WorldNetDaily restores "old Arab" reference to Coulter column


Conservative news website, which publishes right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's weekly syndicated column, has revised its version of Coulter's February 23 column to include her original description of Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas as an "old Arab." WorldNetDaily promoted the revision on its March 9 front page as "Coulter's original, unsanitized column."

Coulter's reference to "that old Arab Helen Thomas" appears in the version of the column that Coulter posted on her personal website, but her distributor, Universal Press Syndicate, sent out an edited version to its client publications, which referred to Thomas instead as "that dyspeptic, old Helen Thomas." But despite this difference, Coulter retained the Universal copyright label beneath the version of the column posted on her site, as Media Matters for America noted. Following Media Matters' item, Universal negotiated an agreement with Coulter regarding the use of Universal copyright labels on Editor & Publisher reported:

[A]ll columns on will say "distributed by Universal Press Syndicate (c) Ann Coulter" if the print and Web versions of the column are the same.

If the versions are not the same, the line will say "(c) Ann Coulter" only. "This applies to columns that may be of different lengths, with different headlines, and with different copy from the edited version," [Universal director of communications Kathie] Kerr said.

WorldNetDaily added an editor's note at the beginning of Coulter's column, which reads:

This column by Ann Coulter first ran on Feb. 23, and has since been modified to reflect Ann Coulter's original words rather the [sic] edited version distributed by Universal Syndicate. In the version Universal Syndicate distributed, the phrase "... that old Arab Helen Thomas ..." was replaced with "... that dyspeptic, old Helen Thomas ..."

On March 4, 26 members of Congress, led by Rep. John D. Dingell (D-MI), sent a letter to Universal president Robert Duffy demanding an apology for Coulter's remark.

Thomas is of Lebanese descent, as is WorldNetDaily editor and chief executive officer Joseph Farah.

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