Hannity, Coulter falsely suggested Ariz. paper dropped Coulter's column to "keep[] conservatives out"

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

On the August 30 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Sean Hannity and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter suggested that anti-conservative bias was the impetus behind the Arizona Daily Star's August 28 decision to drop Coulter's syndicated column. According to Coulter, the Star, like MSNBC, has "had excellent success in keeping conservatives out." In fact, the Star made clear that Coulter was dropped because her "shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited" commentary was unpalatable to even its self-identified conservative readers. And rather than "keeping conservatives out," the Star replaced Coulter's column with that of another conservative: Fox News host Tony Snow -- a fact Coulter and Hannity neglected to mention.

Hannity began his interview with Coulter by selectively quoting Star editor and publisher David Stoeffler's August 28 column, in which he announced that the newspaper would no longer feature Coulter. Hannity said: "The Arizona Daily Star dropped Ann Coulter because, quote, the publisher says, 'many readers find her shrill, bombastic, and mean-spirited.' " Hannity omitted Stoeffler's next sentence, however, which read: "And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives." Media Matters for America has documented numerous examples of shrill, bombastic, and mean-spirited commentary in Coulter's columns.

Responding to the quote from Stoeffler, Coulter joked that he is "taking interviews to start being the programming director at MSNBC," which, according to Coulter, "has also had excellent success in keeping conservatives out." But far from "keeping conservatives out," the Star is replacing Coulter's column with Snow's. As Stoeffler noted in his column: "Taking her place on Saturdays will be Tony Snow, host of 'The Tony Snow Show,' syndicated nationally on Fox News Radio, and 'Weekend Live with Tony Snow' on Fox News Channel. He has worked at a number of daily newspapers and is a former speechwriter for former President George H.W. Bush." Neither Hannity nor Coulter mentioned this fact.

From the August 30 broadcast of ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show:

HANNITY: Ann Coulter is with us on her newsmaker line. If you live in Tuscon, Arizona, as WorldNetDaily reported, you won't be reading Ann Coulter in your local daily paper anymore. The Arizona Daily Star dropped Ann Coulter because, quote, the publisher says, "many readers find her shrill, bombastic, and mean-spirited." The person that wrote that is, what's his name, David Stoeffler? Ms. Coulter? Yeah, well we invited him to come on with you.

COULTER: I don't know. Is that who it is?

HANNITY: We've invited him to come on the program with you, and we were told he wouldn't be available today, tomorrow, this week, next week, or the week after. We didn't ask beyond that.

COULTER: He's taking interviews to start being the program director at MSNBC.

HANNITY: Well, yeah.

COULTER: Which has also had excellent success in keeping conservatives out.

Additionally, in claiming that MSNBC, like the Star, has "had excellent success in keeping conservatives out," Coulter presumably forgot about MSNBC's Scarborough Country, hosted by former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough; and The Situation with Tucker Carlson. Coulter was likely referring to her own dismissal from the cable news channel -- where she had been employed as a legal analyst -- in 1997.

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