very stupid times. Ann Coulter finds a new way to prove it.

Matt Drudge, The Drudge Report, 5/14/02

The Potential of Youth Hits Brown in 2 Ways
Harvey Araton, The New York Times, 6/4/95

Readers, you live in stupid times. And Ann Coulter—along with her pal, Matt Drudge—has come up with a new way to prove it. In yesterday's dimwitted Drudge Report, the Fedoraed One gushed over Coulter's new "book." It demonstrates—what else?—the media's liberal bias. Here's part of Hatman's review:

DRUDGE: With SLANDER, Coulter launches a one woman name-and-shame campaign against what she believes to be a deeply biased media worldŠ

Page after page, Coulter throws stink bombs with attitude back at the elite press—stink bombs of their own making; meanwhile thanking the entire staff of the NEW YORK TIMES, without whom "this book would not have been possible."

["In the entire NEW YORK TIMES archives on LEXISNEXIS, there are 109 items using the phrase "far right wing," but only 18 items that use "far left wing," she begins.]

For the record, those quotation marks in that bracketed paragraph are exactly as Drudge laid them out.

Obviously, we're all supposed to be blown away by the imbalance between Coulter's two phrases. We're supposed to be stunned by the deep liberal bias the imbalance so clearly displays. Without question, The Cattle are going to be stampeding hard, furious over the New York Times' perfidy. It really does make for a wonderful tale—until you go to the Washington Times and research the two phrases there.

You probably don't think that the Washington Times is home to overpowering liberal bias. But according to Coulter's new research technique, you were dead wrong in that view. Here at THE HOWLER, we extended Coulter's important work; we went to NEXIS and we ran her phrases through the entire Washington Times archive too. And here are the results we got. You could have gotten them too:

Use of Coulter's key phrases in the Washington Times:
Far right wing: 37 uses
Far left wing: 7 uses
That's right, kids. The ratio in the Washington Times is quite close to the ratio found up in Gotham. And by the way, it took roughly forty seconds out of our day to conduct this startling research. Why didn't Coulter do the work too? Simple—she's running The Herd.

Idiots? Panderers? What is the term? What is the term you'd apply to the Coulters, to the Drudges, to the Sullivans too—to all the little Screaming Mimis who peddle this palaver all over town? Choose your poison, but make no mistake. You happen to live in extremely dumb times. Ann Coulter has a new way to prove it.

Master research: By the way, even when you engage in pseudo-research, you still have to clean up your findings. For example, here's one of the items which Coulter included. It concerns b-ball coach Larry Brown:

ARATON: Without a road victory in over a month, deadlocked at a game apiece with a vastly inferior opponent, the Magic trailed deep into the fourth quarter. Then Nick Anderson hit a 3-pointer from the far right wing. Brown remembered a defensive trap that caused a turnover, and the mixture of elation and relief on the Orlando players' faces as they huddled up for a few tender moments. That may not be the "far right wing" you had in mind. F*ck it—she counted it anyway.