Pop Culture Gadabout
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
      ( 6/20/2006 06:52:00 AM ) Bill S.  

WAR WIDOWS REDUX – Perhaps someone in the poli-blogosphere has already made the point, but for the last day or so I've kept personally circling around Ann Coulter and her written comments about the 9-11 widows – and remembering the flap that cartoonist Ted Rall created back when this blog was young with his "War Widows" cartoon. Back when Rall first did his infamous editorial cartoon, members of the right side of the blogosphere wasted little time in piling on top of the guy; at the time, so did a good number of left leaners, too. Back in the day, I called the cartoon "bullying," and I wasn't the only one. Rall had stepped over a line with his strip – and to no discernibly good purpose.

Now we see Ann Coulter doing the same thing (making some of the same snarky points, in fact), and many of the same indignant writers on the right who bashed Rall are now defending her. Perhaps it's the timing issue – calling the 9-11 widows acquisitive broads several years after their tragedy isn't slapping the wound while it's still fresh, after all – but my suspicion is the real measure lies in Coulter & Rall's respective politics. S'okay to beat up on widows and orphans if they ain't in your political camp, after all. For both self-professed satirists, the biggest perceived sin of the 9-11 widows is their not falling in line with the Correct Political Mindset.

For all that Rall & Coulter pretend to tilt at so-called PC-ness, the fact is that both remain strictly beholden to their respective party lines. There are points to be made about our media's love of bathos and the so-called "human story," but neither Coulter nor Rall are the ones to make 'em. They both spend too much supping off manufactured outrage to have anything real to say about manufactured sentimentality . . .

UPDATE: Tom Tomorrow, who if memory serves had his own qualms about Rall's original cartoon, has his own take on Our Annie . . .
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Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

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