THURSDAY’S LETTERS: Coulter’s Column Cut, 14-Year-Old ‘Woman’, Readers Respond to Rich Review

By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, readers respond to the question of why news organizations called a 14-year-old girl a “woman”, a reader addresses one paper’s decision to drop Ann Coulter’s syndicated column, and several letters comment on the first review of Frank Rich’s new book.


On When a ‘Girl’ Becomes a ‘Woman’

14 or 114. girl or grandmother; this atrocity is a depraved act of inhumanity in Bush’s resort to barbarism.

Janie Anderson

I read with interest the recent comments on the 14-year-old Iraqi rape victim described as a woman in news reports. I thought it was just as strange when reporters, from television commentators to Newsweek, always used ?boys? to describe the college-age Duke lacrosse players who were accused of rape. Talk about a double standard. All of them were over 18, therefore men. Look it up in the AP stylebook.

Candace Dempsey

Just recently, while watching CNN up here in Canada, they reported via their bottom of the screen headlines stream, that the victim was a “woman”, just as yourself confirmed in this writ. I had clearly read elsewhere previously, that the victim was a teenager, yet CNN seemed to differ.

That which is missing from your article/op-ed, is why, say, CNN might have been so mistaken? Unintentially or purposely? Who knows. Yet, it is important to try to determine why the disconnect? Perhaps that is not within your mandate as a journalist for all I know. Yet the “why” beckons an answer, which you certainly cannot provide lest you know more than one thinks.

Regardless, whether the innocent victim was a child, a teenager, or an adult female (or even a male for that matter), the rape and murder of same, along with their family members, is clearly criminal, and needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of both international, or failing that, national criminal laws.

Keep up your good work.

Hans Raffelt

I have the same problem here in the US when 16- to 17-year-old boys are caught commiting a crime and are called men.

Although a poor example most college athletes are called boys but the Duke lacrosse team were called men when the alleged victim was also a college student.

Stuart Moskovitz

Your article in Editor & Publisher has just been sent to me by a reader. I write a column syndicated worldwide by the NYT Service and I was bewildered by the “woman” references in every story I read. I didn’t know if she was 14 or 15 but I knew instantly that I would refer to her as “girl.”

This may be unfair, but from the bylines your story provides, and the fact that I’m a woman who raised two stepdaughters from the age of 5, maybe only women who have watched girls grow up are emphatic that a girl is a girl and not a woman.

The problem is, most columnists aren’t women, and neither are most editors (the ones who let that terrible error get through). Just a theory.

Thank you for your very intelligent story.

Heather Mallick
Toronto, Canada

It would be far more appropriate to refer to her as a 14 year old “child”!

George Rodriguez
Oxnard, Calif.


On Ceder Rapids Paper’s Dropping of Ann Coulter

One newspaper? Is that it? And you rush to report it as earthshaking news? How more pathetic can you get? By the way, Coulter’s book still tops the New York Times bestseller list. So go ahead and cry in your beer …

H. Noval
Miami, Fla.


Review of Frank Rich’s New Book Raises Hackles

Your “review” [reprinted from E&P sibling Kirkus Reviews] of the new Frank Rich offering is a prime example of why the mainstream news media is circling the drain at a high rate of speed. It is highly ironic that the Bush administration stands accused by you clowns of an alternative reality. It is you – the media – who live in a fantasy world of your own making.

In your bizarro world, fanatical terrorists are not to be called such; United States soldiers are not presumed innocent of atrocities; the Swift Boat Veterans are a hate organization, but Cindy Sheehan is a heroic, modern-day Joan of Arc; Dan Rather is not immediately fired for making up the news; President Bush stands accused and adjudged guilty of something called “Cowboy Diplomacy” when his administration has presented its case for striking back at these “non-terrorists” before the United Nations more than any president in history. The New York Times gleefully ignores national security in the interest not of protecting and enhancing the First Amendment, but in the interest of seeing President Bush removed from office.

To say that this administration has “quasi-totalitarian control of the news media” is perhaps the most ill-conceived phrase ever written in the history of print. If that is truly the belief of your organization and your profession, you are in an area so deep beyond your understanding it is tempting to pity you. …

Matt May
Detroit, Mich.

“Though the administration may be remembered as the worst in American history”? “Not for nothing did that reality include spinning amazing lies”? Do you people even have any concept of objective journalism anymore? I can’t believe you honestly don’t understand why things like this have most Americans perceiving you to be part of the “liberal media.” I might expect such bias and unprofessionalism from a blog or personal website, but you people are supposed to be trained in journalistic ethics. I don’t care if you vote Democrat in every election for the rest of your life, but please, for the love of God, learn what it means to be a journalist and apply those principles to your work. As things stand now, the mainstream media is not only liberal, but sophomoric and incompetent as well.

J.D. Bolick
Greenville, N.C.

And exactly why are the American people silent about this president and this administration? That is an issue someone should explore? Good question. My take: the issues are too difficult to dissect. We are a nation of lazy thinkers. One only has to analyze the viewing habits of American T.V. watchers to realize that. And if someone espouses a point of view not consistent with the current White House residents, you are still demonized and called communist, unpatriotic and of course ?liberal? which is the word used when all else fails.

As someone who shares Rich?s views on this presidency (and George Bush will go down in history as the worst of the worst) I am overwhelmed on a daily basis with all the horrible consequences of this administration?s actions and inaction. When I watched Al Gore?s film I cried because all I could think about was all the ?what ifs? and he would have been our president.

Constance M. Warner

It’s interesting, but certainly not surprising to find you (E & P) and the ubiquitous leftist literary promo-rag Kirkus Review sycophantically worshiping at the intellectually bankrupt, politically naive, ‘urban provincial’ altar of Frank Rich and his morally bankrupt cronies at the NY Times.

When will it finally dawn on the leftist elite that they have become a joke?

The American public overwhelmingly rejects the pro-Sodomite, pro-abortion, pro-Socialist, anti-Christian, anti-intellectual, post-modern, deconstructionist limousine-liberal drivel that Frank Rich and his admirers continue to spew forth, like the foulest dregs of pus from the ruptured boil of leftism. …

Rev. Dr. Raymond W. Boeche
Lincoln, Neb.

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