Virginia Paper Drops Columnist Malkin

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By: E&P Staff

On daily newspapers’ opinion pages, columnists come and go. But the dumping of an increasingly popular conservative at the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., got more of a public airing than usual.

The newspaper’s public editor, Marvin Lake, announced in a column responding to a reader’s complaint about editorial balance at the paper that Michelle Malkin, who had been added to give “another voice to the conservatives,” had been dropped as a columnist because she was “too stridently anti-liberal.”

Lake explained that “readers often took issue with her seemingly mean-spirited rantings and suggested that she be dropped. Well, she?s outta here, silenced for being ‘too stridently anti-liberal,’ the assessment of the editorial board.”

Editorial writer Don Luzzatto told Lake: ?I was really put off by her penchant for name-calling and ad hominem attack. I think we can do much better.?

Another editorial writer, Bronwyn Lance Chester, said: ?I think she habitually mistakes shrill for thought-provoking and substitutes screaming for discussion. She?s an Asian Ann Coulter. I also think that, like Coulter, she says outrageous things just to get TV appearances and book deals. She?s the worst of what?s wrong with punditry today. She adds absolutely nothing to genuine political discourse.?

Lake pointed out, however, that the paper had also dropped Molly Ivins not long ago for being stridently “anti-Bush.”

As for Malkin: ?She didn?t seem to be as strident when we first got her,” said Roger Chesley, associate editorial page editor.

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