This book review has been written three years after Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right was first published, but this hasn't been the first time I reviewed it. At the time of its first printing a few years back I wrote up a nasty summary when I was a part of the anti-Coulter crowd. I -- like most critics -- didn't give the book a fair shake or even read the entire thing as most of Coulter's critics admit guilt to.
You can easily do a Google search and find an abundance of sites and blogs dedicated to debunking all the supposed lies found in "Slander," but when you actually take the time to examine the book's criticisms, all you find are rants by hard-lefties who naturally object to Coulter's pontifications.
Fitting in with my Coulter hating colleagues, I used eyebrow-raising quotes to attack her personally rather than her arguments; a ploy I admit has worked successfully by Coulter to bait the foaming Left. Ignoring the context of the writing I often sifted through her books and columns to highlight outrageous remarks like this:
Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now (pg 6).
Who was she just making fun of right there? Liberals for hating America or Muslims for not keeping up with modern technology? Or both? Or perhaps -- and I think this is it -- Coulter is purposefully enticing anger to make a point that liberals spend so much time trash-taking America. When I check out left-wing websites and read message board threads from liberals praising a British official named George Galloway for calling Americans a bunch of liars, it's hard to call Coulter wrong. When I hear my liberal friends telling me how important it is we have a constitutional right (just determined by the Supreme Court) to burn the American flag, I find it hard to condemn Coulter for saying liberals hate America.
Slander is the first of Coulter's books to really anger the Left because it is a nonstop assault on liberal mentality, as I just pointed out above. Unlike her first book "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," which concentrated on the Clinton presidency, Slander and her subsequent books attack liberals ranging from their lack of patriotism to their inability to form cogent arguments. Funny, I must note, how three years later much of what Coulter was criticized for saying actually turned out to be true.
Progress cannot be made on serious issues because one side is making arguments and the other side is throwing eggs -- both figuratively and literally (pg2).
Sure enough in the year 2005 we would be confronted by a wave of physical assaults on conservative speakers by intolerant liberals would could only argue with their hands used to throw pies and other egg products. When they didn't have food with them they would just try to assault the speaker, as did the idiot who asked Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia if ever sodomized his wife.
On the same page Coulter fires off another point that was noted by Charles Taylor, an angry liberal at Salon.com who wrote a scathing piece on the book titled "When right-wing fembots attack." Deciding to prove to his readers how offbeat Coulter is when it comes to her rants, Taylor reprinted this line: "In the evening, CBS anchor Dan Rather can be found falsely accusing Republicans of all manner of malfeasance…" Surely Ms. Coulter was being -- using a term she describes in her book -- an "angry right-winger" distorting Rather's image, that is until we learned about the forged National Guard documents he reported on last year before the 2004 election.
Spreading the fire to other personalities besides Rather, for the first half of the book Coulter blasts the entire liberal stronghold over the media, arguing that only in a monopoly could liberals find a public forum to inform hoi polloi. And of course National Public Radio, a federally protected network. In the free market which includes radio, Internet and books, conservatives thrive. Liberals try selling books too, but usually fail even when showered with free publicity from the major media outlets and rave reviews in the New York Times. Liberals would try their shot at radio too with "Air America," a 24-hour talk network that materialized after Slander's publication. If only Coulter knew about it back then she'd have more on which to base this extremely valid point considering Air America's recent struggles.
Shifting gears toward the liberal attack dogs, Coulter provides an exhaustive list of the many times Republican presidents have been called "dumb" by the liberal press, most notoriously by the New York Times through its editorial pages. And while haranguing Republicans the media have nothing but praise and warm comments for Democrats and Al Gore, who was often reported as possibly being "too smart to be the president." Why did the press always give Democrats a free pass? With this brutal comment, again liberals who never read the book were steaming from the ears:
The good part of being a Democrat is that you can commit crimes, sell out your base, bomb foreigners, and rape women, and the Democratic faithful will still think you're the greatest (pg 157).
It's through extreme hyperbole that has excelled Ann Coulter into conservative stardom, unwavering in her no-compromise approach to dealing with liberals. Before Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right Coulter wasn't the well-known firebrand that she is today. Gone are the days when the "praise" list on the back flap included Bill Maher - a liberal friend, and Geraldo Rivera to get noticed.
If the success of Slander is any indication of what the future holds for Ms. Coulter, then liberals can be sure that it will be only be a matter of time before another bestseller emerges explaining again why liberals have it all wrong and have worked ad nauseum to smear the image of conservatives.