By Patrick Appel
Samuel A. Chambers & Alan Finlayson have done a study on Ann Coulter: is not only extremely easy but also terribly tempting to dismiss Coulter as a minor media-made irritant, a flaky extremist or just another pundit. And Coulter has, of course, been accused of deliberate distortion, selective misquoting and outright falsification (Franken 2003). But all five of her books, from her 1989 indictment of Bill Clinton through to Godless, have topped the New York Times' best-seller list. Although other denizens of the right have questioned the soundness of her work (e.g. Horowitz, 2003) she continues to enjoy regular media appearances, persists in writing a nationally syndicated newspaper column, and remains very successful on the lecture circuit. It is a safe bet that Ann Coulter is much better known amongst Americans than John Rawls or Joshua Cohen will ever be. Furthermore, while Coulter may be on the edge of the American political spectrum this is simply indicative of how far the centre has been pulled to the right. And it has been pulled there by people such as Coulter, who herself must be understood as part of a much more general and highly successful political style that has achieved national prominence thanks to channels such as Fox News, talk radio and, latterly, internet conservative town-halls and blog fora.

I haven't seen much of Coulter on television or in the news since before the California primary when she was threatening to campaign for Obama or Clinton instead of McCain. I wonder if she has changed her tune.