Feature

Politics

Whose extremists are more extreme?

Nothing makes a liberal happier, said Peggy Noonan in OpinionJournal.com, than catching a conservative in a slur. The left's favorite blond bomb-thrower, Ann Coulter, recently rose to the occasion at a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference when, in a crude attempt to get a laugh, she referred to Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards as a 'œfaggot.' Liberals, ostensibly appalled by the remark, were secretly 'œdelighted she has revealed what they believe is at the heart of modern conservatism, which is hate.' But that same week, liberal comic Bill Maher made conservatives equally gleeful when he suggested it was too bad that a suicide bomber in Afghanistan hadn't succeeded in killing Vice President Dick Cheney. Predictably, pundits and bloggers on the right declared that Maher had 'œrevealed what they believe is at the heart of modern liberalism, which is hate.'

It's true—our political discourse has come to resemble a high school cafeteria during a food fight, said Jack Kelly in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. As a conservative, I'm furious when 'œmoonbats' like Coulter feed into the media's efforts to paint all conservatives as extremists. But let's face it. The media pays far more attention to conservative extremists than to liberal ones, even though 'œthe moonbats on the left say more vile things, more frequently.' Just look at the record, said Jeff Jacoby in The Boston Globe. A Nexis search shows that Coulter's 'œfaggot' remark generated at least 91 stories, compared with only four about Maher's. Many conservatives, at least, saw fit to denounce Coulter. But Maher's 'œall-but-explicit assassination fantasy' resulted in no comparable denunciations from liberals.

Glenn Greenwald

Salon.com

Gary Kamiya

Salon.com

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