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My Ann Coulter Story

Four and a half years ago I was working for a certain national newspaper when my bosses had a brainstorm: hire two controversial pundits of the right and left to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions. They chose Michael Moore for the Republicans—which led to that moment when all of Madison Square Garden’s occupants booed him—and Ann Coulter for the Democrats.

Coulter handed in her first column closer to the deadline then we’d expected. She also came in short. And she came in … well, what’s the opposite of readable? The column that began “Here at the spawn of Satan convention” was a phoned-in collection of anonymous anecdotes and lazy writing. No problem, we thought: We’re editors. My bosses immediately suggested fixes to the column — some of them asking whether Coulter could touch up her jokes, some correcting bad writing, and some asking for more content.

Coulter flipped. She refused to answer all of the edits. The next thing we knew, she had left Boston. The next thing we knew after that was that Matt Drudge and other conservative news site editors had learned that we had “fired” Coulter. She was in New York hours later to bash us on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes.”

This is all a way of saying I don’t believe that NBC News “banned Coulter for life” for one second. She doesn’t really worry about taking advantage of news organizations’ standards and confidentiality to paint herself as a victim.

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