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Fourth Paper Drops Coulter
March 8, 2007

NEW YORK The full statement by Alan English, executive editor of The Times of Shreveport, Louisiana, in announcing this morning that the paper would drop Ann Coulter as a columnist, follows.

This is the fourth daily to drop the Universal columnist this week following her use of "faggot" in a reference to former Sen. John Edwads in a speech last Friday. She also said last week that his campaign manager, former U.S. Rep David Bonior, was "fronting for Arab terrorists." The Human Rights Campaign has launched a letter-writing effort aimed at Universal and individual papers.

Another Louisiana daily, The American Press in Lake Charles, also dropped Coulter, according to a letter from an editor to the Media Matters group. This brings to five the total for the week.

Kathie Kerr, a spokeswoman for Universal Press Syndicate, said Thursday the service has no plans to stop offering the author's columns. "All of our clients and newspaper editors know better than we do what they should and should not run," Kerr told The Associated Press. "They know their communities better than we do."

Here is English's statement, carried on the paper's Web site.


Today we move past the rhetoric and unproductive dialogue offered by Ann Coulter. The Times is dropping her column effective immediately.

It is her recent "joke" about John Edwards being considered a "faggot" that is the back-breaking straw for a decision we've openly discussed for some time. We had a dialogue with readers last year regarding whether Coulter was a responsible commentator and journalist.

Her repeated use of hyperbole in the call for the death of some journalists and politicians was beyond the pale. And while we all believe she was "just kidding," her "shock-jock'' writing style is no different from Howard Stern's practical jokes and bathroom humor that aims to draw a school-yard snicker but falls well short of reasonable, thought-provoking journalism. Unlike the work of a Thomas Sowell or a Kathleen Parker, two thoughtful conservatives, does a Coulter column raise the level of discourse?

The answer: rarely.

No doubt some conservatives will lament the loss of their beloved Coulter, someone who made the joke they are too polite to make. Objections are expected, but please do not miss the continuation of outstanding conservative commentary by Cal Thomas and Jonah Goldberg that continues on our pages. Sure Michelle Malkin sometimes approaches a Coulter-style rant, but we don't recall any homicidal zingers.

We are committed to providing a balance in commentary, so Coulter will be replaced by another conservative voice. Our many local conservative voices from the community also will continual to be welcome on our pages. With Coulter's departure, we're not demanding commentary all dressed up in delicate finery. Forceful, direct, even bare-knuckled writers are welcome as long as they are tackling ideas or stances rather than making profane personal attacks.

Above all this isn't some liberal vendetta. If so, Coulter would have fallen off our pages years ago. Sure, The Times has supported what many perceive to be liberal ideas or politicians before, but we also have spoken for fiscal restraint and opposed certain taxes. In last governor's race, The Times endorsed the Republican candidate and since then we have supported conservative judicial candidates, city council contenders and state lawmakers.

We like to think we take each issue and candidacy as it comes. And we are one of the few institutions that sits down with newsmakers regularly to discuss and debate issues. Ask Caddo Parish school Superintendent Ollie Tyler and U.S. Congressman Jim McCrery about this, if you doubt. We meet with every legitimate candidate or advocate who will keep an appointment.

For those who find affirmation and validity in Coulter diatribes, God bless you and keep you. But since last summer's open-air discussion of our reservations about continuing her column, you had to know it was only a matter of time before she rubbed a hole in the welcome mat. It even seems as if she was pushing to find the limit. Well...

I'm sure we'll engage in some debate over this decision, but we hope you are more interested in who will replace her. Send us your nominees for review.

Now, we move on.

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