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April 19, 2005

Coulter and Colder

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I really had a debate with myself over giving attention to a figure like Ann Coulter.  In this case, however, the visual analyst lost out to the shrink.

Liberal pundits like to talk about the clay feet of the right-wing gods.   The major recent examples include Bill Bennett with his gambling problem and Rush Limbaugh with his drug habit.  The frustration in recounting this kind of hypocritical behavior, however, is that the public persona of these figures seem to repel the charges.

I went out and bought this issue of TIME, and read the article by John Cloud.  Or, should I say, the account of the seduction of John Cloud. 

Do you see those piercing eyes seeking you out on this cover? 

With alternately cutting and cloying expressions of violent or sexual allusions, the cunning Ms. Coulter appears to function (at least, for conservative men) as a modern day siren.  (According to the article, Vanity Fair writer James Walcott likens the essentially lightweight Coulter to Paris Hilton.)  What was the story in the Odyssey, however?  If you came too close and heard the singing, you would be warbled to death, with a strong chance of ending up in a pile of dead man’s bones, the flesh still rotting off them.  If you had to pass by, you could only do so safely by stuffing your ears with wax.  Otherwise, if you chose to listen, you had to have men bind you to the ship’s mast with the instructions that, if you begged to be untied, they should only bind you tighter.

If you’re interested, you can seek this article out yourself, and
see how Ms. Coulter put the warble on this poor reporter.  The sad
account starts with the interviewer supposedly getting Ms. Coulter
drunk.  From that point on, there are lines about "moistly liberal
formulations"; and how talk show opinions must "come violently fast and
cause as much friction as possible"; and how it’s impossible to watch
Ms. Coulter and not be "sluiced into rage or elation."

As I
said before, it’s hard to take on a hypocritical public figure when
actual bad behavior is almost automatically subsumed by an iconic
public identity.  In considering a written profile together with a
visual portrait, however, you have a better opportunity to consider the
snapshot of the person against his or her persona.

reading this image, however, it’s instructive to pick through the data
that was observed by Mr. Cloud when he wasn’t riding around on his
cloud.  Frankly, the picture of Ms. Coulter seems diagnostic.  What you
get is someone endlessly preoccupied with sexual and physical violence,
going from riff to sadistic riff tossing off one-liners dedicated to
retribution and revenge.   You have someone with a history of charming
and seducing men, but who seems to disavow significant emotional
attachments with men and often displays flashes of hatred in response
to male or female sexuality.  You have someone almost pathologically
opposed to revealing any personal information, especially if it conveys
humanity, femininity or compassion of any kind.  You have a person who
insists her only professional motivation is personal amusement or the
amusement of her friends.  Finally, you have someone hopelessly
addicted to nicotine who’s greatest fear is being found irrelevant.

What does the image suggest? 

it depicts someone who is not going to sit for getting her picture
taken.  By leaning forward, hunching her shoulders and giving you a
stare, she’s declaring herself off limits.  As she does with her verbal
behavior, she uses offensive maneuvers to keep you from getting near
her or getting any real look at her.  (By the way, isn’t there some
adage about not trusting a person if you can’t see their hands?  Or
maybe, she’s just not one to show her hand.) 

Physically too,
sexuality is a big part of the picture.  The classic short black skirt
and the hair dyed red at the ends — and, of course, the in-your-face
mile long legs (with shoes that suggest an evening out — but also a
little girl innocence, with the bow) is quite seductive.  On the other
hand, the tightly crossed legs, the elbows pulling awkwardly close to
the torso, the tense forearms, the pursed mouth and, of course, the
stare, all read as cold, colorless, closed, and sexually conflicted.

There is another way to look at this, however, if you take a developmental perspective. 

an adult, Ms. Coulter’s pose couldn’t be more guarded, more defensive
(in which the best defense is a good offense).  The other way to
understand this image, though, is if "Ms. Right" is simply a little
girl.  The bow on the shoes suggests that.  The stockings that seem
like tights also say so.  The overall posture reflects it as well.  As
opposed to an adult who sits back and lets the camera take them in,
young Ann looks like the little girl who comes into the photography
studio and doesn’t know how to sit, or needs to know what she should
do.  To this end, the gaze can also be an intense search for
direction.  The awkward scale reflects it also.  All legs and head,
arched forward with her feet hanging down into white space, she might
as well be perched in a high chair. 

As either an impetuous
girl or a crass provocateur, it’s strange to see Ms. Coulter in a chair
with the Barcelona’s class, designed by Mies van der Rohe for the King
and Queen of Spain.  Although the rich girl from Manhattan by way of
Connecticut has the popularity and income to occupy a seat as reputable
as this one, she doesn’t seem comfortable at all.

(image: Platon for Time Inc. April 25, 2005)

  • spaghetti happens

    Damn liberal media never gives the right a chance to be heard, especially people like Ann Coulter. Just listen; she’ll tell ya.

  • jenny

    i see two things in the cover photo:
    scrawny legs and enormous feet, and a seated posture that says, “i’m open… not really!” (okay, three things).
    really, the photo of coulter makes me think of the odd camerawork focusing on tom petty in the don’t come around here no more alice-in-wonderland video.

  • Bluegrass Poet

    Yes — sticks for legs. Do you guys really find this sexy??

  • Pooh Bear

    Hello My Dear Fellow:
    I wanted to pass on this tidbit about how Ms.Coulter is seen in other parts of the world. On no less than 3 occasions, when I have called relatives in Canada and mentioned her name – they laugh in a hysterical manner about her. Apparently there was some interview with her on the CBC where she insisted that Canada had gone to Vietnam with the US. When the CBC told her “No… that was Korea. We never sent Troops to Canada” she just balked and insisted she was correct. Then she said “I’ll get back to you on that”. To this date she has yet to acknowledge her error. If she is an example for what passes for intellect – America is in rough rough shape.

