The PJ Tatler

Ann Coulter's Parody of Hashtag Activism Gets Under Progressives' Skin


Leave it to Ann Coulter to get the Left’s panties in a wad over the latest trendy expression of concern: hashtag activism. The pundit tweeted her parody of the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag craze, in which several high-profile figures, including First Lady Michelle Obama, have released photographs of themselves with stern visages holding up signs bearing the hashtag. Coulter’s photo features a pouty face and the hashtag #BringBackOurCountry.

Needless to say, the Left is up in arms over Coulter’s satire. From Talking Points Memo:

Coulter posted a photo to Twitter with her own iteration of the hashtag, in an apparent attempt to ridicule some of the high profile people, including First Lady Michelle Obama, who took part in the original campaign.

She got more than 1,000 retweets, including by Red State’s Erick Erickson. Conservative radio host Thomas Purcell also tweeted a photo of himself holding up Coulter’s hashtag.

However, her attempt backfired with a slew of people tweeting images of Coulter holding the same sign but photoshopped with messages that turned the tables on her. Gawker curated many of them, including some of the crudest.

Naturally, the Left has missed the point. No one doubts the sincerity of those who are concerned, and nobody is making light of the plight of these poor girls. Instead, Coulter and others like Rush Limbaugh have aimed their daggers at the emptiness of such awareness-raising gestures. No one at Boko Haram is saying, “Look at their photos. They must really be serious. We should let the girls go.”

Over at Taki’s, our very own Kathy Shaidle said it memorably:

Ah, details, schmetails. Within living memory, Westerners at least paid lip service to the ideal that “justice must be seen to be done.” Today, ain’t nobody got time for that. What “must be seen to be done” instead is trendy, risk-free, bumper sticker level moral preening that burns as few calories as possible.

In a society that valorizes conspicuous exertion—by the steroid-powered professional athlete, the 80-hour-a-week attorney, the Christmas morning jogger—it’s revealing that this is what passes for compassionate, socially aware “activism.”

For people obsessed with “raising awareness,” it sure takes leftists a long time to get outraged about stuff that actually matters.

Coulter’s parody photo distills the real behavior of the Left: sincere intentions trump decisive action. Like the red AIDS ribbons of yesteryear, a photo with a hashtag and the right facial expression shows that you care, regardless of how little you actually do –– and that’s all that matters. We’re all aware of the terrible plight of these girls. The real question is: what are we going to do about it?

Updated: Here are two more Michelle Obama hashtag parodies, courtesy of Lisa De Pasquale.

Updated again: And here are some more, courtesy of Ann herself.