Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ann Coulter: Too High Above Cayuga’s Waters

Generally I enjoy watching and reading Ann Coulter, the conservative author and commentator. She’s often quite funny and I do relish that she gets under the skin of liberals with ease.

On the other hand, she occasionally drifts into the outrageous just, it seems to me, to get attention. Ann also seems to be too impressed with her own considerable intelligence and suffers under the illusion that she is just as attractive as the “info-babes” on Fox News. Sorry Ann.

When Coulter decides to go after someone she becomes caustic and very, very personal. She displays outright distain for Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of the New York Times.

Of course, Sulzberger, whom she calls by his nickname “Pinch”, inherited his position at a young age, the NYT having been controlled by his father and grandfather for the past 150 years.
In recent years under the leadership of Pinch the Times has lost its position as the “paper of record” by becoming a left wing rag.

Along with credibility the Times has lost readership and boatloads of money. Bankruptcy has only been avoided by the $250,000,000 infusion of cash by Carlos Slim, a Mexican billionaire.

OK, Pinch is a lousy businessman and a schmuck. But, Coulter’s attacks have been very personal, calling him stupid for failing to get accepted to Harvard and getting into Columbia only because of family connections. Out of bounds? Yeah, I think.

Coulter has also focused her sharp tongue on Keith Olbermann, the host of MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”. Before I get going here, let’s be clear. I think KO is a dip shit and an extreme liberal bomb thrower. I believe MSNBC has sold its soul to the Democrats and should be ashamed to call themselves a news organization. Having said that, I think Coulter’s attacks on Olbermann are too personal and over the top.

Chief among Coulter’s charges is that Keith’s frequent references to his Ivy League education at Cornell ring hollow because he went to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell. She calls the college a “bovine management school” and claims the only people who can legitimately call themselves “Cornellians” attended the College of Arts and Sciences. This likely shocked those folks who attended the Engineering, Architecture and other fine colleges that comprise Cornell.

It certainly came as a surprise to me, a graduate of said College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 1964. While yes, the CALS does offer courses in agriculture and related fields, it also offers majors in pre-med, pre-vet and dozens of other majors including: biology, sociology, economics and engineering. I got my own degree in Marine Biology. Olbermann got his degree in Communication Arts.

Ann also ignored that students in the CALS School take many of their courses in the “Arts School” where they compete head-to-head with the “real Cornell students”. Note to Ann: We often kicked their Asses, thank you.

The big advantage for students who are residents of New York State is that you can attend the CALS and other state supported colleges at Cornell and pay 1/3 of the nearly $30,000 per year tuition for the same education. For guys like me who were self-financing a college education, this is an opportunity not to be ignored.

Coulter also conveniently overlooks that acceptance to Ivy League schools may not always be based on pure academic achievement alone. Legacy students, those whose parents attended the university are given special consideration, as are minorities and athletes. The Ivies pride themselves in not giving athletic scholarships but let’s get real. If a great high school running back with less than stellar grades applies… Well, adjustments and exceptions can be made. When I was there nearly our entire hockey team was comprised of Canadians. Great students? Maybe.

Ms. Coulter’s attacks on Olbermann are justified on the basis of his view, opinions and some of the asinine things he says. But, denigrating everyone who attended the other fine colleges at Cornell except the “Artsies” smacks of snobbery and the very elitism she so often disparages.

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