A chill wind is blowing -- from the mainstream media. Desperate to break President George W. Bush and the resurgence of American conservatism, the mainstream media has taken to obscuring truths, burying facts and overplaying accusations. Conservative pundits are grudgingly tolerated as token representatives of an extremist ideology, but only if they keep within certain bounds. If they get too uppity, it's time to slap them down.
The latest case in point: USA Today commissioned conservative pundit Ann Coulter to write a daily column on the Democratic National Convention. For those who don't know, Coulter is a three-time best-selling author, a political pundit extraordinaire and a constant media presence. She's brilliant and caustic -- very caustic. Her sharp pen is her trademark, tattooing leftists continuously.
So USA Today editors should have known what they were getting into when they signed her up, unless they were suffering from a Ted Kennedy-esque hangover. Instead, USA Today got all huffy when Coulter sent in a scathing piece about the DNC on Sunday night, July 25, titled "Put the Speakers in a Cage." The opening line: "Here at the Spawn of Satan convention in Boston, conservatives are deploying a series of covert signals to identify one another, much like gay men do." Coulter notes that "Apparently, the nuts at the Democratic National Convention are going to be put in cages outside the convention hall. Sadly, they won't be fighting to the death as is done in W.W.F. caged matches." It's harsh, hilarious, gutsy stuff, but that's Ann Coulter's style.
USA Today chiefs didn't see it that way. They decided not to run Coulter's column, telling her that it was "unusable" and "not funny." As Coulter told Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, "Apparently, no one at USA Today had ever read Ann Coulter before."
"I can't believe I keep falling for it," Coulter told me from New York on Monday morning. "They will not publish a conservative. ... If they don't think I'm a good writer, maybe they shouldn't have asked me write for them. Apparently, they thought they were hiring (romance novelist) Catherine Coulter."