Saturday, March 06, 2004

How to be Ann Coulter (or Rush, or Savage, or . . .)

I won't dignify Ms. Coulter with a link to one of her columns. I assume that you, as a reader, have happened upon her silly, vicious attacks on a world she cannot comprehend. If you haven't, then you live in a better world than mine.

I've suffered through enough of her columns, and I've listened to enough a.m. talk radio, that I have finally recognized the pattern. Here is the golden goose for those of you who want to make a fortune in talk radio or right-wing punditry.

First, find a target to attack. There are three main ways to do this. One way is to completely fabricate one. Rush Limbaugh specializes in this tactic. Claim that some person on the left has said or done something completely awful, and run with it. Another way is to take something totally out of context. The third method is not often used by these intellectual bottom-feeders, because it gets suspiciously slose to honesty, but it is to find some fringe nut-case and use him or her as your subject.

The next step is an important one. Extrapolate. I know that's too big a word for many of the regular consumers of Coulter, Rush or Savage. What I mean is that you should take a quotation (whether it's a lie, out of context, or from someone far from the mainstream), and stretch it far beyond what it really says. This is a fun part. This is where you get to take someone saying, "George Bush is not a good president" and claim that what they are really saying is that we should have Osama bin Laden in charge of our country. You need to free up your imagination to do this well. I understand that Oxycontin helps with this stage.

The next step is to extrapolate again. This time, you should take the position you have just imagined being voiced by someone, and then you need to apply it to "the left" or "the liberals". It's not enough that you've just fabricated the idea that Hillary Clinton believes that unprotected anal sex should be mandatory in our kindergartens - you need to now fulminate about how "those left wing loonies" all believe this, and are working on implementing their dastardly plans.

POP QUIZ: Are you paying attention? If so, you now can write a column about how respected media outlets have reported that Hillary Clinton believes that unprotected anal sex should be mandatory in our kindergartens. If you missed that scoop, you'll never be a Matt Drudge.

Here's your final step, and it's the toughest. You need to appeal to America's worst side, without being too blatant. You need to use racism, sexism, bigotry, greed, anti-semitism, homophobia, etc. as the subtext of your writing. If you don't like a quarterback, you need to make it clear that he is where he is only because he's black. If you want to refer to Islam, claim that it is a religion with a central tenet of killing people who don't agree with you. Create division among as many lines as humanly possible - then you'll be a success on the right.


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