Readers Love, Loathe Coulter
Ezell, Wayne, The Florida Times Union
Byline: Wayne Ezell
Ann Coulter, the savvy anti-liberal who powers herself into the media spotlight and onto best-seller lists by saying the outrageous, prompts a few questions, including one for this newspaper.
By carrying her column as a regular feature, does the newspaper give her unwarranted credibility, endorse her crassness and contribute to the diminution of civility in public discourse?
Yes, obviously so, in my view, and according to many readers who voiced their opinions after hearing Coulter call some activist Sept. 11, 2001, widows "broads" and "harpies" who were "enjoying their husbands' deaths."
No, not at all, according to the editor responsible for providing her column here, and according to many other readers who admire Coulter for telling it like it is.
Editorial Page Editor Mike Clark heartily defends using Coulter's column, which appears on Saturdays alongside the tart-tongued Molly Ivins, a liberal Bush-basher, known to also say the outrageous, while garnering less attention.
Coulter is more loved and more loathed in this area than any other oped columnist.
That can be easily concluded from responses to the above question by members or the newspaper's E-Mail Interactive Group.
"She is a self-promoting, shameless, mean-spirited opportunist and I can't believe a newspaper of your caliber would continue to promote her as a columnist. She has no place in serious discourse," said Cindy Pennington.
"She is saying what the rest of America is thinking," said Valerie Sawyer. "She's telling the truth about liberals and Democrats and we all know that the truth hurts."
Like the columnists, our readers are handy with the sharp invective.
"Frankly, if Ann Coulter looked like Molly Ivins, she wouldn't get away with half of what she does" said Suzi Stone.
"She's either a huge fraud or she's got some serious anger issues to resolve if she is reduced to criticizing women who have sacrificed more for our country than she ever will."
"While I'm sorry to see her say such a stupid thing," said Marsha Pence, "it does seem hypocritical of the American public to crucify her, while giving almost daily passes to liberals, who call our president a Hitler and our Marines 'killers in cold blood.' "
Many readers argue that even unpleasant voices should be heard. …