The Asian Ann Coulter?

October 3, 2008


In the midst of the political punditry that we are drowning in, I continue to flail in the blog bog. During my daily stroll of news sites, I came across a blog headline that read, Sarah Rocks! on The simple, pubescent cheer seemed comedic to me because it held the entire zeitgeist of this Presidential race in those two words. Rather than doing the dirty work of independent research, people latch on to tag lines and catch phrases.


Well, the Sarch Rocks! headline drew me in and I wanted more. To my surprise, it was written by a Filipino American woman named Michelle Malkin. There are many who know of Malkin from her books, blogs and TV appearances but she only came onto my radar today and I couldn't help but talk about what significance she has in terms of our political climate, the current state of American media, and the conflict of being a neo-conservative person of color.


On her blog, she describes herself as “a mother, wife, blogger, conservative syndicated columnist, author, and Fox News Channel contributor.” I couldn’t believe my eyes as I perused her uber-conservative blog. How can a woman of color be so…well, backward?


Then more interesting points came up with Malkin. She wrote a book titled, In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror, which caused Hawaii-based publication, Midweek, to drop her syndicated column. Midweek editor, Don Chapman said that Malkin’s book justifies the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII so having her in Midweek is detrimental to the company.


Besides applauding racial profiling, Malkin uses her wit and pen to chastise companies such as Dunkin Donuts. I remember hearing about Dunkin Donuts dropping one of their commercials because spokesperson Rachel Ray wore a scarf that resembled a keffiyeh -- a scarf traditionally used by Arab men -- which caused some Americans to drop their beloved jelly-filled fried goodness because it was tainted with terror. Malkin was the first to write about the commercial and in her entry she accused Ray of wearing hate couture. A fashion term that is up there with derelict a la Mugatu from Zoolander. Ludicrous? Yes. Hilarious? Why, of course.


I mean I understand that conservatives and liberals alike have to be almost cartoon-like when it comes to forming and expressing their opinions in order to make audible sounds in the white noise of the blogsphere. But Malkin is an experienced journalist who had syndicated columns in prestigious publications such as The Los Angeles Times. There’s no reason for her to be this outrageous and inflammatory. She’s a columnist so she’s paid to write with a slant but her slant has become a bridge to nowhere...nowhere enlightening, that is.


There are many other Malkin gems that make me so confused. All of which prompts me to ask the following: How does a child of immigrants become a staunch supporter of anti-immigration legislation? How does a brown person fully wrap herself in Anglo ideals, like the radicalization of non-white cultures? How does a Filipino American proudly let go of her roots and ignore the complexity of her identity?  






