NJ legislators call on bookstores to “ban” the sale of Ann Coulter’s Godless

I can’t stand Ann Coulter, but this response to her vileness is just plain stupid and plays right into her hands as “evidence” supporting the attacks Democrats that she makes in her book:


Hate-filled Attacks on NJ 9-11 Widows Has No Place on NJ Bookshelves

(TRENTON) – Assemblywomen Joan M. Quigley and Linda Stender today castigated political commentator Ann Coulter for vicious remarks made against four New Jersey September 11th widows in her new book “Godless: The Church of Liberalism.”… In response to these incendiary, hate-filled attacks on women who suffered a terrible personal tragedy four-and-a-half years ago and have selflessly advocated to improve national security in the intervening years, the Assemblywomen issued the following statement, denouncing Coulter’s attacks and asking New Jersey retailers to ban the sale of her book throughout the state:

“Ann Coulter’s criticism of 9-11 widows, whose only desire since the attacks have been to repair their shattered lives and protect other families from the horrors they have experienced, is motivated purely by
petty greed and hate.

“Her assertion that these women enjoyed watching their husbands die on national television is hateful, hurtful, and runs counter to every sentiment expressed since the September 11th tragedy.

“Coulter’s vicious characterizations and remarks are motivated by greed and her desire to sell books. By making these claims, she proves herself worse than those she is attempting to vilify – she is a leech trying to turn a profit off perverting the suffering of others.

“No one in New Jersey should buy this book and allow Ann Coulter to profit from her hate-mongering. We are asking New Jersey retailers statewide to stand with us and express their outrage by refusing to carry or sell copies of Coulter’s book. Her hate-filled attacks on our 9-11 widows has no place on New Jersey bookshelves.”

I note that these legislators, as far as I can tell, aren’t trying to pass an actual law to ban Coulter’s book. That, of course, would be clearly unconstitutional, and even these legislators must know this. However, they are using their position as legislators to put the apparent imprimature of the State of New Jersey on their desire to suppress speech that they find offensive, even though they know that the state cannot ban the book. Clearly, they’re making this empty gesture as a very transparent political ploy to pander to those in the state offended by Ann Coulter’s nonsense. Worse, they’re playing right into Coulter’s hands, as her allies represent this as though they are actually trying to ban her book.

If these legislators had merely expressed their outrage at Coulter and asked their constituents not to buy her book, I would have had no problem with them. But they are doing more than that. They are “asking” stores all over the state not to carry the book, a request that, if honored, would deny the book to people who might want to read it, for whatever reason, or, at the very least, make it more difficult to get. Even worse, they used the word “ban” in the title of their press release! As much as I detest Ann Coulter, she has a First Amendment right to spew her bile, and people have every right to read her blather, if that’s what gets them off. By all means, encourage people not to buy Coulter’s book, but don’t try to deny others the opportunity to buy it if they so desire. True, legislators have a First Amendment right to release such press releases. However, the way they exercised that right must have Coulter chuckling as she anticipates even higher sales of her book in New Jersey and using the example of these clueless legislators as one more “example” of liberals wanting to suppress speech that they don’t agree with.

Oh, I also wish that Joan M. Quigley and Linda Stender used better grammar. “Hate-filled Attacks on NJ 9-11 Widows Has No Place on NJ Bookshelves”? “…whose only desire since the attacks have been”? Doesn’t anybody proofread their press releases? I can imagine the fun Coulter will have with their little grammar slipups in their press release as well. There’s nothing like making your point with bad grammar.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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