One of the problems with being a ridiculous troll person is having to constantly one-up yourself. If wild exaggerations, distortions and lies are your stock-in-trade, you have to keep pushing the envelope. And now my former colleague Annie Lowrey reports that Ann Coulter is disappointed that she has largely lost her ability to get attention by being a textual shock jock.
Nobody is paying attention to Ann Coulter, and she does not like it.
“They’re ignoring me now!” Coulter wails, sitting in a conference room at the National Press Club in Washington as a large crowd filters in to hear her promote her new book, ¡Adios, America!.
“I haven’t been on CNN yet, because I was made up, my hair was done, I was mic’ed up, I was walking to the set,” where Don Lemon was anchoring, she said. “He was doing a full hour on the Doogans or whatever their name is,” she said, referring to the Duggars. Given the interest in one Duggar son’s confession of molestation, the network ended up bumping her segment. “The next night, ‘We’re going to do all Doogans again.’ And then the next week, it’s the cop who yelled at a girl in a bikini! And then it’s Bruce Jenner!”
This is the lament of a woman who became a national political celebrity by stoking outrage — who rose up alongside the cable-television networks and conservative talk-radio, needling liberals and flattering conservatives with a potent mix of hilarity, bombast, and the occasional dash of racism. This is the lament of a woman who has written an outrageous book, one immaculately designed to piss off half of America, or more. This is the lament of a woman living in a time of outrage, outrage that spreads viruslike on Twitter, television, and Facebook. This is the lament of a woman who has found herself unable to capitalize on that outrage…
But thus far, Coulter has found herself struggling to annoy, enrage, and otherwise provoke the mainstream media or the left. Bloggers have left her alone. Twitter has left her alone. The networks have left her alone. “Nobody will debate me!” she said. “There’s been no ABC, NBC, CBS for me on this book! This is my 11th New York Times best-seller. I write them myself! I research them myself! I’m the female Bob Woodward! If I were a liberal, I couldn’t write another book, I’d be so busy collecting awards! I’d be posing for the cover of Vanity Fair!”…
That is the thing about Coulter: It has long been obvious that the provocation is deliberate, and the persona at least in part an act. Coulter bristles a little at this when I suggest it. “I’m not trying to stoke outrage,” she said. “If there were no liberals in the world, I would write the exact same book. If there were no media in the world, I would write the exact same book. I want to keep it interesting for my readers, and interesting for me!” But a few breaths later, she admits that she “loves arguing,” and says that it was much more fun to be a partisan media figure a decade ago, back when her antagonists on the other side took the bait. “Liberals decided it’s much better not to play outraged with me anymore,” she said. “I sell lots of books that way.”
Good. Ignore her and let her preach only to a choir of very sad people.