Ann Coulter stands up to protestors by giving them exactly what they want—her absence

Ann Coulter stands up to protestors by giving them exactly what they want—her absence

(Image: Anthony Catalano) 

Despite the presence of dozens of protestors—or maybe hundreds or thousands or squillions depending on who’s reporting—and a tidal wave of spilled ink, everyone seemed to walk away from Ann Coulter’s cancelled speech last night completely happy. Protestors appeared pleased and powerful, having stopped what they considered hate speech through legal civil unrest. And conservatives, Coulter included, received publicity, martyr status, another reason to mock Canada, and grist for the talk-radio mill.

Protestor Seema Topan, a conflict studies major in Ottawa, told the Post: “We wanted to mobilize and make sure that’s clear on campus, that there’s a line between controversy and discrimination, and Ann Coulter has crossed it. Numerous times.” After Topan heard the speech was cancelled, she added, “I think that’s great. I think we accomplished what we were here to do, to ensure that we don’t have her discriminatory rhetoric on our campus.”

As for the conservatives, they now have a banner they can wave in the ensuing media coverage. After Coulter’s speaking companion Ezra Levant announced that it would be “physically dangerous for Ann Coulter to continue with this event,” he made it clear that it was an embarrassing day for the University of Ottawa, which “chose to silence her through threats and intimidation.” For her part, Coulter was able to spin this as an example of exactly what she came to Canada to denounce: lack of free speech. Quotes the Post:

Since I arrived in Canada, I’ve been denounced on the floor of Parliament—which, by the way, is on my bucket list—my posters have been banned, I’ve been accused of committing a crime in a speech that I have not yet given, and I was banned by the student council. So welcome to Canada!

She also managed to lob a few zingers at U of O. “The University of Ottawa is really easy to get into, isn’t it?” she said, reports the Post. The Washington Times, of course, went further with the quote: “I go to the best schools, Harvard, the Ivy League and those kids are too intellectually proud [to threaten speakers. At the University of Ottawa,] their IQ points-to-teeth ratio must be about 1-to-1.”

We haven’t seen this kind of mutually beneficial pseudo-controversy since Kanye interrupted Taylor Swift, though we do wonder where Coulter’s resolve was. After all, where would the world be if maligned conservatives paid any mind to popular discontent? More importantly, where would Coulter’s career be?

Free speech in Canada leaves much to be desired: Ann Coulter [National Post]
“Safety” fear shuts down Ann Coulter speech [Toronto Star]
Canadian protestors shut down Coulter [Washington Times]
Blogger who was there [Smal Dead Animals]