Customer Reviews: Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right
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VINE VOICEon June 30, 2002
Slander is often brilliant: painstakingly researched, witty, and often making its case with breathtaking power. But it's also flawed: to make her case that liberals and the
news media demonize conservatives, author Ann Coulter consistently demonizes THEM.
It's a shame because Coulter often makes her case but resorts to the same tactics and language that she's criticizing. After you read it you wonder: then, what was the point?
She contends our political discourse increasingly resembles "professional wrestling," yet uses that exact style when writing about individuals and groups who she often effectively demolishes with facts. For instance, how does calling former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite a "pious left-wing blowhard" make our political discussion more issue oriented -- even if it IS INCREDIBLY funny (which it is) and may indeed be true (I would not be a bit surprised)?
If you are a conservative Republican (I am not) you will LOVE Slander and want to gift it to like-minded friends. If you are a liberal Democrat (I am not) you will HATE Slander and not finish it. If you're an independent (like me) you may feel sad since Coulter, an attorney, at times makes her case so well. But her slash-and-burn rhetoric turns Slander into a case of the pot calling the pot a pot.
She makes many points with wit, such as on how New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was demonized by liberals until 911: "After September 11, the average New Yorker faced a risk of death or bodily harm not seen since David Dinkins was mayor...The
characterization of Giuliani as a heartless brute vanished into thin air like the blather it always was."
ABC's hiring of former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulous, she writes, is "the equivalent of a major network hiring Chuck Colson immediately after Watergate."
Coulter did her homework well, using extensive quotations, facts and statistics to bolster her case on several points. A few of the many:
--An overall defense of Fox News Network and what happened on its election night reporting.
--The number of high-profile Democrats who left politics to work in the news media's upper echelons. She names names -- and it's DEVASTATING.
--How opponents constantly characterize conservatives as stupid and link them with things related to Nazis to spread fear and activate their own political base.
--Media and liberals' exaggeration and misinformation about the Religious Right's actual power and alleged "threat".
--How the media use "ultra" and "far"-right labels on conservatives but neglect to use these words, or even "liberal" on Democrats. This is her most devastating knock-out punch, using precise LexisNexis search statistics. She effectively PROVES bias.
--How liberals, feminists and the news media have ignored and ridiculed conservative author and activist Phyllis Schlafly's considerable education, accomplishments and ideas.
This is among her strongest sections.
Yet, this section points out Coulter's problem: to boost Schlafly she simply cannot resist attacking feminist Gloria Steinem who, she writes, "had to sleep with Mort Zuckerman, a
rich liberal media mogul" to keep the magazine Ms. afloat. This is elevating political discussion??
Her weakest contention: she writes of conservative women being branded as ugly by liberals adding: "Only conservative women have their looks held up to ridicule because only liberals would be so malevolent." Patently FALSE: conservatives have ridiculed Janet Reno, Chelsea Clinton, and others for their looks and conservative talk show hosts still liken Clinton administration cabinet women to the bar scene in Star Wars (by the way I love ALL this ridicule and hope it continues...but we are talking about what's FACTUAL here).
Elsewhere, she writes: "Liberals have been wrong about everything in the last half-century" while "conservatives in America are the most tolerant and long suffering people in the world...If a conservative calls you stupid, you are stupid...Liberal lie even when they call people names."
Coulter is definitely on the right track with Slander. Her writing, research and theme are topnotch. Slander WILL sell -- but its impact will be greatly reduced by its author's
nuclear-attack mode execution which, in the end, undermines its credibility.
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on June 29, 2002
Another review posted here complains about the lack of civil tone in Ann Coulter's book. Anyone familiar with Coulter understands that invective is her personal forte, but it is not as these other reviews contend, blind rage. Far from poorly reported, it is mercilessly footnoted, with many of the quotes of liberals damning in and of themselves without Coulter's help. Face it, people will buy this book because it is funny and because the subject matter here is cause for outrage. It is doubtful the negative reviews posted here were by people who actually read the book. More likely they are the people who can't stand the idea that anyone could ever question the liberal agenda as anything but the saving grace of all humanity. If you know Ann Coulter's work, you're going to love this book.
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on June 27, 2002
This is one of the most well worded and thoroughly documented works to come out on any political topic in recent memory. Ms. Coulter, due to the iron clad identification of her source material, is so far above the petty sniping of the other reviewers that it isn't even funny.
Ms. Coulter documents each and every word she uses from vicious leftists, no doubt because she was fully aware that vague name calling would be employed against her, and is the only weapon leftist bigots know how to use.
This book not only brilliantly captures and presents the true nature of the vicious left and their media cohorts, but it will also completely convince you that these people are simply mean.
