Atrios is surprised to learn (from a Richard Cohen column in The Washington Post) that Ann Coulter, in her new book, Treason, refers to the Japanese military in World War II as "savage Oriental beasts."
But is this really surprising? As I've pointed out, in three columns Coulter wrote last year about the Central Park jogger case she called the group of teenagers who were convicted (and whose convictions were ultimately thrown out for lack of evidence) "savages" five times, "animals" five times, and "beasts," "feral beasts," and "primitives" once each.
This is why it annoys me that The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and other first-rank publications ignore books by Coulter and her ilk. Quite a few Americans read this stuff, and it flies in under the cultural radar because the mainstream press thinks it's not worth the attention of the majority of Americans who won't read it and have no idea how repellent it is. (No, I don't think all the sales are Richard Mellon Scaife buybacks -- Scaife might game the system to get Regnery's anti-Jesse Jackson book onto the bestseller list for a week or two, but the sustained run on the charts of books such as Coulter's Slander and Bernard Goldberg's Bias can't be explained just by bulk orders.)
I'm glad Cohen mentioned Coulter's racist epithet -- more journalists and reviewers need to do the same. Moreover, in the case of this book, reviewers need to walk Americans through the real history of the Cold War and debunk Coulter's absurdly one-sided revisionist version. As I've said before, there will soon be quite a few Americans whose knowledge of the Cold War comes almost exclusively from Coulter's Treason. This is a bit like getting all one's knowledge of Judaism from Henry Ford, and we should worry about it.