Coulter called NY Times coverage of ex-Bush aide's arrest "revenge of the queers," falsely named private secretary as "most highly placed black in the Clinton administration"

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Ann Coulter described The New York Times' coverage of the arrest of President Bush's former domestic policy adviser, Claude A. Allen, as the "revenge of the queers," a reference to a comment Allen made in 1984 describing a political opponent of his then-employer, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), as linked to "queers." Coulter also falsely claimed that "the most highly placed black in the Clinton administration was his secretary, Betty Currie"; in fact, six former Clinton cabinet officials are African-American.

In the March 15 publication of her nationally syndicated column, right wing pundit Ann Coulter described The New York Times' coverage of the arrest of President Bush's former domestic policy adviser, Claude A. Allen, as the "revenge of the queers," a reference to a comment Allen made in 1984 describing Senate Democratic hopeful James B. Hunt Jr.'s links to "queers." At that time, Allen was press spokesman for then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), whom Hunt was challenging. Coulter also falsely claimed that "the most highly placed black in the Clinton administration was his secretary, Betty Currie"; in fact, six former Clinton cabinet officials are African-American.

Allen was recently arrested and charged with theft for allegedly bilking Hecht's and Target stores though a refund fraud scheme: He would buy an item, then return later to the store to pick up an identical item off the shelf, purporting to return it using the receipt for the originally purchased item. In her column titled "Revenge of the Queers," Coulter criticized the Times for -- she claimed -- devoting nearly the same amount of coverage to Allen's March 9 arrest as was devoted to Allen's entire tenure in the Bush administration. Coulter claimed that "[d]uring the entire time" Allen "held high positions in the Bush administration, he was mentioned in only 11 articles in The New York Times," yet, she wrote, "since Allen was accused of stealing from department stores a few weeks ago, the Times has mentioned him in seven articles." In fact, the Times has mentioned Allen in only four news articles since his arrest, according to a Nexis search. In addition to the four articles, the Nexis search revealed that Allen's name also appeared in two Times news summaries and an editorial -- presumably the basis for Coulter's false claim that "the Times has mentioned him in seven articles."

In praising Allen's "talented, intelligent, magnificently conservative" career -- though she also noted that she only "first heard of" Allen "this week" -- Coulter highlighted his October 13, 1984, comments, in which Allen characterized Hunt, a former North Carolina governor, as having links to the "queers." As The Washington Post noted, Allen later explained that "he used the word not to denigrate anyone but as a synonym for 'odd and unusual.' " Claiming that Allen's arrest presented The New York Times with the opportunity to write "breathless, triumphant" stories about "a black Republican scofflaw," Coulter wrote, "[t]his week at the New York Times, it was revenge of the queers."

Contrary to Coulter's claim that "the most highly placed black in the Clinton administration" was Currie, his private secretary, six Clinton cabinet officials -- Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, and Secretaries of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown and Togo West -- are African American.

From Coulter's March 15 column:

During the entire time this talented, intelligent, magnificently conservative black man held high positions in the Bush administration, he was mentioned in only 11 articles in The New York Times. (A small part of Times Executive Editor Bill Keller dies every time the paper is forced to mention any black top officials in the Bush administration. It might remind people that the most highly placed black in the Clinton administration was his secretary, Betty Currie.)

[...]

Allen also worked for the sainted Jesse Helms, former senator from North Carolina. By now, the average liberal would need yoga and a Barbra Streisand album to calm down. After Helms' 1984 Democratic opponent, James B. Hunt Jr., ran a TV commercial saying Helms was backed by "right-wing nuts," Allen reacted by saying that if the Helms campaign was run by similar guttersnipes, they could say Hunt was backed by "queers."

This week at the New York Times, it was revenge of the queers. I'm sorry it took a tough period in Allen's life for the New York Times to feature him under a banner headline on its front page, but all in all, I'm glad to finally know about Claude Allen. I'm proud to have this great fellow sinner in our party.

Network/Outlet
Townhall.com
Person
Ann Coulter
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.