January 17, 2009
Reality Check: Single Mothers and Ann Coulter's 'Venomous Tone'
Is Ann Coulter being mean-spirited to single mothers? The famous author is in the news again with a book to sell, and TV presenters are "offended". Or, at least they're pretending to be.
Prepare for crocodile tear floods.
Lost for words, the NBC's TV heads don't know how to respond to Coulter's evidence because sociology is on her side (again). So this time they're attacking her tone.
The latest TV spin is simple: "Sure, we all agree with Ann that the majority of jailbirds are from single mother homes, and that this is a family security issue, but we don't like her tone." Yeah that's it. They "don't like her tone."
So for reason's sake let's quickly review nine unvarnished statements related to single mothers and rebellious teens. You have every right to judge Coulter's "venomous tone" later, but let's carefully analyse these words like objective analysts. Here they are (in no particular order):
Politically incorrect statement, number one, page 26:
One of the many myths of our divorce culture is that divorce automatically rescues children from an unhappy marriage. Indeed, many parents cling to this belief as a way of making themselves feel less guilty.
Politically incorrect statement, number two, page 174:
Divorce is, in a curious way, an attempt to shore up marriage by making its bonds looser and by allowing people who fail the first time to try harder with the second spouse. The general loosening of sexual morals tends to affect the young and unattached, and minorities of what once had been called deviants, more than it affects those who want to set a public legal seal on partnership and parenthood.
Politically incorrect statement, number three, page 101:
I think the biggest mistake liberals ever made was the cockamamie idea that somehow or another a woman could raise her children just as well as a woman and a man.
Politically incorrect statement, number four, page 111:
I have never seen a lost generation; what I have found is a lot of adults who want to lose the generation.
Politically incorrect statement, number five on W.W.J.D. (What Would Jesus Do?) merchandise, page 144:
I suggested they put the letters on underwear. Then maybe teenagers will stop and think when it really matters.
Politically incorrect statement, number six, page 139:
We have expectations for you. Shape up. Stand up. Pick your head up, and look me straight in the eye. You know what's right, and you know what's wrong.
Politically incorrect statement seven, page 184:
Society's principal cheerleaders for expressive divorce have been its most economically advantaged and well-educated women, but only their message, and not their privilege, has been transmitted to their working class "sisters".
Politically incorrect statement, number eight, page 193:
Our cotemporary secular thinking about marriage is a blend of psychotherapy and politics, and its a language of rights and needs.
Politically incorrect statement, number nine, page 181:
A culture of divorce soothes children with antidepressants, consoles them with storybooks on divorce, and watches over their lives from family court.
Oh, by the way, I must inform readers that Coulter didn't make these statements, although all the page numbers are correct. So perhaps NBC's tone police are interrogating the wrong hipster.
You can find the first statement in The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study (2000), by Judith S. Wallerstein (School of Social Welfare at the University of California Berkeley), Julia M. Lewis (San Francisco State University), and Sandra Blakeslee (award-winning science correspondent for The New York Times).
You can find the second statement in The Abolition of Britain: From Winston Churchill to Princess Diana (2000), by Peter Hitchens (English columnist).
Rick Lawrence cites the third view in Trend Watch (2000), but the actual words - quoted in Rolling Stone - come from the lips of Democratic political consultant, James Carville, the "architect of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign."
You can also find the fourth, fifth and sixth statements in Trend Watch. The fourth view -- quoted in the leftwing Nation -- comes from a twenty-something youth minister in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The fifth view - quoted in Newsweek - comes from an unnamed youth minister. The sixth view -- quoted in USA Today -- comes from Obama's servant, Colin Powell, former chairmen of the Joints Chief of Staff, in his message to young America.
You can find the final three statements in The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family (1996), by Barbara Dafoe "Dan Quayle Was Right" Whitehead. I understand she's a heretical Democrat.
And, finally, here's my open email to NBC's Matt Lauer: Hands off our Ann. This time you've gone too far. Really. "We have expectations for you. Shape up. Stand up." I don't like your venomous tone. "You know what's right, and you know what's wrong."