USA Today Responds to Flap Over Coulter Column

In response to multiple inquiries, USA Today Executive Editor Brian Gallagher told HUMAN EVENTS this evening that conservative columnist and Editor-at-Large of National Review Online Jonah Goldberg will replace HUMAN EVENTS columnist Ann Coulter in providing commentary from the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Coulter was originally hired by USA Today to offer a conservative take on this week’s Democratic National Convention, but her first column was summarily rejected late Sunday night. Pressed as to why Coulter’s column was rebuffed, Gallagher said that it was not an attempt to silence or “censor” the columnist, but was simply due to a “difference of opinion over editing — words, voice, that sort of thing.” He also stated that severing the brand new relationship between the paper and Coulter was a “mutual decision — in the end.” Gallagher offered that the original reason for offering conservative commentary was due to USA Today‘s views that today’s national political conventions are simply “four-day commercials” for the Parties. So, the newspaper decided to offer its readers viewpoints on the convention “from the other side of the fence.” Gallagher also confirmed that USA Today has hired liberal filmmaker Michael Moore to offer commentary about the Republican National Convention next month. When asked why his paper picked Ann Coulter specifically, Gallagher said that they “thought she was a voice from [the conservative] side with standing and visibility.” In response to questions on whether the paper was surprised by what they got from the conservative author, considering her well known penchant for speaking her mind pointedly and often with sarcasm and wit, Gallagher said, “Yes. We just didn’t think it would be that difficult [to finalize].” He said the staff of USA Today was familiar with Coulter’s writings; however, he did not explain how the column Coulter submitted differed from her usual columns. Gallagher repeated his assertion that the differences that precluded publication of the column were not based on silencing Coulter but “simply on editorial differences.”