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• Evil Or Just Stupid?
• Couric, Coulter, Context
• The Misunderstood Liberal
• With Friends Like These...
• Coulter Gets Fired
• Donahue Interview
• Gene Lyons Sums Her Up
• Coulter fascist?
• Old Larry King transcript
Lies, Damned Lies, And Coulter Columns
• 12/18: Democrats Lott
• 12/4: Wilding Part 3
• 11/27: Beauty Pageants
• 11/20: Gray lady
• 11/13: Democrat giving
• 11/6: Voter Intimidation
• 10/30: Muslim Makeover
• 10/23: Wilding Part 2
• 10/16: Wilding
• 10/09: Hot Air on Iraq
• 10/02: Crooked Dems
• 9/25: We hate them
• 9/18: Arabs in a bar
• 9/11: Adolf
• 9/04: Murder for Prophet
• 8/28: Battered Republicans
• 8/21: Gay Marines
• 8/14: Make Liberals...Rare
• 8/07: Nuclear Annihilation
• 7/31: Working families
• 7/24: About Money
• 7/17: Call her Mrs.
• 7/10: More slander
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• T-Shirt Concept, v 1.0
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Coulter "Fired" from National Review
My apologies to National Review (conservatives though they are) for not using a direct link. I just couldn't stand the nasty blinking graphics on the page. But here's the original if you want to go there. And here is Jonah Goldberg's letter in its lovely entirety. (I feel this strange liking for a conservative--here, finally, is an issue where conservatives and liberals can agree: Coulter is a problem child.)
The background story here is as follows. Coulter wrote a column, quoted by many, wherein she called upon America to invade Muslim countries and convert them to Christianity. Then she wrote another column--whose original words seem in dispute--which meandered upon the same lines. National Review Online ran the first column, but did not publish the second. At which point NRO and Coulter parted ways. She loudly claimed censorship; they said editorial judgement. Here's the editor's letter explaining his side. Not badly, I think.
October 3, 2001
As many of you may have heard, we've dropped Ann Coulter's column from NRO [National Reviw Online]. This has sparked varying amounts of protest, support, and, most of all, curiosity from our readers. We owe you an explanation.
Of course, we would explain our decision to Ann, but the reality is that she's called the shots from the get-go. It was Ann who decided to sever her ties with National Review -- not the other way around.
This is what happened.
In the wake of her invade-and-Christianize-them column, Coulter wrote a long, rambling rant of a response to her critics that was barely coherent. She's a smart and funny person, but this was Ann at her worst -- emoting rather than thinking, and badly needing editing and some self-censorship, or what is commonly referred to as "judgment."
Running this "piece" would have been an embarrassment to Ann, and to NRO. Rich Lowry pointed this out to her in an e-mail (I was returning from my honeymoon). She wrote back an angry response, defending herself from the charge that she hates Muslims and wants to convert them at gunpoint.
But this was not the point. It was NEVER the point. The problem with Ann's first column was its sloppiness of expression and thought. Ann didn't fail as a person -- as all her critics on the Left say -- she failed as WRITER, which for us is almost as bad.
Rich wrote her another e-mail, engaging her on this point, and asking her -- in more diplomatic terms -- to approach the whole controversy not as a PR-hungry, free-swinging pundit on Geraldo, but as a careful writer.
Instead, she apparently proceeded to run around town bad-mouthing NR and its employees. Then she showed up on TV and, in an attempt to ingratiate herself with fellow martyr Bill Maher, said we were "censoring" her.
By this point, it was clear she wasn't interested in continuing the relationship.
What publication on earth would continue a relationship with a writer who would refuse to discuss her work with her editors? What publication would continue to publish a writer who attacked it on TV? What publication would continue to publish a writer who lied about it -- on TV and to a Washington Post reporter?
And, finally, what CONSERVATIVE publication would continue to publish a writer who doesn't even know the meaning of the word "censorship"?
So let me be clear: We did not "fire" Ann for what she wrote, even though it was poorly written and sloppy. We ended the relationship because she behaved with a total lack of professionalism, friendship, and loyalty.
What's Ann's take on all this? Well, she told the Washington Post yesterday that she loves it, because she's gotten lots of great publicity. That pretty much sums Ann up.
On the Sean Hannity show yesterday, however, apparently embarrassed by her admission to the Post, she actually tried to deny that she has sought publicity in this whole matter. Well, then, Ann, why did you complain of being "censored" on national TV? Why did you brag to the Post about all the PR?
Listening to Ann legalistically dodge around trying to explain all this would have made Bill Clinton blush.
Ann also told the Post that we only paid her $5 a month for her work (would that it were so!). Either this is a deliberate lie, or Ann needs to call her accountant because someone's been skimming her checks.
Many readers have asked, why did we run the original column in which Ann declared we should "invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity" -- if we didn't like it.
Well, to be honest, it was a mistake. It stemmed from the fact this was a supposedly pre-edited syndicated column, coming in when NRO was operating with one phone line and in general chaos. Our bad.
Now as far as Ann's charges go, I must say it's hard to defend against them, because they either constitute publicity-minded name-calling, like calling us "girly-boys" -- or they're so much absurd bombast.
To be honest, even though there's a lot more that could be said, I have no desire to get any deeper into this because, like with a Fellini movie, the deeper you get, the less sense Ann makes.
We're delighted that FrontPageMagazine has, with remarkable bravery, picked up Ann's column, presumably for only $5 a month. They'll be getting more than what they're paying for, I'm sure.
-- Jonah Goldberg
Carl Skutsch. All rights reserved.
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