  • Gary

    I must agree with Pooh Bear on this one-if this piece of Turret’s Syndrome is considered one of the United States’ greatest movers and shakers we are so screwed.

  • kali yuga

    “Do you guys really find this sexy??”
    Haven’t you seen the disclaimer on the Viagra commercial: “If erection lasts longer than four hours, call Ann Coulter.”
    Here’s another take on this image:

  • henri

    She appears as if she is waiting in a defensive position not unlike someone who thinks they are about to be found out or told that they are an addict.
    Did she have control over the photo set? Did the photographer set up the scene?
    She appears conflicted as she perches, joint-locked and expectant, attempting to control the image and what it will reveal. Yet, she is unwilling, or unable, to indulge in repose.
    Why did TIME give her the title “Ms”?
    A person like herself is given this title as a joke? Would Coulter have offered help to secure such a distinction as Ms decades ago, or would she still prefer Miss?

  • Mark

    Looks like the scene from basic instinct to me minus the sexuality. What that means…? Puritanical provocation from a woman who wants to be sexy but without the sexuality – like a commodity….she needs you to like her so she can seduce you – a tease! all bark but no bite….that fits

  • MonsieurGonzo

    oh, goody! let’s post more pictures of famous / infamous women and tear them apart on the basis of their physical appearance!
    catty? trivial? oh, hellno ~ we’re hurling mud on this cover of Time in the name of political science!
    she’s a bad woman and deserves to be >SPANKED<
    uh, hey lady…
    …yes, little boy?
    do {blush} do you mind if… if I spanked her first?

  • Quentin

    Ann Coulter: child-woman. That’s all. Time magazine: slime. That’s all. Tell me, why waste our time on either? Instead, maybe turn your attention to Miss Ratzinger.

  • dms

    How continually distressing the media is in this country. To take a venomous cretin like Anne Coulter and turn her into to a mainstream icon is just typical.
    Her ideas as such are not formulated and the only currency she can deal in is hatred, which is why she finds a home in the mainsteam media today.
    why would people pay attention to her? So that they can be reassured that their racism and hatred is okay.

  • Geoduck

    Coulter has griped about the cover photo. It’s unknown whether she was really unhappy or, even after Time’s loving tongue job, had to come up with something with which to attack the Evil Liberal Media.
    Also, appears that the author of the article, John Cloud, is fully out-of-the-closet gay, which makes you wonder about the whole “seduction” angle.

  • jillian

    It’s interesting to see a good deal of the comments talk about Ms. Coulter herself and not analyze the photo…which goes to show the power of the visual…automatic emotion, either good or bad.
    I see a woman/child. Like a bad school girl waiting at the Principle’s office…knowing that she did wrong but headstrong to defend her actions. She looks like she might take off running…slightly aggressive forward tilt to her body.
    The elongation of her legs and the perportion of them to her head perhaps suggest a “sexual” over “intellectual” image. The “Basic Instinct”-ish pose again suggest an aggressive sexuality.
    The dress is black. Her hose are white. Indicating visually her “black and white” “good and bad” “Republican vs. Freedom Haters” stance she takes in her thinking.

  • bar

    Those shoes too. Does any man like the new pointy pointy shoes women are wearing?
    I sure as hell don’t. All I can visualize is those points repeatedly kicked into my back.

  • Drew Thaler

    Yeah, for as much as I considered cancelling my subscription for giving Ms. Caricature an article, let alone the cover picture, I have to admit that it’s an interesting photo.
    I see three distinct ages in the picture. The legs are very suggestive of childhood (real women have curves), from the neck to the legs suggests college-age youth (tight and clingy black/navy dress, dyed and styled hair), and then her face is quite frankly showing her actual age with its combination of lines, wrinkles, and attitude. It’s like a study in contrasts.
    The chair looks oversized. I know the Barcelona is sort of like that anyway, but the chair plus the angle really emphasizes the little-girl theme… or perhaps the I-wish-I-could-be-a-little-girl theme.
    All in all I think what I get out of it is a portrait of a woman trying desperately to hang on to her lost youth. The fact that it’s not working is obvious to everyone but her. I’m not surprised that she hates it.

  • saddened

    the sexualization of Coulter is digusting. How many articles about her mention her attractiveness? How many talk about the unattractiveness of Noam Chomsky. The obsession with Coulter, both left and right, is more about her looks than her ideas, which are just recycled neo-con babble at best. Still, it is so upsetting to me that she can’t be discussed without a picture of her in a skirt, that her ideas cant be critiqued without reference to the color of her hair.
    I sometimes wonder how she, as the anti-feminist, feels about her career and the way the that no one can seperate her mind from its body. I would be enraged, but I have never heard her lash out at a talk show host who introduced her with a segway that included her appearance.
    Coulter is a figure whose life itself seems to remind me of the need for a progressive agenda…

  • Tilli (Mojave Desert)

    Her career success depends on her look(s).

  • Tilli (Mojave Desert)

    PS – I’ll bet the art director had a lot of fun with this cover.

  • jj

    I concur w/Saddened.
    Firstly the reporter is gay, as I suspect she might be. Perhaps that was their bond which you referred to as seduction.
    Beyond that, the questions that come to mind are wondering if she had any say over the way she was portrayed on the cover. I seriously doubt it. You can almost hear the pigs laughing they set it up. Who knows how many shots they took, if she knew what part they were photographing, what they said to her to elicit this expression… .
    I find it unbelievably SEXIST that they would display her body like this. Is this somebody whose ideas one is being invited to evaluate, or whose sexual attractiveness the reader is invited to assess. This sends my blood pressure into dangerous ranges.

