Why Is Coulter Cooling Caustic Comments?

By: Dave Astor

As usual, Ann Coulter’s name has been in the news this fall. There was the release of the “Brainless” anti-Coulter book that apparently got author Joe Maguire fired as a Reuters editor. There was also the “Soulless” anti-Coulter book by Creators Syndicate columnist Susan Estrich.

But the conservative Coulter hasn’t been in the news much lately for words of her own. Where’s the barrage of inflammatory remarks that thrill some people and disgust many others? I have a theory.

During the weeks after the June 6, 2006, release of Coulter’s “Godless” book, many comments in her column were particularly venomous. It doesn’t take an Einstein to wonder if Coulter upped the insults to draw more attention to herself at a time when more attention could help sales of her then-new book. (She also used her Universal Press Syndicate column to self-praise “Godless” as “a real page-turner,” a “hot new book,” etc.)

Just how much did Coulter “catapult” the venom in her post-June 6 punditry? Here are some examples from her weekly column:

June 14: “(L)et’s pause for a moment to observe that two facts are now universally accepted: Liberals are godless and Hillary’s husband is a rapist.”

June 21: “I dedicate this column to John Murtha, the reason soldiers invented fragging.”

June 28: “New York Times publisher ‘Pinch’ Sulzberger has just been named al-Qaida’s ‘Employee of the Month’ for the 12th straight month.”

July 5: “Times editor Bill Keller spent [Independence Day] attending Revolutionary War battle re-enactments, where he passed the Continental Army’s secret battle plans to the British.”

July 12: “I prefer a firing squad [for Keller], but I’m open to a debate on the method of execution.”

July 19: “Israel’s response [to Hezbollah] … wasn’t nearly strong enough. I know this because there are parts of South Lebanon still standing.”

But when most people who were going to buy “Godless” bought it, Coulter’s columns got less vicious. Still quite nasty much of the time, of course, but not as over-the-top as her June and July pieces.

When Coulter releases her next book, it will be interesting to see how much she again ratchets up the name-calling and death wishes. Coulter has been called “Brainless” and “Soulless,” but when it comes to books, she never, ever wants to be “Salesless.”

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