Tuesday, September 02, 2003


While web-surfing I came across a rather laughable column from a surburban Chicago newspaper written by a man named Michael J. Bowers. It's an attempt to excuse Ann Coulter's advocacy of a terrorist attack against The New York Times by saying in effect, "Oh, it's a bit intemperate, but you lefties are far, far worse at spewing hate speech."

I was especially amused by what he called "one of the most vile comments I have ever heard": Maureen Dowd actually referred to Clarence Thomas as "barking mad."

Yep, this is what Mr. Bowers considers left-wing "hate speech."

Now, I could've done a point by point "fisking," but I really don't have the time. So I just responded to a few of his points:

Mr. Bowers:

A few points regarding your column defending the most definitely barking mad Ann Coulter:

1. Norman Thomas is not Evan Thomas’s father. He is Evan’s grandfather.

2. While the term “barking mad” may in fact be a metaphor that refers to a dog, it’s also a rather commonplace piece of modern British slang. I’m not sure I’d agree with Maureen Dowd about Clarence Thomas—I didn’t read that entire column—but having read the recent dissent in the sodomy law case before the Supreme Court, as well as news stories about recent speeches, I can most definitively declare Justice Antonin Scalia as stark, raving, barking mad.

3. As much as I hate to defend Howell Raines—I hope never again to read one of his pompous, self-righteous, intellectually dishonest editorials excoriating President and Senator Clinton over the phony Whitewater “scandal”—I wouldn’t exactly term “Reagan couldn't tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it” as hate speech. If you’re trying to insinuate that he’s making a slur about President Reagan’s Alzheimer’s, you should be reminded that the quote was from a book published in 1993 while the public announcement of Mr. Reagan’s Alzheimer’s came in 1994.

4. I’m certainly not going to defend Julianne Malveaux’s remarks about Clarence Thomas. But then again, I’d never even heard of Julianne Malveaux till I read your column. It’s not like she’s constantly appearing all over the cable TV bloviate-a-thons like a certain barking mad blonde does.

5. Oh, and I notice you didn’t mention the remarks Ann “she is right more often than she is wrong” Coulter made just in the past month about Gray Davis and Al Gore: “Both were veterans, after a fashion, of Vietnam, which would make a Gore-Davis presidential ticket the only compelling argument yet in favor of friendly fire.” Barking mad indeed!

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