"Truly shameful": Critics blast NY Times for featuring "openly racist and bigoted" Ann Coulter

One critic called Coulter "one of the most repulsive hatemongers to ever slither her way through American politics"

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published August 23, 2023 2:34PM (EDT)

Ann Coulter speaks onstage during Politicon. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon)
Ann Coulter speaks onstage during Politicon. (Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon)

The New York Times on Wednesday drew heated criticism for publishing an opinion piece about the Republican Party's presidential debate that gave voice to ultra-conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Times columnist Frank Bruni hosted a roundtable discussion titled "'I Don't Think Trump Will Be the Nominee': Three Writers Preview the First G.O.P. Debate," that included Coulter and Stuart Stevens, a former Republican political consultant. The article presents the trio's discussion of their expectations about the first Republican party debate slated for Wednesday night.

Upon seeing Coulter's name under the headline of the article, journalists and media personalities decried the Times' decision to feature the right-wing media pundit as "irresponsible" and "shameful."

"Seriously ranks among the lowest, most irresponsible things the New York Times has done," Sirius XM host Michelangelo Signorile wrote on X, formerly Twitter. 

"Just noting that today the New York Times gave some valuable space to Ann Coulter, one of the most repulsive hatemongers to ever slither her way through American politics," Washington Post opinion writer Paul Waldman wrote. "Good work by the Paper of Record, really elevating the debate!"

"Truly shameful from the Times. A woman who is not just openly racist and bigoted but has incited hate and violence against the Times itself," MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan added.

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Coulter has long been an incendiary figure in the media landscape for her tirades against non-conservative publications, including the Times.

"In 2002, Coulter famously said that her 'only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building'; she later expressed regret, saying she 'should have added, after everyone had left the building except the editors and reporters,'" Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow for watchdog Media Matters for America, noted on X.

Gertz also pointed out Coulter's more recent attack against the Times in an opinion piece published in 2019 arguing that the publication "must die" because it "cannot be trusted on anything touching on race. They're liars and ideologues, not reporters and editors."

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The Southern Poverty Law Center also described the pundit's bigoted and, at times, violence-inciting comments against people and groups she disagrees with, and her defense of a white supremacist group in a 2009 article.

In 2020, Coulter was forced to delete a tweet lauding Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who fatally shot protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during Black Lives Matter protests in the state, for violating the platform's rules on glorifying violence. 

During a podcast appearance earlier this year, she launched a xenophobic rant against Republican candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who was born in the United States to immigrant parents from India, asking why Haley doesn't "go back to your own country," according to NBC News.

Her commentary in the Times' Wednesday roundtable included a range of similarly contentious statements, including a tacit accusation that Democrats are purposefully indicting former President Donald Trump and a claim that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't care about "Americans killed and raped by illegal immigrants in our country."

"Mainstream news outlets are going to enable the fascists up till the moment when their journalists are frog-marched out of the newsrooms at gunpoint," predicted Mark Jacob, former editor of The Chicago Tribune & Sun-Times.

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Tatyana Tandanpolie is a staff writer at Salon. Born and raised in central Ohio, she moved to New York City in 2018 to pursue degrees in Journalism and Africana Studies at New York University. She is currently based in her home state and has previously written for local Columbus publications, including Columbus Monthly, CityScene Magazine and The Columbus Dispatch.

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