Ann Coulter's Past Fake Media Firestorms Remembered

Griping about single mothers? Jiminy crickets, y'all! That claptrap was way more trenchant back when Dan Quayle was calling out Murphy Brown on teevee!

You know, it's not for nothing that I say things like, "Let's face it, she's been dining out for years now on the same set of grievances," when I talk about Ann Coulter. The only thing separating the act she takes on the road and that of Arrested Development's Gob Bluth is that you rarely get to hear Europe's "The Final Countdown" played. And some of this microwaved material isn't even her own! Here's a snip from her sit-down with Today's Matt Lauer, today:

MATT LAUER: [In the book] you also say that the liberal media and Democrats are out to accomplish the same thing: they want to destroy America. So, I mean, go ahead: why do liberals and the media want to destroy America?

ANN COULTER: Why? Their motives? Well, I'd have to be their confessor or psychologist to understand that. I'm describing the results. And a beautiful example of this--my Chapter Two of the book--is the exaltation of single-motherhood. It's promoted in the New York Times and in glossy women's magazines and in Hollywood movies. And we now know after 30 years of promoting single-motherhood, of the courts destroying the institution of marriage, that children raised without fathers are filling up the prisons. 70% of the teenage runaways, of teenage pregnancies, of rapists --

Griping about single mothers? Jiminy crickets, y'all! That claptrap was way more trenchant back when Dan Quayle was calling out Murphy Brown on teevee, to the delight of Americans who traveled by zeppelin!

But that's what Coulter is all about, a tireless champion of warmed-over shtick. Why, all of this jujitsu with the Today show is just another example of the tiresome tactics she's used in her quest for self-promotion. At the risk of being the last guy on the internet to quote the Washington Independent's Dave Weigel on the matter, here's the Washington Independent's Dave Weigel on his days as a professional Coulter-wrangler for USA Today:

Coulter handed in her first column closer to the deadline then we'd expected. She also came in short. And she came in ... well, what's the opposite of readable? The column that began "Here at the spawn of Satan convention" was a phoned-in collection of anonymous anecdotes and lazy writing. No problem, we thought: We're editors. My bosses immediately suggested fixes to the column -- some of them asking whether Coulter could touch up her jokes, some correcting bad writing, and some asking for more content.

Coulter flipped. She refused to answer all of the edits. The next thing we knew, she had left Boston. The next thing we knew after that was that Matt Drudge and other conservative news site editors had learned that we had "fired" Coulter. She was in New York hours later to bash us on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes."

This is all a way of saying I don't believe that NBC News "banned Coulter for life" for one second. She doesn't really worry about taking advantage of news organizations' standards and confidentiality to paint herself as a victim.

Precisely. And this week's Grievance Tango is just another example of this: a tired act that would have really played swell back in the days of vaudeville. But vaudeville's dead, dead as disco, dead as doormice.

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