Thursday, July 21, 2005


Ann Coulter, the rabidest of al rabid wingnuts, may have committed the grave sin of plagiarism or at least the somewhat smaller sin of copying-and-pasting. According to Raw Story:

Much of Coulter's Jun. 29, 2005 column, "Thou Shall Not Commit Religion," bears a striking resemblance to pieces in magazines dating as far back as 1985—and a column written for the Boston Globe in 1995.

A RAW STORY examination found Coulter's work to be at worst plagiarism and at best a cut-and-paste repetition of points authored by conservative religious groups in the early 1990s. These groups sought to de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts, detailing projects paid for by the NEA they dubbed "obscene."

The campaign traces back to an assault on the NEA mounted by the American Family Association in 1989. After press conferences held by the group's leader Rev. Donald Wildon, then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) slipped an amendment into a Senate bill that would have axed federal funding for "obscene art." It never passed the House.

Coulter employs the same NEA talking points in her Jun. 29 column written in the wake of a ruling barring the Ten Commandments from public places. She lists various identical "obscene" projects she says taxpayers have funded. All of the excerpts below compare this column with earlier texts.

Check out the original Raw Story post for the examples. Then you can decide. I just report...

What is funny about this whole thing is that Coulter keeps saying the most atrocious things about groups which the mainstream media doesn't let defend themselves. She has also advocated hitting liberals with baseball bats and stated that she regards women to be more stupid than men. None of this can bite her back; all it does is fill her money bags. But plagiarism! Now that's a horse of a different color.

The reason is that ownership rights are tightly defined for various material things and ideas that can be sold, and anyone who violates these rights is a thief. But a person who smears you, belittles you or advocates violence against you is just an interesting and outspoken columnist. These things hurt at least as much as plagiarism does but we have no ownership rights to our emotional and mental well-being.

Which is a long way of saying that Ann Coulter is rubbish whether she copies or not.