It’s not every day that I can write a headline like this one.
Today, that headline applies.
The gist of the issue is that Ann Coulter, a well-known conservative columnist and author, screwed up big time this week when she got into a Twitter fight with a user named “Catturd” and tried to tell him that presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard hadn’t voted in favor of the House resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump because, in Coulter’s words, “Tulsi is a SENATOR, meaning she’s in the SENATE and doesn’t vote on HOUSE resolutions.”
Ten seconds looking at Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s biography, or even googling her without clicking the links, would have shown Coulter that Gabbard is a member of the House of Representatives, not the Senate.
It’s kind of fun for small-town rural reporters to poke holes in the mistakes of the big boys (or in Coulter’s case, the big girls) when they make the sort of errors that most of us who cover school boards and city councils only make on days when we’ve had to cover six meetings during the day, can’t find our coffee cups, and are thirty minutes from deadline.
But there’s a bigger point here.
Coulter is a wealthy woman, and she’s earned her money by writing what her readers want. Sometimes I agree with her; sometimes I don’t. Ironically, I disagreed with her when she was a fiery supporter of Donald J. Trump and seemed to overlook his problems; today, I disagree with her now that she’s finally figured out that Trump wasn’t all he appeared to be and has significant problems. My response to Coulter: politics is messy, and sometimes we have to vote for people who are far from perfect because the alternatives are far worse.
Unlike most small newspapers — or even large newspapers in the current media crisis — Coulter is perfectly capable of hiring as many proofreaders as she wants. She is perfectly capable of paying someone to sit next to her all day, reading what she puts online before hitting the “send” button.
Her post made clear that when we see a Tweet by Coulter, it’s unfiltered with no editing — though I strongly suspect she’ll change that quickly after getting blasted all over conservative media for such an egregious error.
I’m old enough to remember when even small newspapers with communities less than half the population of Pulaski…