Universal Press Syndicate Whiffs

From Holden:

In response to complaints from twenty-six members of congress, Universal Press Syndicate almost-kinda-sorta comes close to slapping Ann the Man on the wrist.

Universal Press Syndicate and conservative columnist Ann Coulter have reached an agreement on removing Universal’s copyright from columns on AnnCoulter.com that differ from columns sent to newspapers.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press reported that 26 members of U.S. Congress have sent a letter to Universal protesting Coulter’s Feb. 23 column, in which the conservative writer called liberal columnist Helen Thomas an “old Arab” and implied Thomas was a security threat to President Bush.

Universal removed the “Arab” reference before sending the column to Coulter’s 110 newspaper clients. But Coulter kept “Arab” in the version of her column on AnnCoulter.com, kept the Universal copyright under the column, and didn’t include a disclaimer saying the column was worded differently from the one syndicated by Universal.

As this story was being posted, Coulter had yet to drop the Universal copyright from the Feb. 23 column on her site. “We fully expect it will be removed,” said Kathie Kerr, director of communications for Universal.


But the 26 members of Congress writing Universal were not pleased. In the letter, they stated: “Just as we would expect that similar slights against African Americans, Jews, or Hispanics would not be tolerated, equal disapproval should be shown toward these repeated slanders directed at Arab Americans.” They added that “loyal Arab Americans have made heroic contributions to our military, intelligence, and Homeland Security efforts.”