Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Ann Coulter on her adventure at uOttawa

I watched this video recently and as I watched it, there were several points where I was tempted to argue back with the screen. That doesn't work well so I'm putting my responses here instead. Watch the video first though... It's only a little over 6 minutes.

00:03 Bill O'Reilly says "...her speech was shut down by radical students." Sure, most university students are not participating in events like this. But is the content of what they are shouting really that radical? Not wanting what they perceive as Ann Coulter's likely hate-speech to be made on their campus? Whether right or wrong, there are many people who believe that Ann Coulter says hateful things. Is it radical to not want that kind of thing on the campus of the largest post-secondary institution in the capital of a country that has specific laws against that kind of thing?

00:19 Bill O'Reilly says "Now those kids were egged on by the University of Ottawa official..." Which does he think that the students needed the letter (sent to Ann warning her of Canadian hate speech law) to tell them: that Ann was coming to speak, the nature of her usual speeches, or the union of those two might produce a similar presentation this time? Or was it the nature of Canadian law that might apply? An American citizen coming to speak should be insulted by being "reminded" of it, but communication of it to a large group of voting-age Canadian citizens makes them violent.

01:47 Ann Coulter says "...the letter that was sent to me by that provost at University of Ottawa informing me, um, that I might be committing a hate speech crime before I'd even set foot in the country." Nothing in any of the quotes given from that letter suggest that Dr. Houle claimed directly that she might, only what the consequences of doing so would be if she decided to or accidentally did so. Perhaps she would have preferred to be left ignorant and allowed to proceed without knowledge of the difference between the countries' laws?

02:00 Ann Coulter says "...and it was immediately after his letter was sent that, um, suddenly the University of Ottawa... (cut off by Bill)" Yes causality requires a specific direction in time but just because A happens after B, it doesn't mean that B causes A. I eat dinner at around 6... AND THEN NIGHT FALLS!. OMG. My dinner-eating can control the rotation of the EARTH!

02:42 Ann Coulter says "...I wasn't even talking about that... That was nearly ten years ago." I find it odd that she defends herself in overlapping and seemingly contradictive ways. Ten years ago, she spoke of something unrelated and never said Muslims shouldn't be allowed on airplanes... Why would she stress that what she didn't do happened 10 years ago? Ok, perhaps she's trying to clear up a situation from then that has been misinterpreted in this way. But then her "defense" turns into her basically saying that she didn't say it but she believes in something awfully close.

03:49 Ann Coulter says "Indisputable points I just made." Her last point was "that if all Muslims would boycott airlines we could dispense with airport security altogether." Right. No non-Muslims have ever been a threat. Wow.

04:20 Ann Coulter says "...that incredibly deceptive clip..." She's talking about a clip of her speaking at UWO in London, ON, and claims that 10 minutes of heckling from the audience is taken out and that her response was to the to audience not the woman asking the question. But she answers the question very specifically, albeit insultingly, so how can she be speaking to the crowd? She may be distracted by the crowd but she is obviously speaking to the woman.

The sad thing is that however rationally anyone tries to respond to what she says, everything she says is laced with not-so-subtle jabs and insults at whoever she thinks has wronged her. In her March 24 blog entry about the incident in Ottawa she can barely write a paragraph without including a nasty comment about uOttawa, the students, Dr. Houle, the city of Ottawa, or Canadians and Canada in general.

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