Accuracy in Media

Editor and Publisher seems to be waging a campaign against controversial conservative pundit and author Ann Coulter by highlighting stories about newspapers that have decided recently to drop her syndicated column following remarks she made after the release of her new book “Godless.”

To date three papers have announced their decision to drop her column and by the way the stories are written and reported you would think that this is a major trend and embarrassment for Coulter. Yet there are a few facts missing from the stories that paint a different picture.

What has been conveniently omitted are the fact that two of the three papers, The Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Augusta Chronicle have a combined Sunday circulation ( I wasn’t able to locate daily figures which are usually smaller) of 167,000 readers which would rank them as the 77th largest paper in the country if combined. Not exactly New York Times numbers. The third paper is the Yes! Weekly in Greensboro, NC. It is a fee paper with a whopping circulation of 30,000. But it gets even better. Consider the last paragraph in the E & P story on the Greensboro decision; The editorial said that letters and website poll “show that our readers approve cutting her column at a ratio of two to one. And numbers don’t lie (unless, some would say, they’re being wielded by Ann Coulter).” The poll is still running so you can vote.  I wonder what would happen if the numbers changed in favor of Ann?

How about the puny circulation figures of the above named newspapers or the fact that Coulter’s column is still carried by more than 100 papers and that “Godless” is number five this week on the New York Times bestseller list? To sum it up, numbers don’t lie (unless, some would say, they’re being omitted by E & P.)

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