Monday, April 16, 2007

That's Entertainment: Coulter in Livingston County

Is Coulter being brought in as a lecturer or an entertainer by the Livingston Economic Club and Cleary University? And does this distinction matter?

Here is a troubling hybrid: verbal abuse and propaganda merge with news and entertainment. And there you have the Imus problem, the Coulter problem, the O'Reilly problem, and more.

This communication approach presumes a single correct point of view for any issue and is utterly repulsed by dialogue. It has no use for other view points than to be foils for its own aggrandizement. If it really is entertainment, it aims to satisfy our demons not our better angels. Its central deceit is to portray hateful words and attitudes as playful articulation of beliefs held by a reasonable, but silent majority. (Glenn Beck does us the courtesy of self identifying,"Hey! I'm just saying what we're all thinking.") You all know who you are, apparently. And a number of you have already bought tickets for the Coulter event.

So, Coulter seems still to be commercially viable and politically useful.

From the Cleary website: "We at Cleary University have a strong past and proud tradition as a specialized business university and we remain committed to the enhancement of society through the many successes of our alumni and their employers."

Maybe for Cleary bringing in Coulter is an object lesson titled "Profitable Controversy: Hateful Sound Bite as Unforgettable Hook."