On the lecture circuit, I have heard many stories in Coulter's wake of her actual charm, nervousness, politeness, civility, reasonableness in person. Now we're all a little different in print than in person. People who meet me often say I'm much mellower and, er, nicer in person than I sometimes come off in pixels or print. That's defensible, I think. Writing is sometimes about provoking, and it's fine for a man or woman to have slightly different persona in reality than in print or even TV. But Coulter seems to have taken this to a bizarre extreme. Another reader comments:
Just wanted to add my little bit of insight to the Ann Coulter discussion. While interning at a cable news show a year ago, I was responsible for guest relations on a day when Ann Coulter was being interviewed in the studio. I had to meet Ann Coulter in the lobby, take her to the green room, prep her and bring her to the set. We chatted for a bit during that time, despite my intense dislike of her crude politics and television personality. I was shocked by how pleasant she was, even when I told her where I go to school (a favorite target of Fox News, one of the maligned Northeastern "bastions of the liberal elite"). She had spoken there recently and received the typical poor reception that she thrives on, but despite that she had nothing but great things to say about my college and all the "bright students" and their "brilliant questions." If she had been talking about my school in the media, however, there is no question that the only words out of Ann Coulter's mouth would have been "liberal elite", "New England", "brainwashing professors", "traitors", etc.
I came away from our conversation with the distinct impression that her television personality is exaggerated and largely manufactured, and that she doesn't believe many of the ludicrous things she says. She's not a radical of any sort, she's just a coniving businesswoman. The woman has simply figured out how to market herself and make cold, hard cash, and will say any controversial thing she deems necessary to do so. That has become obvious after her outrageous attacks on the 9/11 widows, which have caused her book to shoot to the top of the Amazon charts.
What Ann Coulter does is worse than other media personalities who actually believe the vileness that they spew, because she does it solely for the money and notoriety, despite her hypocritical claims to the mantles of Christianity and patriotism. Her actions show that she is devoted to just one thing: the church of the American dollar. To borrow a line from Jon Stewart, cheap hacks like her are hurting America.
And hurting some people who lost their own families in a terrorist atrocity. I take Coulter as seriously as I take a fictional character. Except most fictional characters do not make millions by assassinating the characters and wounding the souls of other real human beings.