Criticism Continues Over 'Time' Cover Story on Ann Coulter

By: E&P Staff Time magazine continues to be criticized for putting controversial conservative writer Ann Coulter on its cover.

Media Matters for America wrote on its Web site: "'[Y]ou don't know the real Ann Coulter,' Time magazine declares in teasing its cover story on the right-wing pundit. But after reading the magazine's nearly 6,000-word profile of Coulter, readers still don't know the real Ann Coulter. They don't know the real Ann Coulter because Time carefully hid her from view, glorifying her legal work, whitewashing her habitual lies, and downplaying her -- at best -- grossly inappropriate rhetoric."

The liberal media watchdog group added that Coulter -- the author and Universal Press Syndicate columnist -- is someone who "claimed that the Democratic Party 'supports killing, lying, adultery, thievery, envy'; who said of the idea that the American military were targeting journalists, 'Would that it were so!'; who said President Clinton 'was a very good rapist'; who insisted that '[l]iberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole'; who said that 'I think a baseball bat is the most effective way these days' to talk to liberals; who said it was lucky for former senator Max Cleland's political career that he lost an arm and two legs in Vietnam; who has said her 'only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to The New York Times Building'; and who wrote that the only real question about Bill Clinton was 'whether to impeach or assassinate.'"

In a article, Eric Boehlert called the cover story "fawning," and wrote: "Polemicist pundits like Coulter purposefully drive political discourse into the ground, making a cushy, albeit factually challenged career out of labeling Democrats America-hating traitors. Time magazine stands on the sidelines and cheers, confident it has, for at least another week, placated conservative critics who demand proof that media outlets don't lean left."

The Nation media critic Eric Alterman wrote in his blog that the Time story calls Coulter's writing "mostly accurate." But Alterman said "you can find dozens, if not hundreds, of lies, mistakes, misattributions, and unsupported allegations in Coulter's work."

John Cloud, who wrote the Time piece, said in a Columbia Journalism Review Q&A: "We did Ann Coulter because she's an interesting figure. ... [I]f people read my work over the years -- I've been a journalist for 10 years -- and if you read that body of work I think you'll see that I'm not trying to kiss up to conservatives. And if you look at Time magazine, even over the last month, this idea that we're kissing up to conservatives is wrong."

Cloud added that he quoted critics of Coulter in the story. "The idea that this is a puff piece is absurd," he said.

And he mentioned that Time covers have featured people such as Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. "The cover of our magazine is not glorification," Cloud said. "It is news."


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