  • MildlyDisturbed
  • 1MaNLan

    My automatic thought in first looking at this picture was “wicked witch of the west….and blond!” The elongation of her body accentuates the tight, dark clothes, as well as the severity of her “stick” legs and hands ending at sharp, pointed shoes and handless wrists. the face and eyes simultaneously pushes the viewer back and dares them to come closer. The distortion of the image is interesting, reminding me of films that try to portray nightmares and bummer drug trips.
    Coulter might be sexually appealing to those who find remote, “teasing” narcissist types sexy but will be a turn off to those who are turned on by an open, warm persona. BTW, My friends/colleagues who look at it are mostly in the disgusted camp although a few would like to pry those legs apart with a crow bar (a conquest/objectification, maybe even domination/rape thing it seems…yes, totally sexist and shallow but explains much about her iamge appeal to right wingers).
    Here I am, devoting the second paragraph to sex and sexual conflict/violence, which says a lot in and of itself about the image. That the image is made superior to the thoughts of the pundit, herself, is very revealing. The interview mostly spins her….metaprocesses her in “seduced” terms. It seems to me that any GOOD story on Coulter will simply list page after page of her venom…quotes all the way.
    Final thought/personal rant; If in the end, Americans choose (because it is a choice) to be seduced by images and marketing spin over substance, then we deserve the Coulters, the O’Reilly’s the Limbaughs and all the NeoCon Fundy agenda that we aquiesce to. The image itself, distortion, violence, sexuality in conflict and all, seems to hint that we are already there.

  • connie

    Every time I think of the phrase, “a talking head Turret’s Syndrome,” I burst out laughing! It is so apt for Ann.
    After all, her whole schtick is simply: cute little girl-woman startles everyone with vulgar sound-bites. Apparently this is all it takes, for this female chauvinist, to stop the shout-show, shock the TV remote jock, and make it into the headline news-loop.
    She’s got legs. And she knows how to use them.
    And even if it’s infamy, who cares, if real fame is also fleeting? We don’t remember so much what she said, anyway. Rather, we remember OUR emotion of outrageousness; What WE felt when she said (whatever it was that she said).
    In the numbing dumbness of EmpTeeVee, She made us feel something. And yes, a lot of what we feel is plain envy, too. Who knew it could be so easy?
    In the end I daresay that for Ann Coulter, and for Time magazine, too, buzz is bottom line: this story has legs.
    Picture? Perfect.

  • Anna

    “Fair and balanced she isn’t”. I wonder which came first, this text or the photo.
    The figure is square-on and perfectly symmetrical, that’s the most striking thing about the photo. Except for the legs, from the knees down. They look like they’re in a knot.
    The woman evidently has skinny and rather shapeless legs. Wearning (almost) opaque white tights makes them look even skinnier and more shapeless. She also opts for black shoes with pointy toes – something that makes feet look bigger. It’s as if the photographer was facinated by the contrast and chose to accentuate it out of all proportion.
    The woman’s face looses out because the eye is irresistably drawn to the black-on-white spectacle that’s her feet. Elegant, yet very awkward because there’s a sense the right shoe is on the left foot and vice versa.

  • Molly

    “I sometimes wonder how she, as the anti-feminist, feels about her career and the way the that no one can seperate her mind from its body. I would be enraged, but I have never heard her lash out at a talk show host who introduced her with a segway that included her appearance.”
    Because her appearance is as much a part of her schtick as her venom. Someone above nailed it; here is an attractive person who says shocking things. Think she would agree to say such things with a bad hairstyle, frumpy clothes, lesbian shoes, and tweny extra pounds? I didn’t think so, either.
    BTW, wouldn’t the emphasis on her feet play into foot fetishists? I wonder how many issues will be sold because of the emphasis on the S&M footwear? And, bar, kicked into your BACK? Not those babies; they are reserved for a more sensitive part of the male anatomy!!
    Here’s to the selling of many more earplugs….

  • artschooldropout

    Fitting that she sits in a Barcelona Chair, designed by Mies van der Rohe. Many say that he stripped architecture of all humanity, creating cold, sterile and unlivable environments.

  • Winston Smith

    This website is so great, you all consistently offer the most interesting observations, particularly for those of us who aren’t so accustomed to thinking about what graphic depictions mean. All great comments, connie’s in particular.
    Others have already noticed the evoking of Sharon Stone and Lily Tomlin. But what strikes me most is that between those white hose and that awful diffuse white lighting (sanctity? interrogation room? nightmare drug bummer, as 1MaNLan said?) the whole image looks so cold, practically cryogenic.
    It’s dreadfully bothersome how liberals of both sexes become so enraged by Coulter they’re moved to sexually abusive language. O she enrages me, too, but sexual? attractive?—is there really a shortage of garbage-mouthed, faux-shocking, spoiled, shallow, pampered, self-centered and venomous sorority sisters in the world? Indeed, I’m sure you’re right her “greatest fear is being found irrelevant,” and it can’t happen soon enough. The TIME editors should be ashamed of themselves. If only they were capable of that emotion.

  • TheCat

    This is one of the most purposefully striking magazine covers in while – no one Bagnotes is on it.
    Yet, it’s hard to know what to say about it, let along separate analysis of the picture from the the person.
    No one has yet commented on her facial expression. Just looking at her face alone, the expression I read one of anger, pure unbridled fury.
    Leaving her gender and looks aside, I wonder, did she adopt this expression, did Time sort through dozens to get this? Was she smiling in other photos?
    Of course, I don’t know. It is my general impression, however, and feel free to correct me, that Coulter has deliberately adopted an angry, unsmiling public persona, therefore it would not surprise me if wanted this kind of photo taken and perhaps even insisted on it.
    Frankly, given her statements over the years, she has brought some these criticisms on herself.

