2004-02-15 16:55:32 UTC
12:00 AM PST on Sunday, February 15, 2004
By GALE HAMMONS / The Press-Enterprise
I wanted to like Ann Coulter's work. Her best lines make me laugh out loud. A
recent example was her bit that suggested slogans for the Democratic candidates
for president (Kucinich: ".001 Percent of America Can't Be Wrong!").
The problem is her worst lines, which make me - and many others - absolutely
cringe. Because of her repetitive, tasteless "jokes" about minority groups, we
have dropped her column from The Press-Enterprise.
We brought Coulter aboard last month as one of 13 fresh voices; the basic idea
was to add vitality and diversity to our pages. Coulter joined the mix because
several of our editors liked her vigor and candor even if we didn't necessarily
agree with her views. Her sample columns did not contain offensive material,
and we expected her writing to meet a more professional standard. We took a
chance on a firebrand writer, and it didn't work. We're not afraid to admit our
mistake, and fix it.
Readers should not take this to mean that conservative or provocative writers
will be shoved from our pages. We'll continue to publish a range of columnists
from across the political spectrum, and we will replace Coulter with that
standard in mind.
However, we will not harbor columnists whose work is threaded with invective.
Reach Gale Hammons, editorial page editor of The Press-Enterprise, at 368-9408
"If ye love wealth better than liberty ... servitude better than ... freedom,
go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsel or your arms ... May your
chains set lightly upon you. May posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams