Shakespeare's Sister Writes Letters

To the Editors:

I am deeply disappointed in your decision to feature Ann Coulter on the cover of your magazine. Regardless of one's political persuasion, Coulter adds nothing to the national debate except distracting noise of a vicious and unproductive nature.

Additionally, there were several rather disturbing errors in the story. The author, John Cloud, writes: "Coulter has a reputation for carelessness with facts, and if you Google the words 'Ann Coulter lies,' you will drown in results. But I didn’t find many outright Coulter errors."

Whether such a statement was made out of poor research skills or a desire to whitewash Coulter's true colors is irrelevant, as either option is equally disturbing. Coulter's lies and distortions are well documented. A sampling: Coulter lied and distorted to defend fake reporter “Jeff Gannon"; falsely attacked President Clinton’s remarks on the tsunami relief effort; falsely claimed that the New York Times op-ed page “outed” gays and quoted NYT columnists out of context to defend inauguration costs; distorted and attacked Sen. Kennedy’s major Iraq speech; claimed that reports of hundreds of tons of munitions being looted in Iraq were “false"; distorted a 2002 article by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof that predicted the difficulties of the Iraq war; falsely implied that the group behind a December 21 attack on American soldiers in Mosul was not linked to Al Qaeda; defended Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by falsely claiming that a reporter had devised a controversial question a soldier posed to Rumsfeld; falsely claimed that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was unable to identify any African-Americans in Florida who had been wrongly disenfranchised during the 2000 election ("We’ve found more WMDs in Iraq than we’ve found disenfranchised blacks in Florida"); and printed scores of errors (as well as specious ‘corrections’ of those errors) in her books. (Compiled by Think Progress.)

Can the editors of Time defend such an outrageous misrepresentation of Coulter's work?

Additionally, Cloud writes: "Coulter -- who likes to shock reporters by wondering aloud whether America might be better off if women lost the right to vote -- howls at the idea that she was a college feminist. But even today, she can write about gender issues with particular sensitivity."

As a woman, I do not find any of the following comments indicative of someone who addresses gender issues with "particular sensitivity":

"I'm so pleased with my gender. We're not that bright." (Link)

"The real reason I loathe and detest feminists is that real feminists, the core group, the Great Thinkers of the movement, which I had until now dismissed as the invention of a frat boy on a dare, have been at the forefront in tearing down the very institutions that protect women: monogamy, marriage, chastity, and chivalry. And surveying the wreckage, the best they have to offer is: 'Call me Ms.'" (Link)

"I think the other point that no one is making about the [Abu Ghraib] abuse photos is just the disproportionate number of women involved, including a girl general running the entire operation. I mean, this is lesson, you know, one million and 47 on why women shouldn't be in the military. In addition to not being able to carry even a medium-sized backpack, women are too vicious." (Link)

Such blatant misrepresentations of Coulter's positions is unconscionable. I hope that Time will realize its error, and give equal space to Coulter's detractors in a subsequent issue, as a bare minimum to address the damage done to our political environment by attempting to normalize a divisive character such as Coulter.

Melissa McEwan

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