from Media Matters Media Matters has done a big follow-up to our reporting on Ann Coulter's racist Helen Thomas remark. When Universal Press Syndica
February 27, 2005

from Media Matters
Media Matters has done a big follow-up to our reporting on Ann Coulter's racist Helen Thomas remark.

When Universal Press Syndicate (UPS), which syndicates right-wing pundit Ann Coulter's weekly columns, reportedly* removed a race-based attack on Hearst Newspapers columnist and White House correspondent Helen Thomas from Coulter's February 24 column, it would not have been the first time a Coulter column was cleaned up prior to publication. While the syndicate did not edit Coulter's reference to "oily Jews" in an October 20, 2004, column, at least two publications removed it before printing her column.

Prior to syndication on February 24, UPS replaced Coulter's reference to "that old Arab Helen Thomas" with "that dyspeptic, old Helen Thomas," as the weblog Crooks and Liars documented. Thomas's parents were Lebanese immigrants.

In her October 20, 2004, column, Coulter attacked Democrats as "crazy people" and wrote:

There's no consensus position, but the Democrats are pretty sure the real reason we went to Iraq was one of the following:

  • Bush family's connections to the Saudis,
  • Halliburton,
  • the Carlyle Group,
  • something about the Texas Rangers needing more left-handed pitching,
  • the neoconservatives,
  • the Straussians,
  • oil,
  • the Jews,
  • oily Jews.

UPS syndicated this version of the column, and several websites, including the Heritage Foundation's, Jewish World Review, WorldNetDaily, and David Horowitz's picked it up. But a Nexis search revealed only two newspapers -- the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and The Calgary Sun -- that published the column, and both removed "oily Jews" before printing it. (Media Matters for America has documented the Tribune-Review's right-wing history.) Human Events Online, a right-wing online news site, also published the edited version.

USA Today commissioned Coulter to provide conservative commentary on the Democratic National Convention in July 2004, but the paper spiked her first column, which referred to the event as the "Spawn of Satan convention," and replaced Coulter with National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg for the rest of the convention over what the executive editor described as "editorial differences." National Review also fired Coulter as a contributing editor in October 2001 after she wrote of Muslims: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

UPS has syndicated Coulter since 1999.

*On February 28 at 4:50 p.m. ET, Editor & Publisher reported that Universal "isn't even sure the phrase appeared in the version Coulter submitted to the syndicate" and "is trying to determine what was in the Feb. 23 column Coulter transmitted to Universal."


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