by Scoobie Davis
The Absurdity of Ann Coulter’s Treason: Part One; Random House’s Shame
I haven’t had a chance to read Treason by Ann Coulter, 41, but I’m accusing Crown Books (a division of Random House) of selling its soul by agreeing to publish it. Make no mistake, Crown has every right to publish the book; however, it is the moral duty of a publishing house to exercise good judgment and to assess the honesty and intellectual integrity of its authors. Regarding these matters, Crown Books is guilty of gross dereliction of its literary responsibility.
I know what some people were thinking as they read the first paragraph: Isn’t it a priorism to denounce a book before you have a chance to read it? My response:
1) Who is Ann Coulter to lecture America about treason?
2) Coulter’s previous book for Crown, Slander: Liberal Lies About The American Right, was a case study in deception and should have been sufficient to sink any projects with the author (assuming that Random House had any integrity).
Let me address these two points.
Who is Coulter to lecture us about treason?
Who is Coulter to lecture us about treason? Coulter’s moral authority to lecture the American people on the issue of treason is as phony as her boobs (okay, okay, that’s a low blow—but a truthful low blow). In the wake of 9/11, George W. Bush invited to his Crawford ranch an admitted violator of the Espionage Act (who is still subject to criminal prosecution for treason). This admitted violator of the Espionage Act, David Horowitz, carries Coulter’s column on his web site; if Coulter wants to take money from him to be associated with him—that’s her right, but it seems odd to be lectured on political hygiene by someone like her. If this is guilt by association, that’s okay because in Treason, Coulter defends Joe McCarthy.
Also, the person who is lecturing us on treason is the same person who said the following: “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." This illustrates the absurdity of a finger-pointing book in which Coulter accuses others of engaging in the same types of behaviors that she herself is guilty of. It’s as absurd of Coulter’s previous book in which she accused the left of slander—when the book itself was an exercise in the very kind of political assassination she denounced.
The Intellectual Dishonesty of Coulter’s Previous Book For Crown Books
Right before Coulter’s Slander: Liberal Lies about the American Right was released, I got wind of the premise of the book--which was that the decline in political discourse was “all liberals’ fault.” I found that absurd considering that Coulter writes for Joseph Farah one of the sleaziest and ghoulish character assassins on earth. Farah was one of the people promoting Richard Mellon Scaife’s paranoid “Clinton Body Count” and was paid by Scaife to promote Christopher Ruddy’s views that the Clintons were behind Vince Foster’s death.
I got an advance copy and just in the first few pages found that Coulter had systematically distorted the views of people whom she was denouncing as soft on terrorism (in addition, Coulter distorted what Jerry Falwell said to make his comments appear less loathsome; click here and scroll to "Ann Coulter’s Slander: The Title is Correct—But for the Wrong Reasons"). I and other bloggers found other distortions and factual misrepresentations in the book. The Columbia Journalism Review published an article supporting our views on Slander. At that point, it was the responsibility of Crown Books to investigate these findings of literary dishonesty. Although Crown did agree to make some revisions, they shirked their literary responsibilities by not dropping Coulter as one of their authors. It is no more presumptive to argue that Crown should have taken a pass at Treason than it is to argue that any publishing house should reject a book by Michael Bellesiles or John Lott.