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Ann Coulter, our TV's guilty addiction, back again -- and again

January 7, 2009 |  1:14 am

Watching Ann Coulter surgically skewer serious liberals on television, you can't help thinking: If that long, blond hair keeps falling over her face so much she has to flip it back constantly, why doesn't she just cut the stuff short?

Coulter's one of those creatures made for modern TV culture, like Billy Mays with better legs.

And a Barack Obama Democratic inauguration and minimum four-year term is the conservative pundit's fondest dream come true. As we'll likely hear on the "Today" show today.

Ann Coulter conservative pundit look deep into my eyes you are growing angry, very angry now buy my book maybe two copies

Coulter scores some valid political points in the jousting that passes for decibeled democratic discourse nowadays. She launches some rapier repartee with clearly practiced comebacks.

She says some stupid things. Some outrageous things. Snotty zingers. Some people cheer. Others get furious. And TV keeps having her back to hawk her latest book, which will be another big bestseller guaranteed.

Not that any of us ever read them, of course. But a friend told us about her writings.

And Ann inevitably harvests even more money to buy skirts containing even less material.

Forget her politics a minute. O.K., you can't. But try. She can be very clever with words sometimes. Like that annoying aunt who knows she knows everything. And we think of the perfect putdown after she's gone home.

We can make fun of Ann and Billy. But OxiClean or OxiConservative, they play us all like a concert piano.

And they know it. And so do those in TV. And they can't help themselves, having her back again and again. And for free too!

There was Coulter again Tuesday on CBS, arguing with Harry Smith after some meaningless flap with NBC described on Fox that got her back on NBC Wednesday morning for twice as long as she would have been on Monday if NBC hadn't bumped her and Drudge reported that the network banned her for life. (See how this works?)

Like banning Coulter would ever happen. She's a booker's dream. The switchboards light up. Pro. Con. Who cares? They're watching.

You can not read Ann Coulter. You can't not watch Ann Coulter. In his newsly-anchory way, Harry was trying to make a point that if she wasn't so "sophomoric" and "goofy," Coulter would be taken more seriously. Which presumes that serious is the goal.

Affable Harry, of course, completely misses the point, as we yelled at our dumb TV screen just yesterday. It's all about arguing, you ignorant knothole! If Coulter took his advice, she would never be invited on his program, these programs, all over talk-radio, with wide Web traffic. Would never sell anywhere near so many books. Wouldn't pop up in politics blogs like this.

And The Times' poor Matea Gold over on the Show Tracker blog would be forced to write about the dronings of E.J. Dionne or Paul Krugman on PBS when Charlie Rose wasn't interrupting, while the rest of us slept. Matea's got the Harry-Ann video right here. Bet you can't resist.

--Andrew Malcolm

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