Coulter’s Syndicate Gives Wide Latitude to the Controversial Columnist

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By: Dave Astor

What does Universal Press Syndicate think about conservative columnist Ann Coulter’s “joke” (as she put it) in a speech last Thursday that someone should poison liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens?

“Universal Press can only address Ms. Coulter’s newspaper column,” Kathie Kerr, the syndicate’s director of communications, said Monday in response to an E&P query.

Kerr was also asked about Universal’s reaction to Coulter’s column content, such as this sentiment from Coulter’s Dec. 21 piece: “I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East, and sending liberals to Guantanamo.”

Replied Kerr: “Universal Press represents a wide range of editorial opinions. We give creators and their opinions a wide latitude, as evidenced in our editorial cartoons and columns, both conservative and liberal.”

Kerr didn’t have the number of newspapers that currently buy Coulter’s column (it was about 110 in late 2004). But she said the number rose in 2005. “We expect that the reason Ms. Coulter’s client list grew last year is because editors find her opinion column something readers are interested in,” Kerr stated.

The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson did drop Coulter last August, saying many readers found her to be “shrill, bombastic, and mean-spirited.”

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