By: E&P Staff
Craig Durrett, editorial page editor of the Shreveport (La.) Times, revealed in a column in his paper that he is considering dropping Ann Coulter as a columnist, and in fact, has “come close” before.
It’s a matter of style, not ideology, he explained, and if she got the boot he would replace her with another conservative columnist.
“My opinion: She is more about entertainment and self-promotion, understanding that shock and outrage translate into publicity that feeds into her quest for media airtime and column space,” he wrote. “Her comments about several women who were made widows on Sept. 11, 2001, is a prime example.”
He also cited the analysis of Republican B. Jay Cooper, former deputy press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush: “To me, Ann Coulter’s exercise of her right to free speech is the political equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater. She crosses the line of decency. To me, individuals who engage in name-calling and hate speech to get attention, sell books, increase speaking fees and feather their own nests, are speaking for themselves, not any political party. My problem is the popular presumption that she represents the Republican Party. We all get painted with her tainted brush.”
Among other things, Coulter has often wished or fantasized about a violent end for some of her perceived opponents on the left, including New York Times reporters.
Durrett also observed: “In this slash-and-burn, raw meat world of political discourse, unfortunately it seems more readers and viewers are entertained by Coulter one liners than impressed with George Will’s stylish pursuit of logic.” Yet he affirmed: “Coulter’s days may indeed be numbered, but it won’t be because of some liberal bias. Besides, she would be replaced by another conservative voice.”
Coulter is syndicated by Universal and has more than 100 newspaper clients. The Shreveport Times is a Gannett paper.
The National Society of Newspaper Columnists, meeting in Boston this past weekend, awarded Coulter its annual Sitting Duck Award for easiest column target. The NSNC noted that it gave the prize to the columnist/author “for cheapening political discourse in America.” The statement added: “We award the Lame Duck reluctantly, because we know Ms. Coulter is desperate for any kind of attention.”