  • Diane

    This is a very tense thin woman with spikes for feet. She’ll scream into oblivion soon.

  • Diane

    This is a very tense thin woman with spikes for feet. She’ll scream into oblivion soon.

  • Leigh

    I don’t think this picture is of a she. Others have observed the stick-like legs and said real women have curves. I question that this is a real woman. Note the hands are hidden–usually a giveaway. Billmon refers to the creature as the Adam’s Apple blonde and boy are there a lot of turtlenecks worn by Coulter.

  • aethorian

    Bar said:

    Does any man like the new pointy pointy shoes women are wearing?

    They do look like an excellent method for heeling the dog. However, my shins get real nervous sitting at table opposite crossed legs shod with these.
    It’s about time for heads of state to reinstate the poulaine laws:

    …since the fifth [year] of Richard II, when he took to wife Anne, daughter to Veselaus, King of Boheme, by her example the English people had used piked shoes, tied to their knees with silken laces, or chains of silver or gilt. Wherefore in the fourth [year] of Edward IV, it was ordained and proclaimed, that beaks of shoone and boots, should not pass the length of two inches, upon pain of cursing by the clergy, and by Parliament to pay 20 shillings for every pair. And every cordwainer that shod any man or woman on the Sunday, to pay 30 shillings.

    Here lies an opportunity for alert Democrats to kill two birds with one stone: hobble the aristocracy and enact a shoe tax!
    P.S. — Poseurs who wish to participate in this latest fashion trend, but who lack silver, may cobble their own. Just try to avoid closeups, and no one will suspect you’re not the real thing.

  • erthsister

    My first reaction as to remember the paperback cover of the 70s book about body language. That woman sitting in a modern chair with legs (and arms) draped ever so casually *closed*.
    Ms. Coulter’s expression seems to be, “Don’t mess with me. I’ll kick your butt with my pointy little shoes, boy! Go on–try to please me– I’ll kick it anyway.” (Which then makes me wonder about Mr. Cloud’s masochistic proclivities.)
    There’s a nasty determination in that stare. I’ve seen that expression on bullies who know that their victim can’t get away and that they can unleash their fury without retribution. They want to lash out and exact revenge for their hurts on whoever is handy and vunerable.
    Something about the hidden hands and the leaning posture also bespeak an aggressively defensive attitude. She seems ready to hit you before you can hit her.
    The chair does seem bigger than necessary. She’s a belligerant Alice in Wonderland, all stretched out of proportion, like her attitudes. She’s a young girl ready to knock you on your ass. It’s the aggressive teenager who wants to gets attention the only way she knows how. Poor woman, having to “attract” people with her bite rather than some semblence of personality.

  • nvalvo

    Saddened, et al:
    Do you think that “feminism” is about distinguishing minds and bodies? Last I checked, speaking about disembodied mind was generally considered to be a cartesian/masculinist gesture par excellence. And yes, this is important: symptomatic even.
    Because what is it about figures like Coulter that so antagonize liberals? From the Marxist left, I think it might just be the way that Coulter deploys her under-sexed body and her over-sexed persona in deliberate contrast to her politics: that is, she is right-wing qua WOMAN. Her Republican politics are feminine, if not exactly feminist.
    Throughout, a sort of S&M aesthetic prevails: witness the pointy shoes and severe clothing, the non-voluptuous figure, and in the ideological realm, the relentless individualism and focus on personal sensation to the privation the social.
    Between DC-area politicized craigslist personals (straight-laced right-wing SWM seeks hippie-chick for X obscure act) and the new consumerism or perhaps careerism of mainstream feminism, (a la Sex & the City), we’re actually approaching a point where someone like Coulter can be seen as comfortably WITHIN feminism, as mainstream feminism “sells out,” broadens its base, and allows its name to be invoked (though not by Coulter) as an aspect a politics that focuses much more on acquisitiveness, careers and self-indulgent ethical positions as on any broader-based politics.
    (I’m not anti-feminist, at all, only anti-yuppie. Obviously there are still many many real feminists, who still fight for the rights of ALL women, not only those with fancy degrees and careers, to improve their lot and obtain control over their work, life, sexuality, and fertility. My point is that Coulter and her ilk on both sides of the aisle have emerged as a sort of dark double of the original feminist movement.)
    I think it is time for feminism to take a look at itself, and wonder if it isn’t implicated in the production of monstrous births like the one adorning Time’s cover. It is too easy to be a feminist these days; no renunciation is required. It’s the reality principle, people.

  • gordo

    As for the photo, I think it becomes clear what the photographer had in mind when you compare this to his famous “fish-eye Clinton” photo. Both give the impression of looking slightly upward at the subject, like a supplicant petitioning his liege. Clinton leans back, hands on knees, with a contented, affable look on his face. Though he’s clearly in control, he’s open, magnanimous, and ready to consider your request.
    Coulter’s pose is closed, and she leans forward eagerly, anticipating the pleasure she will take in humiliating you for daring to come before her. I think Coulter was right in complaining about the choice made by the photographer, but she’s so shallow that she can only whine about how big her feet look.
    As for whether or not Coulter is sexy, the answer is no, not in the least. Maybe if she had a charming personality. Don’t get me wrong–I’d do her. I’m just saying, she’s not sexy.

