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Grrr! Ann Coulter Goes Too Far

As Bugs Bunny would say, "What a Maroon!"

Ann Coulter, that is.

After calling a group of 9/11 widows "harpies" who seem to be "enjoying their husbands' deaths" in her new book, the conservative pundit has gone too far. She even added:

"And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy..."

Huh?

Ugly is the only way I can describe what Coulter has written. Now I understand why Time magazine put her on the cover last year and made her look like a praying mantis. She just might be the type of creature that would eat its mate after sex.

Coulter's comments would be more understandable if they were off-the-cuff remarks on some television show. After all, she is known for shooting off about liberals and anybody else who questions the Bush administration.

But these abhorrent comments were written in a book. Books don't just hit the printing press as soon as authors submit them to a publisher. They are edited. They are read by marketing executives, agents and editors.

Surely somebody at Crown Forum, the publishing house behind Coulter's latest inflammatory tome, must have read these paragraphs and questioned whether they shouldn't just be deleted.

It was probably some marketing genius who fought to keep the words intact.

"Imagine the outrage and subsequent book sales," he might have said. In the end, that's what it's all about, isn't it? Money.

Book sales, appearances on the "Today" show, radio shows, more outlets to syndicate her column and her next book deal might be what Coulter was thinking about when she pecked at her keyboard and formed such ill-conceived thoughts.

As all commentators, writers, talk show hosts, "experts" and pundits with any type of national or local platform know, you must have an audience if you want to continue to make a living in media.

Sometimes commentator-types simply pander to their audience — and sometimes the things they say are utterly unchallenging and frankly insulting to that audience, no matter who they are.

I can't tell you how many times I've written something that I believed whole-heartedly to be true, but recognized the comments were mean spirited and may have gone too far, for the sake of going too far. I deleted them.

Also, I don't know that any educated, conservative-minded person (Coulter's target demographic) would really want to hear speculation about the marital status of people who were involved in the worst terrorist attack on our nation's soil.

One thing conservatives are good at is dealing with the facts. Any type of speculation that appears in one's work without proper research and backup is quickly used against the publisher.

Just ask Dan Rather, Michael Moore, Howard Dean. Not company Ms. Coulter is used to sharing.

Coulter should have known her remarks would cause controversy. But she may have underestimated how sensitive even her own audience might be to such an ignorant rant.

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