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Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right Hardcover – June 25, 2002
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"Liberals have been wrong about everything in the last half century," writes conservative pundit Ann Coulter, author of the bestselling anti-Clinton tome High Crimes and Misdemeanors. They've been especially wrong about Republicans, she writes. The bulk of Slander, in fact, is a well-documented brief dedicated to the proposition that most of the media despises anybody whose political opinions lie an inch to the right of the New York Times editorial page. This is hardly an original observation, though few have presented it with such verve. Coulter is the shock-jock of right-wing political commentary, able to dash off page after page of over-the-top but hilarious one-liners: "Liberals dispute slight reductions in the marginal tax rates as if they are trying to prevent Charles Manson from slaughtering baby seals." There's a certain amount of irony about an author who says "liberals prefer invective to engagement" also declaring, "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." But then carefully measured criticism never has been Coulter's shtick--or her appeal. Fans of Rush Limbaugh and admirers of Bernard Goldberg's Bias won't want to miss Slander. --John Miller
For those who don't know Ann Coulter, she is one of those blond, right-wing, talking heads who pop up on cable--the most outspoken one. "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity," she remarked after the terrorist attacks. She is no easier on liberals, on whom she blames, well, just about everything: "The liberal catechism includes a hatred of Christians, guns, the profit motive and political speech." Page after page of invective follows: "In radical Islam liberals finally found a religion they could respect." The diatribe (complete with footnotes when she's quoting liberals) continues through discussions of the liberal press, the "apocryphal" religious right, and liberals' inability to engage in ideas, only name-calling(!). Sometimes she makes a valid point. She's exactly right about the way the media criticizes women because of their looks. She neglects to mention, though, that this criticism is not restricted to Republican women such as Linda Tripp. Just ask Hillary Clinton. Coulter tries very hard to be incendiary, but she comes across as merely tedious. Although she claims liberals run the press, she'll no doubt turn up on many right-wing call-in shows, among other venues, so a buy a copy. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
The issue I had with the book is that there is probably only enough substance in this book to merit a quarter of a book. Many points are repeated over and over to the point of nausea. For example, most people realize that Al Gore stretched the truth when he said that he invented the internet. Why this needs to be mentioned for what seemed like 50 times is the major flaw of this book. Ann Coulter repeatedly takes point after point and beats it to death. If you take out all of the repeated points you can probably condense all of the material in this book to one chapter.
I don't regret reading the book but I'm also glad I bought it used for under $1.00.
Coulter certainly has a good argument when she blasts the media for leftist bias. Much of the media is biased toward the left. Katie Couric, Bryant Gumbel, and many others in the press have unfairly attacked conservatives. Many in the media have an axe to grind and certainly Coulter deserves credit for calling them out.
So, why can I give the book only three stars? Simply, like many ideologues left or right,Coulter does not and perhaps cannot see the other side of the issue. Yes, CNN, the New York Times,and others are biased, but conservatives aren't exactly voiceless in the media today. Let's name a few: FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal editorial page,etc... Even liberal outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post have many conservative commentators- William Safire, Charles Krauthammer, etc... I think it's safe to say that the Washington Post has far more conservative writers than the Washington Times has liberal writers. The obvious fact is that the media is far less monolithic than Coulter would have you believe.
Coulter is so determined to make the media into a left-wing demon that she makes the preposterous claim that William Safire and Bill O'Reilly are not conservatives. This may be the weakest part of the book. As for the argument that O'Reilly is not a conservative because she opposes the death penalty, I could with equal absurdity claim that Bill Clinton was a conservative because he supported the death penalty. Many leftists, as dogmatic as Coulter, argued in the 90s that Clinton was not a liberal. This was, of course, absurd- but no more so than Coulter's analysis of Safire and O'Reilly.
Another big weakness of the book is Coulter's propensity to engage in ad hominem attacks. Yes, I know many liberals do it as well, but that doesn't make it right. The personal attacks add nothing to the substance of the book. The ad hominem attacks are especially out of place in a book that criticizes leftists for making personal attacks on conservatives (which they certainly do, too frequently).
It's too bad the author is so biased. The book had some very good arguments and could have been a lot better.I'm still hoping someone will write an equally passionate book that has more objectivity and less name-calling. I'm afraid, though, the author of this book won't be Ann Coulter. [...]
There is nothing really new here, but Ann does bring up some poitns that you may have forgotten or some stories that managed to get buried deep or skipped altogher in the newspaper or in the news broadcast.
As a conservative, use it as reference and a refresher, as a liberal, use the book as more reasons you are wrong.
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