An Aug. 17 WorldNetDaily article announces that "Conservative superstar Ann Coulter today was dropped as a keynote speaker for WND's "Taking America Back National Conference" next month because of her plan to address an event titled "HOMOCON" sponsored by the homosexual Republican group GOProud that promotes same-sex marriage and military service for open homosexuals." WND describes the opposing principles involved:
Asked by Farah why she was speaking to GOProud, Coulter said: "They hired me to give a speech, so I'm giving a speech. I do it all the time."
Farah then asked: "Do you not understand you are legitimizing a group that is fighting for same-sex marriage and open homosexuality in the military – not to mention the idea that sodomy is just an alternate lifestyle?"
Coulter responded: "That's silly, I speak to a lot of groups and do not endorse them. I speak at Harvard and I certainly don't endorse their views. I've spoken to Democratic groups and liberal Republican groups that loooove abortion. The main thing I do is speak on college campuses, which is about the equivalent of speaking at an al-Qaida conference. I'm sure I agree with GOProud more than I do with at least half of my college audiences. But in any event, giving a speech is not an endorsement of every position held by the people I'm speaking to. I was going to speak for you guys, I think you're nuts on the birther thing (though I like you otherwise!)."
But Farah sees this speech to GOProud in a very different light than does Coulter.
"Earlier this year, GOProud was permitted to sponsor the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the biggest event of its kind," said Farah. "This bad decision resulted in consistently conservative groups dropping sponsorship and withdrawing from participation – much to their credit. GOProud is about infiltration of the conservative movement and dividing it from within with twisted and dangerous ideas way out of the mainstream of American public opinion. Ann Coulter is, I'm afraid, validating this effort for money. I support her speaking to people with whom she disagrees on college campuses. That's a good idea. I do it, too. But if you see the way GOProud is exploiting its coup in getting Ann Coulter to speak to its HOMOCON event, you begin to understand what a mistake this is for a conservative icon like Coulter."
Then the hypocrisy kicks in:
Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, said the decision was a gut-wrenching one for his team because of their fondness for Coulter as both a person and writer-speaker.
"Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about 'taking America back' when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very 'unconservative' agenda represented by GOProud," said Farah. "The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning."
Coulter will remain a weekly columnist for WND.
"There's a different standard for columnists and speakers at our conference," Farah explained. "We boast the broadest ideological forum of commentators in any news or opinion publication or website anywhere on the planet – and we will continue to do that. We think people should hear all points of view discussed openly and honestly. However, this conference is a serious event designed to provide some real leadership for those who are serious about changing the direction of this country. There is simply no room there for compromisers or for people who accept money from those determined to destroy the moral fabric required for self-governance and liberty."
First, Farah's claim that dumping Coulter for being too nice to gays is laughable. WND has a virulently anti-gay agenda, and that same day published no less than three gay-bashing columns, including one by Farah himself.
Second, Farah's claim that WND has "the broadest ideological forum of commentators in any news or opinion publication or website anywhere on the planet" is disingenuous. As we've previously noted, the only actual liberals on WND's roster of 50 or so regular columnists are Bill Press and Ellen Ratner; the rest are conservative, conservative Christian, libertarian, or some combination thereof. On any given day, liberal opinions on WND's commentary page are outnumbered at least 7-to-1 by right-wing opinions. And we can't recall the last time, if ever, that WND presented an unfiltered pro-gay view -- after all, it refused to tell its readers that warblogger Matt Sanchez, who wrote for WND for several months, used to make gay porn.
Third, Farah proves he doesn't really have the courage of his principles by keeping Coulter on as a columnist. Since WND is one of the outlets allowed to publish Coulter's column a few hours before its official release, it likely draws a significant amount of traffic to WND. If Coulter goes away, so does that traffic.
In other words, it's about money. Just as Coulter indicated that she will speak before any group that pays her, Farah knows that Coulter brings in readers and revenue to WND. Dumping Coulter as a speaker is an extremely low-risk move; canceling her column is not. The one real principle they share is raking in the cash.