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The success of Ann Coulter demonstrates at least two major problems in our culture.

One, outrageous talk or behavior draws the attention of the brain-dead masses, and the Jay Lenos and Fox News-es of the world know this and so they give people like Coulter a spotlight -- to attract said masses.

Two, the majority of Americans form their impressions of people and politics on scant and/or superficial and/or biased sources of information (TV and cable, for example). They either don’t pay close enough attention, or they pay attention to the wrong “news” sources – i.e. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc. So, they will always get a distorted picture of a given personality or situation. For example, they will never see the night-and-day difference between Jack Murtha and Ann Coulter. They will never see how Murtha has devoted himself to public service nearly his entire life, is serious and sober-minded, has real integrity, is not out promoting himself or some book, and -- something that comes across unmistakably clear in that first press conference he held about redeploying U.S. troops in Iraq -- often visits wounded Iraqi vets in the hospital, an experience that has obviously had a profound effect on him and appears to be one of the main motivating factors behind his speaking out about Iraq. Regarding Coulter, they will never see how unbelievably dishonest and misleading she is (Bob Somerby and Al Franken have done a good job of documenting this) and how opposite in every way she is to Jack Murtha with regard to public service, purity of motives, integrity, experience, etc. Instead, they'll get a vague notion of some "far left" cut-and-run extremist versus his right-wing equivalent. It’s all too depressing.

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