Yesterday I saw this video of Elizabeth Edwards' call to Hardball guest Ann Coulter, which revealed Coulter's inherent, vapid nastiness in all its glory. Chris Matthews kept Coulter's feet to the fire, but the bigger question is why he had her on to begin with, and why anyone should consider his show to be even remotely serious about politics as a result.
I do think the episode is revealing for what it illustrates about the state of partisan politics and the media today. Here's my big-picture take on the exchange:
Democrat: I think we should focus on substantive issues instead of personal attacks.Next time Chris, instead of asking Coulter questions about the adjectives she uses, invite a real guest on instead. Think of it as donating to charity instead of sending flowers.
Republican: What personal attacks? Just because your husband dines on the raw corpses of dead babies and molests little boys doesn't mean I think he's a bad guy.
Democrat: This is the kind of negativity that drives people out of the political process.
Republican: YOU WANT TO CENSOR ME!!!
Democrat: Um, are your pens all filled with bile instead of ink?
Republican: YOU CAN'T CENSOR ME! YOU'RE JUST A WOMAN! YOU HUSBAND GIVES SPEECHES!
Media Guy (doing an excellent impression of a concerned citizen): Why exactly did you say that "The Democratic party works constantly to destroy America, and anyone who votes for a Democrat should be dragged from his house under cover of darkness, hung in the town square, and stoned to death by a grateful community of patriots"?
Republican: Could you read me the sentence?