I don't care about Ann Coulter. That doesn't mean I don't find her beneath contempt. But basically she's a comic foil for World O'Crap and TBogg, and a target for vitriol on a dozen other blogs I read, and that's sufficient. She's not just the voice of aggressive stupidity, she's the voice of an aggressive stupidity which takes pride in its own stupidity, and if I need to hear that I know a number of people who can provide it without my having to pay them a book royalty or further their celebrity.
No, the big problem with Ann Coulter is the "news" culture, and the larger entertainment culture which has subsumed it, which rewards loud-mouthed loutishness with little concern for content. Ann Coulter eats bugs on teevee for the chance to win fabulous prizes. I'm old enough, and conservative enough, to believe that public discourse ought to be conducted with the proper gravitas. I also believe that there's a place for outlandishness in that discourse; it just shouldn't be allowed to drown out serious debate. So yes, there's bug eating and then there's bug eating.
Ann's impinged herself on my resisting consciousness twice now in recent days. The first was when I noticed a low-level rebranding operation going on. "Oh, she's not really serious about the things she says," was the new line. The idea is simply breathtaking. In what way is that not a greater condemnation of the woman than taking her seriously would be?
The second, of course, is Time putting her on the cover along with a piece which would have given a professional fluffer TMJ, one week after naming her one of its "100 Most Influential People". I have no concern about Time's reputation (apparently, neither do they), but they might want to rethink sending John Cloud out to reveal that massive chip on his shoulder. Shoddy journalism is a much bigger threat than some pathological attention seeker who's too crazy even for the National Review.