Friday night topic: Slander!

— 7:14 PM on April 16, 2004

Uh oh. It's time once again for our weekly off-topic debate.

Ann Coulter's Slander has a provocative, two-pronged thesis: the left has long controlled the mainstream media outlets in the U.S., and as a result, liberals have forgotten how to debate. Instead, they resort endlessly to ad hominem attacks and similar tactics rather than engage their opponents' ideas directly. She writes:

Liberals dispute slight reductions in the marginal tax rates as if they are trying to prevent Charles Manson from slaughtering baby seals. Progress cannot be make on serious issues because one side is making arguments and the other side is throwing eggs—both figuratively and literally. Prevarication and denigration are the hallmarks of liberal argument. Logic is not their metier. . . . Perhaps if conservatives had had total control over every major means of news dissemination for a quarter century, they would have forgotten how to debate, too, and would just call liberals stupid and mean. But that's an alternative universe. In this universe, the public square is wall-to-wall liberal propaganda.
Strong words. Question 1: Is she right about media bias in the mainstream print, TV, and book publishing worlds? Question 2: Does she have a point about liberal debate tactics?

First one to say something nasty about Ann Coulter wins the "fell into her trap" award. Let's talk about her argument on its merits. Discuss.

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