  • pjr

    Her physical appearance isn’t the source of her indisputably loathsome hideousness; it’s the vile and despicable nature of her seemingly inexhaustable hatred for anyone and anything that doesn’t agree with Ann Coulter.
    I pity the fool that finds that bitch sexy!
    MR T.

  • Sluggo

    The woman is a scrawnball. Don’t just go on the chicken legs and pidgeon feet. Take a good gander at those stickpin arms. Sexy? Oh geez, I’ve just wet myself at that one. Attractive? Only if you’re into anorexia. Appealing? Sure, if she comes with a side order of fries and gravy. Intelligent? Judging by the constant stream of drivel she seems to espouse – not!

  • aflyonthewall

    Ann Coulter is exactly what this country needs, someone who will stand up and say what needs to be said, and what a majority of this country is thinking… and i don’t expect to see this in the blog

  • aflyonthewall

    Sluggo, why is boinkability the most important thing in your life,,, what about food? You cant have her!!!!

  • Yoyitoperez

    The beauty standard of you Americans is very, very different from ours latinos. I find this woman totally ugly. She’s anorexic or something. Abnormally skinny.

  • Sluggo

    Hi, to aflyonthewall. I thought I did mention food. : )
    Actually, she would be useful with a meal. I could use her make good use of her legs afterwards……..
    for toothpicks.
    : )

  • nikto

    For all those feeling a bit of residual nausea after looking at the phot of the grotesque KKKoulter, here’s the antidote…
    A photo of the original environmentalist tree-hugger herself, JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL standing next to Sam Donaldson. Talk about a natural beauty!! Here she is:

  • dotcom

    aflyonthewall…by what this country needs, did you mean a mouthpiece that is willing to say anything, regardless of tact, forum, or decency, to make someone look bad, as opposed to someone willing to stick up for their beliefs?
    AC does nothing for Republicans, so much as does everything against Democrats (which could be construed as for Republicans in the worst of lights).
    All personal fasion, body type/shape and picture angle aside, persons like Coulter, Limbaugh and Hannity are the Jerry Springers of the New World Order…simply feeding to the lowest common denominator of human behaviour.

  • robbo

    It’s just a fascinating photo — thanks for all the great commentary, everyone! I believe this image shows everything there is to show about AC and her annoying act — she’s every inch a rich, threatening, nasty, ice-bitch. Pure & simple!

  • DaveMcC

    Cancer ridden vulture!
    Thats what the picture says to me.
    Have you ever read her ‘books’, – barely legible rantings, like the playground tauntings of a schoolchild.
    Except pure Evil.
    She applauds the nuclear bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, pointing out how the japanese are ‘like lambs’ now. She cals for More and greater Wars, telling us how she wants her enemies to die, in as painful and humiliating a fshion as possible. its truly ridiculous.
    She is a shameful humiliation to what remains of American so called ‘civilisation’. For Time magazine to put her on their cover and pretend that she is someone with views worthy of respect is fantasticly abhorrent to any thinking person.
    This is an interview with a vampire. She would shock Hitler with her vile contempt for humanity and her intolerance of weakness, frailty or difference.
    If she is to be an icon then she should be symbolised as the devouring malignancy that must be removed from our society.
    In that respect perhaps the cover has hit the nail on the head -maybe she comes across quite accurately A sort of a demonic Lady Macbeth, traitor to her sex, consumed by her own cancerous polemic.

  • Dave

    It is interesting that the author of this bitch-piece hissy fit spends more time worrying about the picture that Time Magazine shot, processed, and Photoshopped, instead of commenting on the article itself. NOT A WORD ABOUT CONTENT! Your criticism is about Time, and not about Ann. Your ability to psychoanalyze her (“Frankly, the picture of Ms. Coulter seems diagnostic.”) based on that picture is from what University?
    Have you ever been to a photo shoot for a major (or any) magazine? Do you think that Ms. Coulter gave them just one shot? To the contrary, it must have been heavily orchestrated by the producer and by the photographer.
    Let’s move on.
    Ann is right: when a liberal complains, it is about side issues and not about the point at hand. Your criticism of this article seems to be more about the way Time handled it, than anything about her, or about what she may have said.
    You should have stayed in school until graduation day. Maybe you would have learned how to make a point.

  • Molly

    Dave, I think you’ve missed the point of the blog. As I understand its purpose, it is to analyze images and how the “picture is worth a thousand words” idiom conveys loads of unstated information in this culture. Read the content pages of a blog before making an assesment.

  • George
  • Shaz

    The reason people focus on Coulter’s so-called attractiveness if because her ideas are laughable at best. To insinuate that she is gay is to suggest she owns one modicum of sexuality. She’s everything feminists hate because she uses her body as a tool where her mind has clearly failed. The photo says it all, a scary Tim Burtonesque creature with no hands, legs like a chicken and a smile to make your eyes bleed. Even if she was unhappy with this photo or if the art director/photographer/airbrusher had more say in her pose then she did (which I doubt, we all know what a vociferous cow she is) even then there’s no denying that her ignorance shines through this image in every pixel.


    Check out this article about Coulter’s appearances on CNN and Fox where she shows her true ignorant colors about Canada.
    COULTER: There is also something called, when you’re allowed to exist on the same continent of the United States of America, protecting you with a nuclear shield around you, you’re polite and you support us when we’ve been attacked on our own soil. They [Canada] violated that protocol.

