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Apr 11th 2007

Ann Coulter explains the Imus controversy

Insightful and witty.

The reason people don’t like what Imus said was because the women on the Rutgers basketball team aren’t engaged in public discourse. They’re not public figures, they don’t have a forum, they aren’t trying to influence public policy.

They play basketball — quite well, apparently — and did nothing to bring on an attack on their looks or character. It’s not the words Imus used: It would be just as bad if he had simply said the Rutgers women were ugly and loose.

People claim to object to the words alone, but that’s because everyone is trying to fit this incident into a PC worldview. It’s like girls who say, “It’s not that you cheated on me; it’s that you lied about it.” No — it’s that you cheated.

If Imus had called me a “towheaded ho” or Al Sharpton a “nappy-headed ho,” it would be what’s known as “funny.” (And if he called Anna Nicole Smith a “flaxen-headed ho,” it would be “absolutely accurate.”) But he attacked the looks and morals of utterly innocent women, who had done nothing to inject themselves into public debate.

Imus should apologize to the Rutgers women — and those women alone — send them flowers, and stop kissing Al Sharpton’s ring.

This wasn’t an insult to all mankind, and certainly not an insult to Al Sharpton. Now, if Imus had called the basketball players “fat, race-baiting black men with clownish hairstyles,” well, then perhaps Sharpton would be owed an apology.

I think that is about right.

One Response to “Ann Coulter explains the Imus controversy”

  1. John

    Coulter refers to an illusionary boundary between public and private figures. Under her view, one must be either A) a public figure trying to influence public policy and thus open to criticism on looks (?!) and character or B) a private figure who is not engaged in public discourse, has no public forum, and isn’t trying to influence public policy.

    Besides this false public/private dichotomy, I’m also a bit confused as to why all public figures necessarily open themselves up to racist comments regarding their looks. And why that’s not only acceptable but funny (granted, Coulter’s sense of humor is an acquired taste).