You did not know about Malkin !!!Thank God you do now.To whoever said, "let's just ignore her" - do not. Address all those who spread their hatred and bile before it takes hold with a majority.
Brad,I've read most of Coulters books and "Whats sogreat about America". This site seems to agree Malkin has the same attitude. Also I mean't'beautiful mind' but I guess we agree they aregorgeous women.Charles,You seem to have a serious problem with Malkin. You know, the kind of hate you are accusingher of. I don't want anything to do with Nazis, buthow did you know I was a white guy?
Michelle Malking is a self hating filipino, who cursed the day she wasn't born a blonde hair blue eyed aryan. She wants to be Ann Coulter.What she does is just have a bunch of white mean who post on neo-nazi sites, post on her blogs and keep telling her how beautiful she is, lol. The same people go back on Neo-Nazi forums, and call her a nigger-gook hybrid. But she thinks they think highly of her, and so far she's just in ecstasy as to how many white men give her false accolades
you folks on this site spew alot of hate towardsa couple of beautiful human beings, Ann and Michelle. Why are the libs so intolerant?
Asiana,Have you heard of Dinesh D'Souza? He's an even worse conservative racist douche bag.Both Malkin and D'Souza come from a long line of non-white people who sell out to say horrible things about people of color for a fast buck and/or greater social mobility. Think of Clarence Thomas.
i have avoided blogging about Michelle Malkin because i don't think she deserves the attention. it seems that a big part of what she does is to brand herself as this Asian American conservative and to make a career off of it. a part of me wishes that if i just ignore her, she will go away.that said, i heard of her post-college (which for me was a while ago) and only after she came out with her book justifying Japanese American internment. i'm sure a part of the reason she's getting published is because it's like, "Wow, and Asian person who thinks Japanese internment was justified!" etc.since then i have heard her discussed here and there but generally, i ignore her. however, i'm living in a bubble here in the Bay Area, where i don't have to read her ish and i don't run across people who do.
My two cents on some of the comments:I think everyone has a right to standards they feel a magazine, newspaper, or blog (whatever it is) should have, and bloggers and what they blog about is fair game.This wasn't a post though that read "Recent News You Should Know About" with information that was two years-old and that wasn't factual. It was a post where a blogger clearly states that while many others have heard of this person, they haven't, and are then blogging about what they learned, and their opinions on this person from a personal POV, letting us in on their process of knowledge acquisition as an AA.At the same time I don't think it's quite fair to characterize all of what Hyphen does as a media organization (in print, online, events, supporting other organizations, etc.) and the numerous people that are involved with it by one post some may think falls short - in some ways questioning its credibility because one person didn't know about a topic that some feel should be standard knowledge (where full disclosure was made that others already knew about this specific person). I think that reaches pretty far, and while I could have that wrong, I think some of the comments have went in that direction.All that being said, as I'm not completely biased (because I do blog here) maybe this wouldn't have been such an issue if the title were something like "Things I've Learned About Michelle Malkin" versus the current title which in some ways can evoke a feeling of "This is something new you should know" - and to me at least, that's a more valid argument on this piece.On a related topic, I tend to think blogs are a hybrid of op-ed, personal reflection, and just getting out time-sensitive news where they all sometimes intersect, blurring the lines more so than in traditional media which can be tough for bloggers or the people in charge of editing them in regard to separating op-ed, personal reflection/narratives, and strict news (if need be). I look at something like Racialicious that sometimes comes out with a post on a DVD that's years old but yet they still talk about it. Time sensitive? Not always. Do people already now about it? Yes. Still relevant though in regard to the blogger's personal reflection on race and racism? I think so.Just my thoughts.
oh wow, and why do we ( as in ppl of color) have to be the progressive ones?Because of the racism in this country ppl dont know about her, only Ann Coulter gets any real attention. We are hopped up on Ann Coulter because, well, people of color cant be conservatives! How preposterous! We all think alike and we are all progressive!While I don't agree with her, I appreciate the diffrence and knowing there is always someone to check me when I get too far left. Being able to prove my point of view, knowing my point of view isn't just the cool thing to hear nowadays.
Hi SG et al.Thanks for your very valid reproofs, and thoughtful reminders that our reading audience is both unusually educated and unusually informed. Thanks also for your understanding as we strive to meet more consistently the standards you've come to expect of us.Love,Hyphen blog editors
I don't think it's elitist to expect a blogger for a national asian american culture mag to have already heard of Malkin. Certainly not everyone has heard of her, but a writer for a magazine like Hyphen should have, even if a volunteer writer."How does a child of immigrants become a staunch supporter of anti-immigration legislation?"Who knows? Maybe she hates herself. Maybe she wants to be white. Maybe she's just trying to get rich by being as inflammatory as possible. Maybe she need a lot of attention.Let's just ignore her.