  • Frank Frink

    Pooh Bear wrote:
    Hello My Dear Fellow:
    I wanted to pass on this tidbit about how Ms.Coulter is seen in other parts of the world. On no less than 3 occasions, when I have called relatives in Canada and mentioned her name – they laugh in a hysterical manner about her. Apparently there was some interview with her on the CBC where she insisted that Canada had gone to Vietnam with the US. When the CBC told her “No… that was Korea. We never sent Troops to Vietnam” she just balked and insisted she was correct. Then she said “I’ll get back to you on that”. To this date she has yet to acknowledge her error. If she is an example for what passes for intellect – America is in rough rough shape.
    Dear Pooh Bear…
    Your Canadian relative were quite correct. Although Ms. Coulter actually made it worse. After her ‘I’ll get back to you’ comment about her delusuion that Canada committed troops to Vietnam — she still hasn’t gotten back to us Canadians about it — she then insisted that ‘well, at least you joined with us in WWII’.
    Amazing, considering that Canada declared war on Germany in September of 1939… well, who joined in with who?
    Not to mention Tucker Carlson also showing himself to be the clueless oaf that he is on Canadian TV aroiund the same time.
    We don’t get Fox News up here, as most of you are likely aware, but that’s only because we already have a Comedy Network on cable TV.

  • Susan

    This must be an older post but, hey, Ann Coulter, is always fun to me!
    I thought “artistically” the pic on Time’s cover was a hoot! The one of Ann C., I mean! She, herself, is a HOOT. I thought ALL the analyses were terrific. She’s just one of those people – she is endless fodder…in the sense that she’s a fool and there is a never ending list of “stuff” to pick apart.
    But by the nature of this blog and web site we stick to pics and gads, that photo was just jam packed with all kinds of stuff on ol’ Annie’s form! Phew…she really gave much more than she ever realized but then maybe she DID realize…hummmm???
    She and her “handlers” will stoop to anything BECAUSE she is already irrelevant. She always was irrelevant. Someone or someone-S decided to MAKE her into “some THING”. I really don’t know exactly WHAT that SOME-THING is or was but it does distract us, doesn’t it!? She HAS/HAD to be outrageous because we never would have paid attention otherwise. She is no intellectual, scholar, humanitarian, beauty – so what else is there?
    I guess this was done for our greater “amusement”. It’s the Olde “keep the masses busy” or “befuddled”. You all know why this is done, don’t you?
    Don’t you see the “rise” of this “person” (and others) and her “witticisms” and GWB’s antics and the antics of the neo-cons, in general? It’s all a huge HOOT to keep us DISTRACTED!
    I mean it’s “serious” too but by golly didn’t the American public vote that dope and his merry dopey men and other dopey women back into office and doesn’t the American public buy A.C.’s books and get all crazed over that photo on Time’s cover, although, I have to admit, I have very much enjoyed reading all the comments.
    So I’ve been “amused” too for about 30 minutes or so and now I’m taking some more time to write about it myself.
    But she, Coulter, is just a dope, as well. Who cares how twiggy her whole self is? Who cares that she is a Gender Bender (when you really look at her) and a confused person? Who cares that she has no manners and has nothing productive to say? She’s MADE UP. Someone has given her a “PLACE” and we are feeding it.
    Weren’t the MONKEYS (the TV Show band) made up too? Years ago. After the rush of the success of the Beatles. Lot’s of things and people are MADE-UP. Most of Hollywood used to be made-up. Maybe it still is. There is genuine talent there too but it still doesn’t take away from the fact that situations, places, people and things are made-up lot’s of times and THIS TIME IT REALLY SHOWS.
    Hey…GWB MADE-UP the war in Iraq. So much easier to make-up an Ann Coulter.
    Ann Coulter is definitely a made-up person. That is probably her real name, I’m guessing though. And she may not have had any “plastic work” done but I’m guessing there too. Certainly she just opens her mouth and things just come out – unfettered by any sense of concern or inhibition to whom she may be addressing at any given moment.
    She, in a sense, is a FREE SPIRIT. Ann Coulter-FREE SPIRIT and ENLIGHTENED SOUL! Maybe she is a closet LIBERAL – see she is so FREE with her words and “knowledge” and lack of self censorship THAT, at any rate, is funny as hell to me. Most “pretend” people ARE. They are, TO ME, because they sound so STUPID.
    Now IF she were PRESIDENT, then I’d be concerned…as I am now with what we have.
    Stupidity is very funny when it’s powerless. I can’t see where she (AC) has any power unless WE give her some. If anyone wants to take her seriously, well that’s their right but what a waste of precious time.
    I’d rather be spending my time trying to figure out what the really powerful are trying to hide from us NOW by pitching us Dudettes like Coulter and trying to muck up the NEWS like static with the likes of her and O’Reilly and Hannity and others.
    It’s good to keep our eyes on them and call them on the truly BIG LIES but mostly I find them totally in HOOTSVILLE!
    But especially Coulter, she’s such a lightweight and such a facade…I just can’t get in a lather, I really can’t.
    Fox News, in general, is much more dangerous…I’d get on some of their pics!
    It must be because I am a 61 year old woman – a veteran of all the older “wars”. You know…the 60’s “wars” – of which I spent the early part in art school, then the tragedies of the murders of JFK, Martin and Bobby Kennedy. I never thought I get over them. I really haven’t. I know that’s OLD, OLD news to you younger bloggers but this neo-con crap started then, if not before.
    Then there was the very REAL Vietnam War…the horrors of that. The ENDLESSNESS of it – no one listening for such a long time. The dear, dear young men and women of my generation just being slaughtered for rich politicians gain. Then that was OVER and we to got rid of Tricky Dick…on and on it went.
    I feel like I’ve been “fighting” forever. And I’m wondering WHY there is NO PROTEST against this war now? Why no horror at a president who lies and lies and lies…
    Ann WHO? She’s NOTHING…
    Feminism – true blessed FEMINISM – grew by leaps and bounds in the 60′ & 70’s and women started to make some progress in a world that was not only terribly unfair but downright cruel. Women today – many of them – have NO IDEA what WE and the women before us HAD TO DO to get where we are now. Feminism is almost a dirty word. My own daughters don’t LIKE the word and ONE OF THEM reads Coulter’s books. That’s the biggest joke of all and my daughter is a smart young woman too!
    Oh well, we must pray for her sanity! :) Hope she will see the light! Hope she will see Coulter as a comical figure, hardly an historical figure on the magnitude of Susan B. Anthony, Florence Nightingale, Eleanor Roosevelt, Madame Curie, Mrs. Parks, Oprah Winfrey, Janis Joplin, Barbara Walters, Rachel Carson, Margaret Mead, Billie Holiday, Frieda Kahlo, Mary Cassatt, Sonja Henie, Gloria Steinem, Indira Gandhi, Liz Taylor – just to name a smattering of a very precious few.
    When you look at it that way – gads – can’t you all see what a HUGE HOOT this pathetic Coulter, with her mean spirited mouth IS?
    Onward to bigger and greater things…I predict one day – and it may be soon – a large gust of wind will overcome her as she tries to enter Fox TV Studio and off she will go…never to be seen or heard from again…her pointy shoes may be found stuck, pointy end, into Bill O’Reilly’s rear…

