by Akim Reinhardt
Let me be clear from the start. This article is not about Ann Coulter's politics, which I find to be dogmatic, bigoted, and intellectually dishonest. I've already written about that elsewhere.
Rather, politics aside, the goal here is to consider her humor and try to understand why it fails. To figure out why, despite her best efforts, Ann Coulter is not funny.
This is worth considering because Coulter often attempts to dismiss criticism and defend many of her horrific comments by bending them on the anvil of comedy. When people complain about something outrageous that Coulter says or writes, she and her supporters often insist that she is merely joking.
For example, after hiring her to write about the 2004 Democratic national convention, USA Today declined to publish Coulter's first article for the paper on the grounds that her writing suffered from a “basic weaknesses in clarity and readability that we found unacceptable.” When she refused their editorial suggestions, the paper let her go. Coulter responded that “USA Today doesn't like my ‘tone,' humor, sarcasm, etc., which raises the intriguing question of why they hired me to write for them.”
This is just one among countless examples of Coulter using her supposed sense of humor to deflect criticism. In that vein, one of her canned responses is that some people don't get her jokes because “Liberals” have no sense of humor.
This is, of course, a very strange and paradoxical accusation. For at the same time Coulter and other Conservatives are chanting that Liberals have no sense of humor, they're also endlessly complaining about how Liberals dominate the entertainment industry. And of course they're right about that. The entertainment industry, including all those professionally funny people ranging from comedy writers to standup comics, are overwhelmingly liberal and always have been.
There are people in this country who are so funny they can do it for a living; they're so funny that the broad American public will pay money to watch their movies, TV shows, and standup. And the vast, vast majority of those people are either liberal, or at the very least not conservative.
So where are all those side-splittingly funny Conservatives who, for some reason, aren't getting paid to be funny? Well, there's at least one, or so I've been told over and over. And her name is Ann Coulter. There's just one problem with this.
Ann Coulter is not funny. And I say this only with the deepest respect for comedy.