Anonymous expressed better what I meant to say. My comment wasn't meant as "hater-aid". It was a legitimate question and meant as criticism, yes, but not as any kind of "hating on" anyone--except Malkin.If someone is going to write about politics for his or her organization's official blog, is it too much to expect that this person will have a basic knowledge of current mainstream political discourse as well as the political blogosphere and its prominent figures? Especially the Asian American ones? I don't watch FOX News either, but awareness that Malkin's out there has been sticking in my craw for years, and I know plenty of other non-FOX-News-watching Asian Americans who are painfully aware of her in this same way--mostly for her stance, now years old, about Japanese Internment during WWII.Not knowing who Malkin is makes the magazine look like an outlet for insulated college students wrapped up in identity politics but unaware of how they play out beyond the borders of academia. I realize that the magazine is a labor of love that runs on volunteers, many of whom may, indeed, be college students. And I think you guys do a pretty amazing job. I'm sorry if I sounded harsh earlier, but why put out a beautiful, glossy product if you don't try to maintain the professional standards that such an ambitious endeavor deserves? Wouldn't it have been usual, when writing about a topic that does not play to one's expertise, to run the post by someone who regularly writes or edits political content? Is it automatically "hating" for readers to chime in when you disappoint? Are we not allowed to offer criticism?As for everything else, yes, yes, yes. I agree on all of your points about Malkin. And in general, your team does a great job blogging about Asian American events and issues, although they are heavily tilted (for completely understandable reasons) toward West Coast AA communities, events, and viewpoints. But I check in regularly anyway, since I appreciate that someone is out there doing something on this scale of ambition.
As someone that avoids Faux news, I hadnt heard of her either till a few months ago. I was baffled too. Have you heard of LaShawn Barber? She's the black Coulter/Malkin. Her rhetoric is absolutely terrifying.
"ugly" and "fat." some people get old, but never learn more words nor develop more complex ways of thinking than they had in 3rd grade.
i read somewhere someone compared her in this the asian a.c...she said she's not asian but american...well if that is the case she discredits her own book that defends the internment during wwii...japanese are americans too ms. the research...
uh. maybe she changed her name to MALKIN because she got married. everyone needs to chillax. of course Malkin is still a shrill hatemongering harpy. but you know, we already knew that.
OMG, Michelle is AWESOME! Smart and pretty.Why did God invent FEMINISM?To keep the ugly fat chicks feel they have a purpose in the world.
Check out Malkin's book from the library. I did for a paper once (NEVER BUY IT, ASIANS!!) and gained exactly two important insights:-she hates immigrants-she calls herself Malkin but her real name in the Library of Congress listing comes from her Filipino immigrant parents: Maglalang. What's she ashamed of??She got big press a few years back for writing a book defending Japanese-American internment. She needs to get her ass kicked for that one.On the topic of off-the-chain API right-wing women (and I'm not talking about Wendy Gramm), wassup with McCain Bloggette's Korean-American sidekick, "Shannon"? Who's calling HER out?
Asiana asked:"How does a child of immigrants become a staunch supporter of anti-immigration legislation? How does a brown person fully wrap herself in Anglo ideals, like the radicalization of non-white cultures? How does a Filipino-American proudly drop her hyphen and ignore the complexity of her identity?"Simple. Michelle Malkin wants to be famous, she wants to be on TV, and she wants to make a lot of money. At this point, the best thing to do is ignore her.
Whats with all the hating??? At least Hyphen is trying to promote honest discussion. Do you see the mainstream talking about this? Noooooo! We don't need this self hating stuff and divisive dialogue. Yes, Hyphen does happen to be only national Asian American news magazine and yes they have talked about Malkin before.But give these guys a break, do you know that they are all volunteers? What do you do in your spare time? do you help out anywhere? Sgpark,Anonymous What was the last thing you did to help the API community in your free time? When was the last time you financially supported API orgs? Or are you just all talk?
Anonymous: I wish I had a cool pseudonym like maybe having no name at all. Ya saying something without using any name is much more edgier. But unfortunately, my dad named me Asiana so I'm afraid to say that my fake sounding name is actually my name and I use it when ever there's a by line.Anonymous and Sgpark:Yes, this is the first time I learned about Malkin. Sorry for what you two deem as me being ill-informed and ignorant. I'm not well-versed in national punditry. I don't watch Fox News so I never saw Malkin's guest appearances. I haven't seen or read her anywhere before this post so I'm already in your idiot box, I assume. I posted this because she wrote something I was interested in and when learning more about her I began to be overwhelmed with questions.But let's try to get past those common comments filled with nonconstructive hater-aid. If you already heard of her then why not answer the questions I pose at the end of my posts, which I feel are always pertinent to the POV of Hyphen.She may not be news but a discussion about the questions raised from her work, ethnicity and gender can still be fodder for the brain, right?Or maybe my post is complete rubbish, either way it's out there and someone has already accused me of using a fake name. Yay!
hey hey... everyone starts somewhere and we should be really careful about being "elitest" when it comes to asian american issues and. i mean, i am sure there are a ton of people out there that don't know anything about wen ho lee. and there may be plenty of readers out there that don't know anything about malkin. plus i think asiana brings up a good point in her last paragraph. personally, i still don't understand people like malkin and we might as well use this discussion to not flame the blogger, but to discuss the real issue at hand.
A better question might be: How does someone who blogs for the only national Asian American news magazine NOT already know about Michelle Malkin?She's not news, Asiana. We're all well aware of her, already. She's appeared in this blog before. Where have you been? Is this why you're posting under a pseudonym?