  • Artemis

    This blog is great – I’m recommending it to friends and colleagues in the arts/design communities I belong to (including my BFA students, who are getting a whole lot of knowledge out of it).
    This deconstruction of the Ann Coulter Time photo is the perfect example of why this blog is great. We get highly cogent analysis of the imagery of the day – what could be better? We need this analysis now more than ever because, while the writers, talkers, and news readers (talking heads) in the mainstream media are busy selling their souls and toeing the line, the art directors, designers, and photographers are routinely engaged in barely-masked trangressions like those shown in this blog.
    As for this photo itself… Sexuality is (still!) very confusing to Americans and some of the posts in this blog couldn’t be more illustative of that fact. Coulter’s sexual pose is the perfect cover in a country this conflicted about women’s bodies specifically and anything that smacks of actual sex in general. The posts here and those in other blogs I’ve read all try to figure out the sex angle – even to the absurd conclusion that she must be a lesbian (what does a possible penchant for sleeping with women have to do with the analysis of her violent, ugly posturing in print and in image?…).
    Her image is just that… a projected image; it’s a highly diverting mask and costume behind which the evil little troll that she/it actually is can say anything she/it wants. That evil little troll is staring out of those cold dead eyes right here in this photograph. See the twist of the mouth – it’s there, too.
    Which thought puts me in mind of a sci-fi short story I read once (no doubt based on Shelley’s Frankenstein) where a character is able to wear and then meld into the entire exoderm of a human he skinned. In this “persona” (of sorts) he can pass himself off as someone else. (They may have made that into an X-Files episode, too, now that I think of it… common theme).
    Coulter is indeed a creation in this way and the only way to expose her/it is to keep showing that evil troll inside the eyes and in her/its words. Thank goodness for photojournalists, photographers, designers, and art directors who are happy to use their power in the “age of the image” to expose an image-dependent evil troll.
    If this evil troll were working in the middle ages they’d have to put religious robes on it to get away with the content of the messages. In 21st Century America, all they have to do is put her/it in a short black dress and heels.
    I have no idea what that troll actually is under there – psychopath, sociopath, narcissistic personality disordered, borderline personality disordered, or supernatural being – but it is highly destructive and means us great harm. Deconstruction of its image is one of the only ways we have of mitigating its impact, so feh on anyone out there who thinks this is an overworked topic.

  • three hills

    she’s ugly, that’s what she is…

  • joseph palermo

    She’s a fascist and doesn’t even know it — words matter and her violent verbal attacks are just coarsening the discourse — what next? I can’t wait until she gets old and unattractive.

  • Chris


  • Yeah

    The shot has NOTHING to do with sexualizing her sorry ass. That is an impossible thing to do as everyone knows the brain is the largest sexual organ of the body and well she manages to neutralize that apparatus completely.
    No the shot correctly shows that in fact this particular specimen of the female population has NOTHING else to offer.
    For those complaining about these things, you’re wasting your time, she doesn’t believe in feminism to begin with.
    This was written for those of us who already know who this he-woman is. If you haven’t heard of Sir Coulter by now, go back and research before delving into advanced topics about advanced neocons.

  • bagher

    The Tom Petty video reference seems poignant.
    In this photo, Coulter looks like a pale, starved addict. I don’t see coldness in those eyes, only fear; she stays in her house, writing more out of boredom than amusement, leaving only to buy food (celery?) and toiletries–assuming a runner does not do this for her. She sees the light of day only for moments a week, peruses liberal sides to soothe her political addiction, and fears the very liberals she attacks, thus the fear in her eyes. She is terrified at this photo shoot, that some liberal may threaten her personal space, and she communicates this fear and intimidation to the camera.

  • hillwomp

    Ann is right: when a liberal complains, it is about side issues and not about the point at hand.
    This is an old standby for people bent on restricting the dialog about a complex topic with multiple angles issues down to a single, unrealistic oversimplicity.
    But it cuts both ways. To wit, you’re either for the adam’s apple blonde entertainer or you’re against her (him?).

  • Caribdude

    Someone mentioned above that she appears to be a little like Alice in Wonderland, with differences. My own thinking is that she is more like a character in Wonderland, not Alice though.

  • aflyonthewall

    you are all just jealous, Ann rocks and will be president some day. you can all move to canada………………..^o^

  • molly

    Methinks the fly has gotten into some pretty groovy poison…. enjoy the colors while you can, little fly!

