Why using hate speech is about you being an a**hole, not being ‘edgy’

By Megan Carpentier
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 16:27 EDT
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Right-wing author Ann Coulter, appearing on the Fox News Channel's Republican talk show "Hannity." Photo: Screenshot via FoxNews.com.
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Ann Coulter is a performance artist, plain and simple — while she may, in fact, hold at least some of the opinions she gets paid to spot off about, it’s her intention to cause offense at each and every opportunity because that, and not the stating of her opinions, is how she makes money. And so it was that she came to refer to President Obama as a “retard” this week (a word I don’t like seeing and refuse to say).

You see, the other part of Coulter’s ham-handed shtick is that she uses words, chooses phrases and espouses viewpoints that are all about making herself seem “edgy” — kind of like being the original hipster racist, but with less winking and nodding about the inherent racism — and allowing her to mock those who object as beholden to some sort of politically correct mind-police despite the fact that she believes we all think that shit anyway.

If hurting people’s feelings is your idea of being “edgy,” you’re not more interesting than me, you’re just an asshole.

And if you think that you’re smarter than John Franklin Stephens, a man with Down Syndrome whose open letter to Coulter (and previous OpEd in the Denver Post) put into context what using that word really means, then you’re also the actual stupid one.

Megan Carpentier
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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