Ann Coulter is a twit and a blowhard (note, I once appeared on the same radio show where she displayed and appalling ignorance of Canada and the Vietnam War). She lives to get press and have her infamy grow. That makes her money. Sadly, I am feeding that attention beast of hers today.
However, as someone who has taught at the University of Ottawa for nearly 10 years, and always spoken my mind, I found its handling of her appearance at the school atrocious and amateurish. Coulter played the U of O brilliantly. She is now cast as the victim of the left-wing establishment who tried to muzzle her often muddy musings. They should have let her speak. Now the university looks like it was repressing free speech and in fact they did. They created an unnecessary circus instead of simply letting the clown perform.
The University of Ottawa cannot undo what it has done. There are many good people at the institution who are probably as angry as I am today for the leadership of the school failing to allow all voices to be heard, no matter how divisive or dumbfounding their opinions may be. In the academy debate should not be feared - it should be encouraged.
Points of view sink or swim not just on the effectiveness of the performer but the saliency of the argument. Yet, Ann Coulter leaves Ottawa having thrashed the university with a masterful performance in the media, never opening her mouth on campus. Coulter may have been shut-out of a classroom but she clobbered her opponent on the public opinion scoreboard.
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