  • ralph

    Yes. I see a wicked witch with those long, scrawny, pasty white legs and those witchy looking shoes. Just give her a pointy hat and a broom and she’s at home.
    To any “Conservative” who thinks she’s attractive-she looks like a tranny.

  • Ericka

    I’m about as liberal as you can get, and I strongly dislike Ms. Coulter, but if this were a man would you be taking apart the picture in terms of sexuality? I can answer for you: no, you wouldn’t.
    For some reason you see the need to infantilze her, talk about how her image makes her seem like a “little girl,” and, alternately, how she seems “seductive.” What does being a political pundit, no matter how offensive, have to do with her “femininity” or “guardedness?”
    I can’t tell you how angry I am that you see a woman with some sort of public voice(crazy, crazy voice as it is), and then you take her apart in terms of sexuality instead of ideas. Does no one take women seriously? Apparently you don’t.

  • Thomas McCay

    Part of the problem with Coulter is that she doen’s actually have any ideas. Just an opinionated little rich kid.
    Sex appeal, to her target audience is a big part of what she is about. It’s not like she actually knows anything abut what she is saying. She’s all shtick.
    Yes, in Canada, we laugh at her, her ignorance, and her flighty stage act. But we laugh at and at the seem time worry about the mindless, irrationality that has over taken American politics and sits not only in most of the talking head chairs, but in the seats of power in a country that appears to have gone mad.
    Coulter is one of the icons of that madness and as such, is going to take shots of every variety.
    The flighty coy rich girl sexuality is part of her shtick and it’s not surprising that it’s part of the criticism.
    Still, what she does and the role she plays is a lot more important than mere appearance. I’m sure that even Rush, the fat drug addict has his groupies, but his sex appeal or lack there of, is not an issue.
    She’s an ignorant but dangerous shit of a person, what ever she looks like.

  • weggo

    So this aging girl-child wrote a book called “How to talk to a liberal (if you must)” – I think that says it all as regards her xenophobia. Or whatever phobia she has. She’s a frightened child who will die alone because she hates the world she lives in. I’d be driven to pity if disgust hadn’t won over.
    Narrow minded bigot. Undoubtedly her own shadow sends her into hiding.

  • Antler

    Sticks cast shadows? Oh yeah, I throw sticks for the dogs. Somehow I doubt any dog would even think of touching this stick, especially not with their mouth.
    The portrait on the Time cover is as accurate as it is ugly. Her mind is ugly, her personality is ugly, her opinions are ugly, and yes, her body is also ugly as sin. Sin is as ugly as it gets. Or so I hear from those right-wingers who seem to have the market cornered when it comes to sin.

  • lps

    The clothes, the colors(cool,cool,cold) the expression, i think you have nailed the little girl thing except I think the little girl is 13 or 14 somehow verging on her own sexuality and really insecure about just what that is about. Am I “seductress” or am I “intellectual woman”, unsure if those things go together; damn sure she won’t let anyone know that there is any question in her adolecent mind.
    I am, as other have been, fascinated by the feet. My mind won’t get away from my 1st impression that they are the feet not of the”Wicked Witch of the West” as someone mentioned, but rather those of the “Wicked Witch of the East” – you know the one the house fell on. They were also the ones that once unmasked (when Dorothy got the Ruby Slippers) shriveled up. Probably the same thing that happens to venomous pundits when their 15 minutes of fame are up.

  • jefferson wilson

    Um….black pointy shoes….wicked witch, anyone?

  • Pearyb

    Canadian servicemen who served in Viet Nam generally settled in the U.S. after their service in Viet Nam. I can’t give numbers only evidential facts; but I wouldn’t want to confuse you with Facts as the the right’s opinion is shored up.

  • Critty

    “To wit, you’re either for the adam’s apple blonde entertainer or you’re against her (him?).”
    hillwomp (Aug 15, 2005 at 09:58 PM)
    Her or him indeed. Where did she/he get that adam’s apple, masculine face, and sky-high levels of aggression (testosterone martini anyone)?
    Strange Repulsive Lady, or whatever.

  • http://WWW.ONEGOODMOVE.ORG chuckles

    I cant stand this woman,…. er, … or is she? I think she had better go see her doctor again cause he forgot to remove”her” adams apple, and now I know how she has the “balls” to say what she says, without concience or respect for others. Yep, she’s a twig and berry tucker!.Just look at the buldge in the back of her dress! lol! Of course she doesnt want same sex marriage, why go through all those ops to become a woman, just for the senate to make same sex marriage legal! All that for nothing, she could have stayed a guy! haha , jokes on it!

  • Da Troot

    LOL……what a collection of sexual psycho babble and faggot prattle. You people have SERIOUS problems.

  • Lenny C.

    You left wingers never cease to amaze me. From every left winger I have ever tried to read or listen to, I hear the same crap. There is never a subsistence discussion of the issues or one’s ideas. It seems that all any of you can do is personally attack what ever conservative that crosses your path.
    I guess it comes down to the fact that you know your arguments won’t hold up to the facts, so you resort to name calling.
    Life will get better for all of you once you realize that there is no one to blame for your lot in life, except your self.
    And if you truly want to find America’s hatemongers and racists,you only have to look at todays Democratic party.
    Their once was a great man held in high esteem. In fact he was one of the greatest Democratic leaders this country ever had. His most memorable line was ” Ask not what your country can do for you. But what you can do for your country.” And another great President once said “Government is not the solution, it’s the problem.”
    So how’s that “Hope and Change” working out?
    God bless America. It’s time to remember the foundation of this Country, the U.S. Constitution. It’s not a living document. But the contract We the People gave our government.

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