Five cheers (and stars) for Ann Coulter and her matchless literary style.
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on June 27, 2002
Anne Coulter documents the bias in the news that all of us have heard over the years and inserts her sharp commentary about media bias. Many people may not agree with what she says, but I don't think that's the point. She provides extensive, well documented quotes from those in the main stream media and lets readers know exactly what she thinks about it. This is what makes the book so enjoyable. I think her perspective is interesting and I love the sarcastic wit and humor of the book.
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on June 27, 2002
I found the uniquely homogenous string of single star reviews to Ms. Coulter's book so unusual that I figured it must be an organized smear campaign. If her book was so frightening as to evoke such vile and mean spirited response, well then, there must be something in there that is so blindingly truthful that it scares small minded people.
Well, I read it cover to cover and interestingly enough, there really wasn't anything that I found all that objectionable. I found myself disagreeing with a good bit of it while other parts made me laugh out loud. Perhaps not intentionally, there were sections that made me ponder my own paranoid illusions. I found conflict, humor, empathy and some of the zaniest postulates this side of the X-files.
Bottom line is, wether or not I agreed with any of it, I enjoyed it, which is a whole lot more that I can say for a lot of highly rated, politically correct books that I've read lately.
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on July 1, 2002
I read the entire book, cover to cover. Based on the other reviews, I think that is a valid point to start with.
The book contained almost 40 pages of references alone. This was a well reasoned book with a great deal of supporting evidence. The supporting evidence is well documented and can be verified by anyone, including exactly where the sources are found, LexisNexis.
The book was amusing to read and kept you going most of the time. There were points at which it felt a bit belabored. I do not think this is so much a fault of the author, but more a result of the content. It indicates the constant repetition of the media in their treatment of conservatives, using the same old adjectives over and over.
I particularly liked the discussion of the religious right. It is absolutely hilarious to hear the media constantly talk about it as though it is an actual organization with members and leadership, etc.
To be part of the 'religious right', you need only 2 things, 1. Be an evangelical christian, 2. Be a Republican.
There is no central leadership, not Buchanan, Robertson, Falwell, or Bauer. There is no yearly dues, no organized bloc voting, no secret meetings. It is just a subset of unaffiliated people who are socially conservative and fiscally conservative.
In closing, the book was interesting, it was well documented, and it was accurate. It could have been 30 pages shorter, as the extra content was alot more of the same, which re-enforced the point of how pervasive this 'slander' is, but did make for a bit much repetition.
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on June 30, 2002
If a book is a hit if it simultaneously makes you want to cry and laugh out loud, provides fodder for countless hours of fascinating dinner-table conversation, and has the potential to permanently change your world view, then Slander is a hit. Conservatives will surely find soul-satisfying vindication in this book. But writing Slander off as a Conservative circle-jerk would be a serious mistake. After reading the well-documented and footnoted Slander, there can be little argument about the existence of a "vast left-wing media conspiracy" to silence Conservative dissent while promoting a consistent, well-defined Liberal political agenda.
Even if you are a Conservative who is already well familiar with the theories about liberal media bias, you will find new shocking examples of excessive, almost fascist suppression of Conservative discourse. For example, you might not be aware of the difficulty that Conservative authors have getting books published, or the dramatic variance in advance fees paid by publishers to conservative and liberal authors.
Coulter builds a compelling case against liberal media bias, while at the same time lampooning the most irrational and contradictory tenets of liberal philosophy. However, Slander also raises serious issues that can't be dismissed easily. Many of her points will be eye-opening even for those who consider themselves "liberal." For example, should it be considered "hate speech" when the Leftist reporters unceasingly describe the "religious right" as "evil" "authoritarian" "Nazis"? Or when major U.S. news services even-handedly group Islamic militants with retired Midwestern Americans as "rightwing religious conservatives"? Truthfully, what's the difference between marginalizing and demonizing Christians in 21st century America from marginalizing and demonizing Jews in 20th century Germany? Take your favorite liberal rant against religion and substitute the word "Jews" for "Christian Conservatives". Remind you of anyone? Scary, isn't it? Coulter paints the picture and lets the reader draw his or her own conclusions without preaching.
This is only one example of the many larger social issues that Coulter identifies in Slander. In spite of the serious, almost frightening nature of the issues raised by the book, Coulter consistently maintains a wry and bombastic sense of humor that offsets the sobering recognition that the situation is much worse than most of us have realized.