I agree that Malkin is a beast, but she has been a high-profile neocon pundit, writer, and blogger for a long time now. She's pretty much as well known as Coulter. How is it possible that you found out about her existence today? Is it unreasonable of me to expect that Hyphen contributors have a basic awareness of prominent figures who shape political discourse in this country? I'm not quite sure whether the contributors on this blog are also staff, but the assumption of most readers would be that they would be in some way strongly affiliated with the magazine, and this lapse in common knowledge is a bit disturbing to me.
Well, she is pretty much an idiot, like Ann Coulter. I find if really interesting that Asian, Black, Latino, persons are still running behind a American/White male run system. I also find it interesting that white American women, who have been the subject of hate/sexism from white American men, mostly rich white American men, are still trying to kiss their butts and be apart of a system that in truth, does not like them. However, I know this is America and alot of our thinking is controlled.
I'm sorry to say that I actually like Ann Coulter more than Michelle Malkin.Malkin presents herself as a journalist for the Conservative movement, but whenever there's a pushback against her writings she becomes personally upset and jabs back . Coulter on the other hand is smarter and far smoother. She couldn’t care less about any pushback -- she wants the WANTS. That’s why it’s rarer to see Coulter engage in defensive, rage-filled rambling. Malkin even hates the fact that Coulter says "improper" remarks at CPAC, so I guess they're at odds about their own personal/political ideologies.Of course, both of what they say are abhorrent, but at the end of the day Ann Coulter can control herself and her writings much better than Michelle Malkin.
hey guys, just checking in for the first time since i posted my comment above. i'm the first anonymous who posted a criticism of asiana. my apologies for the anonymous posting; i've commented on this blog so frequently in the past that the comment form used to be automatically filled in, so i guess i just assumed it would be filled in this time.thing is, i haven't been commenting on hyphen's blog for a while now (which is why the form got cleared and my comment posted under anonymous). there's a specific reason i haven't commented here in a while: the blog posts have gotten boring. you guys tend to mostly blog events, which don't really inspire commentary. so i was glad that somebody finally posted an opinion piece, but then doubly horrified at the quality of the piece.i recognize that you all are working for free. i know this not because talk talk talk said so above but because i co-founded both the magazine and the blog and wrote and edited for hyphen for free myself. and yet, despite working part time and going to school full time, i managed to keep myself informed about what was going on in asian america, as well as filling in a lot of blanks about asian american history.i did all of this because i realized that if i wanted my words and work on asian america to lead thought and inspire discussion, i needed to be BETTER informed about what went on in my community, and what people were thinking and saying about it, than my readers. and my readers tend to be pretty damned well informed.i totally agree with everything sgpark said in both comments above (by the way, i posted my comment *before* sgpark's comment appeared, so my comment was responding to asiana's post only.) hyphen was started by people in their mid twenties to early thirties who had been working in the asian american community for several years. we had a learning curve on how to make a magazine work, but we didn't have to do asian american studies 101.younger people will have to be coming into the magazine and taking it over, steadily, if the magazine is to continue. i don't have a problem if these folks use their work at hyphen magazine to inspire and require them to learn about asian america. but that learning has to happen OFF the page and screen. you need to do the learning FIRST and THEN bring your--now informed--thoughts to the public.asiana, you need to keep up and you need to fill in the background gaps. asian americans have been actively discussing michelle malkin for years now. this is one of the things you *just know* if you've been involved with your community and reading books and articles and other people's blogs. it might even be helpful to read the back posts of your own blog (this one). hyphen's blog is full of recent information and discussions, going back four years now.and finally, asiana, i apologize for assuming your name was a pseudonym. there's another blogger here (who i realize also blogs at slanteye for the round eye) called "slanty-slant," which is obviously a pseudonym, so when i saw your name, i simply assumed it was too. don't get me wrong, it's a very cool name. it's just also a name that someone might reasonably take as a username for a blog like this.
Unlike most of you Malkin does not revel in her minority status. She views herself as American. It appears most of you would rather she view herself as something else. That sounds anti-American to me. Guess most of you are Democrats. Self-loathing is in your DNA. Collectively, you come off as Ee-yore personified (from the Winnie the Pooh series - unfortunately I have to reference the metaphor because some seem uninformed on the most basic name associations). I disagree with Malkin on the immigration issue. But I agree with her on other issues. Her views on Japanese internment are her own. Most of you think otherwise - believing simply that "it's not right." With no clue about the political climate, war conditions and fear that dominated discourse during that era. War is hell. Tough, often wrong, decisions are made. Civil liberties are trampled upon. All of you must think Abraham Lincoln was the worst president in history. He shredded civil liberties during the Civil War. All in an effort to save the Union. But I get it - you jackasses would rather blog (read bitch) all day than make America a better place. And i know why - it's easy to bitch. Much tougher to do. And you don't have the cojones to do.