After commissioning right-wing pundit Ann Coulter to provide conservative commentary from the Democratic National Convention in Boston, on July 25, USA Today apparently reversed course and rejected her column on the “Spawn of Satan convention.”
The Drudge Report reported the rejection on July 27. Human Events Online, a right-wing online news site that carries Coulter's columns, published the rejected column and included the comments of USA Today's editors. Human Events Online also published an article reporting the newspaper's reasons for spiking the column. USA Today executive editor Brian Gallagher cited “editorial differences” in making its decision.
To Media Matters for America, the only surprise is USA Today's own apparent surprise to discover that Coulter's brand of right-wing hate speech would be unsuitable for a mainstream publication. As MMFA has recently documented, Coulter compared former President Bill Clinton to O.J. Simpson; she called Americans who don't support President George W. Bush “traitors”; she claimed that liberals “would enjoy” the “activities” at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq; and she lauded discrimination against Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim airline passengers.
- Coulter was fired by National Review Online in 2001 after writing -- two days after the September 11 attacks -- the following about “Muslim hijackers”: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
- Coulter suggested that that Senator Max Cleland (D-GA), a triple amputee, was lucky that he “lost three limbs” in the Vietnam War: “Luckily for Cleland's political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam.”
- Coulter has called New Yorkers “stupid” and said "[m]y only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
Spinsanity and Columbia Journalism Review have documented other instances of Coulter's history of factual inaccuracy and fabrication.
USA Today has replaced Coulter's conservative commentary from the Democratic National Convention with National Review Online Editor-at-Large Jonah Goldberg, who, as Media Matters for America previously noted, wrote the following about the Washington, DC, sniper in National Review Online in October 2002:
IS JOHN MUHAMMED A THREEFER?
We know the Sniper is a Nation of Islam Muslim (which is to say he belongs to a cult that uses Islamic jargon). We know he's black. But I've got this nagging feeling we might find out that he also practices an alternative lifestyle -- I mean besides from all of the murdering. There's just something about this Batman and Robin act -- Malvo is his “ward”? -- that strikes me as odd, in a specific way. Call it a hunch. Not that there's anything wrong with that.