In Slander, Coulter organizes, identifies and documents broad themes of liberal media abuse. For example, she groups examples of liberal media "spin" into such categories as:
- Calling Republicans "Dumb". Coulter effectively demonstrates that every Republican presidential candidate in this century has had to endure the endless questioning of their intelligence by the mainstream media, each one labeled dumber than the last. Conversely, all Democratic presidential candidates, in spite of occasional overwhelming evidence to the contrary, have been roundly identified as intellectual giants. Some, like Al Gore, even labeled as "possibly too smart."
- The Religious Right Straw Man. Coulter points out that the Left has never specifically identified just exactly who the "religious right" really is supposed to be: the mainstream media uses the term even-handedly to describe Saudi Arabian fundamental Islamic Terrorist groups as well as elderly American retired couples from the Midwest.
Slander will undoubtedly be criticized for Coulter's over-use of the thesaurus and her "take-no-prisoners" approach to describing liberal groups (she refers to Hollywood starlets more than once as "silicone bimbos"). I suspect that these facts plus her confrontational writing style will cause Slander to be written off by liberals as pandering to conservatives. But 30 plus pages of footnotes add enough "gravitas" to raise the book above the level of conservative mythology. Furthermore, the social issues Coulter raises are serious enough to warrant substantive investigation by all Americans, Conservative or Liberal.
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on June 27, 2002
This is a great book. Ann coulter should get a pulitzer prize for her attempt at showing how deep the leftist liberal bias is inbedded in mainstream American media.
All liberals who can think for themselves need to read this book. Conservatives already know how Dan Blather, Katie, Peter, and almost all the others, are attempting to brainwash viewers and spread their leftist propaganda. For crying out loud, ABC hiring a liberal Clintoon hack to be a 'broadcaster'? The liberal bias is so blatant, that Ann Coulter had an easy job finding it. The work was to write it down and find an unbiased book publisher to print it.
A must read. Watch the bias as she is introduced on television to talk about her book. She's introduced always as 'right wing', or 'conservative'. Does anyone remember Hillary and her book? Remember any media host's introducing her as left wing? Liberal?
Of course not! The obvious media slander and bias is shown thoughout this book with a twist of humor although it would be tragedy if it continued without someone like Ann to expose it.
The Democrats have been exposed for once. Watch them squirm.
I hope all libraries in America order 25 copies to have on hand for Americans to learn the truth.
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on June 27, 2002
Whenever Ann speaks, her Laser Guided Logic hits leftists where it hurts. And they squeal loud and long to prove it.
Truth is to a leftist as garlic is to a vampire and Ann is the "Slayer" of political commentators.
They attack her personally, her looks, her motives and everything about her but one phrase that is always conspicuously missing from their whiney, wounded rants is, "Its Not True".
Judge how well Ann hits the nail on the head by the virulence of their attacks. How many books of political commentary do you see that have 35, yes THIRTY FIVE pages of footnotes?
If you are a liberal/leftist who has been starting to doubt the anti-American, destructive, disproven, ineffective, immoral policies of your party as tens of thousands have since 9/11, get this book. Peel back the veil (or turn over a rock) and see what the reality is, there is still time to do the right thing.
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on June 30, 2002
"Methinks thou dost protest too much" would, I believe, prove to be a more than adequate Shakespearian quote to respond to the many frenzied protestations we find here amongst the reviews. The fact is that Coulter's barbs, razor sharp and unforgiving, are mostly a collection of direct quotes showing a host of contradictions and expressing a myriad of lunacies which, unfortunately for the Democratic party, seem to have found a comfortable home within the liberal worldview. I myself do not subscribe to the point of view that absolutely every notion that emanates from the left is destined to bring the downfall of American civilization (just a disproportionately large number of their ideas); however, Coulter does make a good argument to the contrary. What cannot be disputed is the fact that Coulter does bring to light many straw man arguments used by the left with every breath and then goes about systematically dismantling them. As an avid reader of the New York Times, an excellent paper in my opinion- though surely leaning towards the left of center to such a degree that it may soon topple over completely (Coulter would no doubt argue that my leaning "Times Tower of Pisa" has long ago fallen and crumbled)- I was very much entertained by her total evisceration of some of its duplicity in presenting itself as an utterly objective institution. In her acknowledgements, this one dripping with sarcasm, she gives "sincerest thanks to Pinch Sulzberger and the entire staff of the New York Times, without whom this book would have been impossible." Even though many people may harp about the inevitable disagreements that may arise between themselves and Coulter, how could it be otherwise in a book full of opinions, the truth is that Coulter does bring some interesting new perspectives to even seemingly tired topics such as the 2000 elections and the proposed regulations for the Internet. Ultimately, I found the book extremely entertaining - laughing out loud a good two dozen times or so as I read it - but it is this same deadly combination of wit and well referenced liberal positions and quotes that will inevitably sting the more thin skinned of those with left leaning political inclinations!
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