Slander by Ann Coulter

March 28, 2011

Summary: In Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, conservative columnist Ann Coulter addresses several instances of what she believes to be pervasive liberal media bias. This bias, in part, is revealed in the way political stories are presented to the American people and in the way politicians are covered. Specifically, Coulter believes that the mainstream media, including such outlets as ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, all favor the left in their coverage.

Coulter backs up her words with plenty of evidence. One of the topics she talks about, for example, is the way the media invariably portray someone on the Republican presidential ticket as being “dumb” or “stupid”. This dates all the way back to Nixon, and includes Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Quayle, and George W. Bush. The book was published before the 2008 election, otherwise we could throw Palin into the mix as well.

Coulter points out that none of these people were really “dumb” (except maybe Ford), but the media successfully portrayed them this way by constantly referring to flubs and mistakes and identifying them as “dumb” or “stupid” in articles. This was especially evident in the media treatment of George W. Bush, who actually got better grades in college than Al Gore did. Bush, of course was painted as the village idiot, while Gore was championed as an intellectual who was almost “too smart to be president”. Whenever Bush made a mistake, it was beaten to death on television news shows and in newspapers. When Gore made a mistake, it was hardly mentioned.

Another topic Coulter talks about is the way the 2000 election results were handled. She used data to show how quickly the non-FOX news networks called states for Gore, while taking their sweet time to do the same for Bush, even when the margin of victory was significant. Coulter even showed how some stations called Florida for Gore WHILE THE POLLS WERE STILL OPEN — which is a major no-no that probably discouraged some people from heading to the polls. Also, she showed how the media made much ado about nothing when Bush’s cousin, who was working as an analyst for FOX News, called the state for Bush — at 2:16 am, well after the polls were closed. The other networks cried foul for some reason, which made no sense because the cousin was right. In other words, the networks got mad because the cousin called the state for Bush and was right about it.

Overall, Coulter makes a pretty convincing case about the existence of liberal media bias. Yes, I’m a conservative and am therefore inclined to believe in the media bias to begin with, but still… Coulter does back up her highly-charged invective with plenty of footnotes, quotes, and hard facts.

Liked:

  • This was an interesting read from start to finish. I cannot stand the mainstream media anymore, and now only get my news from alternative sources. I just remember the way the 2004 election was covered and how the non-FOX outlets portrayed Bush as a stumbling, bumbling idiot who had no chance in hell against Kerry. Just from reading the liberal coverage, I figured Bush would get trounced — which goes to show how out of touch the media are with regular Americans.
  • I liked that Coulter used so many footnotes in this book. It’s one thing to make wild claims about unfair coverage, but quite another to back it up. She clearly did a lot of research and organized everything extremely well.

Disliked:

  • The book felt a bit dated because it talked so much about Bush-Gore, but that’s hardly Coulter’s fault. There’s no good time to write a book like this because the bias is ongoing. Just imagine if she’d waited a few years and written the book after the 2008 campaign where “dumb” Palin was ridiculed at every turn while the equally “dumb” Biden was not. And what would she say about the libs fawning all over Obama? I hope that’s the subject of her next book!

Rating:

Slander by Ann Coulter isn’t exactly eye-opening because I already knew there was a liberal media bias. But it was still a bit surprising to see the extent to which the media ignore missteps by Democrats while taking every opportunity to skewer Republicans over and over and over again. I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

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