Skip to comments.L’Affaire Coulter
Posted on 10/03/2001 11:35:13 AM PDT by BamaG
Goodbye to all that.
By Jonah Goldberg, NRO Editor
October 3, 2001 2:20 p.m.
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."
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.
Paul Johnson has criticized Islam as an imperial religion. William F. Buckley himself has called, essentially, for a holy war. Rich Lowry wants to bring back the Shah, and I've written that Western Civilization has every right to wave the giant foam "We're Number 1!" finger as high as it wants.
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.
This line is particularly low, and IMHO a cheap shot. What's the matter Jonah, did Ann hurt your feelings?
As for Jonah Goldberg, to claim the article was not edited is amusing. Does this mean it was formatted and uploaded to the NR site by Ann Coulter without aid of someone at NR?
Yes, I would give all my writers the access codes and tools to upload to my site. /sarcasm off
I will continue to read both NR and Frontpage. Heck, liberal publications are talking about the battle, which means perhaps some people who only pay attention to mainstream lefty lib news will find out there is another side to the news.
Yeah, but can't we make an exception for Ann?
Worse than Goldberg is David Horowitz, who "hired" Coulter as soon as she got the boot from NRO. His explanation was that her "invade their countries, and convert them to Christianity" was "tongue-in-cheek." Yeah, right. At least Coulter has the, uh, cojones to say what she really believes -- as stupid as it is.
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