Back on March 2 (on the ancien regime blog--and before the current kerfuffle), I offered this brief assessment of Ann Coutler:

Quoting Myself: "I think she is often uproariously funny and sometimes very insightful, but I also think she can be crude and mean-spirited. Although I give her credit for outwitting Katie Couric (in all seriousness, that was a bravura performance), I think Coulter is something akin to our Maureen Dowd (funny, attractive, possessing a rapier wit but lacking compassion and judgment). Ann Coulter, for me, will forever be the woman who judged John Roberts unfit for the Supreme Court and attempted to reinvent Joe McCarthy as a great American hero."

My thoughts today: BUT COME ON!

Mark Davis makes a lot of good points in this column from yeseterday (Thursday), but here are some bullets:

1. Ann Coulter may not be your cup of tea.

2. But the firestorm surrounding Ann Coulter revolves around an inflamatory quote within her book--not the thesis of her book, which in itself makes her vociferous critics suspect.

3. "Broads" might have been a regrettable characterization of the 911 widows, but politics is a rough and tumble business. If you play the game, you are fair game.

I missed the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Wednesday, billed as a showdown between Jay and Ann and George Carlin. But, judging from the New York Times ("The TV Watch: Leno vs. Letterman: A Battle of Wits With No Clear Winner," By ALESSANDRA STANLEY, June 16, 2006) who called the exchange "flubbed" and blamed Jay Leno for his "terrible" interviewing ability, once again Ann Coulter faced a media icon and delivered another trademark performance; these outings have become increasingly frustrating to the MSM.

Stanley laments: George Carlin "didn't make a peep. Mr. Leno didn't score a point." She also implies that Coulter ducked David Letterman, "far more experienced and deft at tangling with ideological divas." Presumably, Dave would have given her the Bill O'Reilly treatment, whom he "humorously, but acidly, his place in January."

Stanley also offers this presupposition: "Ms. Coulter became a media star by portraying herself as a conservative gadfly tweaking the liberal hegemony, which is, of course, quite a revisionist feat. It may have been the case 30 years ago, but no conservative who came of age during the Reagan Revolution can credibly claim they are marginalized or unheard. When the J. K. Rowling of political invective decries what she describes as the "intolerance" of the mainstream liberal media, it's a little like the Soviet Union complaining about oppression from Finland."

Wow! What a window into the MSM mindset and the "martyr" complex through which the Times and its compradres view their mission to report all the "news that's fit to print."

I come back to Mark Davis's salient point: "[I]n the calls for Ms. Coulter's head, her critics have proved her right."

In the quote above, I compared Coulter to Maureen Dowd. How ironic that the New York Times, for whom Ms. Dowd works, reports that people see Coulter as a "'vicious,' 'mean-spirited,' 'despicable' 'hate-monger'" (see also David Carr, "Deadly Intent: Ann Coulter, Word Warrior," NYT, June 12, 2006).

Is Coulter over the line? Perhaps. Does she get way too much vehement calumny from the left-wing loonies? Absolutely.

To paraphrase Davis: The call for Ann Coulter's head makes her a much more sympathetic figure in my eyes.