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Coulter caught cribbing from conservative magazines

This article was written by John Byrne and researched by Ron Brynaert.

A column penned by the doyenne of right-wing rhetoric Ann Coulter has come under fire for alleged plagiarism, RAW STORY has learned.

Much of Coulter's Jun. 29, 2005 column, “Thou Shall Not Commit Religion,” bears a striking resemblance to pieces in magazines dating as far back as 1985—and a column written for the Boston Globe in 1995.

A RAW STORY examination found Coulter's work to be at worst plagiarism and at best a cut-and-paste repetition of points authored by conservative religious groups in the early 1990s. These groups sought to de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts, detailing projects paid for by the NEA they dubbed “obscene.”

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The campaign traces back to an assault on the NEA mounted by the American Family Association in 1989. After press conferences held by the group's leader Rev. Donald Wildon, then-Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) slipped an amendment into a Senate bill that would have axed federal funding for “obscene art.” It never passed the House.

Coulter employs the same NEA talking points in her Jun. 29 column written in the wake of a ruling barring the Ten Commandments from public places. She lists various identical “obscene” projects she says taxpayers have funded. All of the excerpts below compare this column with earlier texts.

The piece was first questioned by The Rude Pundit on Jul. 1. His post noted that Coulter appeared to have cribbed from a defunct 1993 magazine called The Flummery Digest.

Coulter : "A photo of a newborn infant with its mouth open titled to suggest the infant was available for oral sex."

The Flummery Digest: "The title of a photo of a newborn infant with its mouth open suggested that the infant was available for oral sex."

Coulter: "A photo of a woman breastfeeding an infant, titled ' Jesus Sucks.'"

The Flummery Digest: "… photograph of a woman breastfeeding an infant was titled 'Jesus Sucks.'"

Coulter: "A show titled 'DEGENERATE WITH A CAPITAL D' featuring a display of the remains of the artist's own aborted baby."

The Flummery Digest: "'Degenerate with a Capital D'...included 'Alchemy Cabinet' by Shawn Eichman, featuring the remains of the artist's own aborted baby."

Coulter: "Performance of giant bloody tampons, satanic bunnies, three-foot feces and vibrators."

The Flummery Digest: "[T]he performance art of Johanna Went...relies upon props such as giant body tampons, satanic bunnies, three-foot turds, and dildos."

The she appears to lift directly from one written by Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby in 1995 for the same column.

Coulter: "...inserting a speculum into her vagina and inviting audience members on stage to view her cervix with a flashlight."

Jacoby: "...inserted a speculum into her vagina and called up audience members to examine her cervix with a flashlight..."

Coulter: "Christ submerged in a jar of urine."

Jacoby: "...photographs of a crucifix submerged in his urine..."

The 1992 MIT-based magazine Counterpoint included similar items.

Coulter: "A photo of a newborn infant with its mouth open titled to suggest the infant was available for oral sex."

Counterpoint: 3. (1984) "The title of a photo of a newborn infant suggested the infant was available for oral sex."

Coulter: "A show titled 'DEGENERATE WITH A CAPITAL D' featuring a display of the remains of the artist's own aborted baby."

Counterpoint: 7. (1990) "...a show called Degenerate With a Capital D...featuring the remains of the artist's own baby."

Coulter: "A novel depicting the sexual molestation of a group of 10 children in a pedophile's garage, including acts of bestiality, with the children commenting on how much they enjoyed the pedophilia."

Counterpoint: 4. (1985) "...a novel titled Saturday Night at San Marcos relates the sexual molestation of 10 children in a pedophile's garage, including acts of bestiality, and how much they enjoyed the pedophile's games."

Coulter: "A female performer inserting a speculum into her vagina and inviting audience members on stage to view her cervix with a flashlight."

Counterpoint: 6. (1989-1990) "Annie Sprinkle...inserting a speculum into her vagina, invites members on stage to view her cervix with a flashlight."

Out of seven examples listed in “Counterpoint,” Coulter snapped up four.

Rude Pundit traced one of the magazines to a 1995 piece, “Art Lessons: Learning from the Rise and Fall of Public Arts Funding ” as the source for the list. As expected, items from Coulter's list appeared in Marquis' book as well (Marquis, “Art Lessons,” pp. 212-214).

Marquis: “The show exhibited explicit photographs of group sex, of priests in sadomasochistic poses, and of an infant at the breast titled Jesus Sucks.”

Marquis: “Various performances in “Carnival Knowledge” included a lesbian inserting her foot into another lesbian's vagina, an eighty-six-year-old woman boasting of sexual adventures with teenagers, and two women discussing fellatio and swallowing human semen.”

Marquis: “In 1985, Thunder's Mouth Press received $25,000 to publish experimental novels, including Saturday Night at San Marcos, which described a pedophile molesting ten children in his garage and the victims' pleasure in sex games.”

Marquis: “Johanna Went was funded in 1983, 1985, and 1987 for a series of performances with props such as dildos, giant bloody tampons, and three-foot turds.”

Coulter caught the public eye after allegations that she had carried the Linda Tripp tapes between Tripp and Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr during the Clinton impeachment. Coulter, who admitted to having heard the tapes before Starr was even aware of them, was also implicated in several other controversies involving the Clintons ', including the Paula Jones case.

The right-wing pundit was fired in 1997 from MSNBC for verbally attacking a Vietnam vet on air. She was dropped from The National Review in 2002 for slandering the publication on the national talk show circuit. Coulter went on to write a book titled Slander.

Coulter has drawn fire lately from both conservatives and liberals for her verbal attacks on victims of 9/11, women's groups and Muslims. On Wednesday, she savaged President Bush's Supreme Court pick John Roberts.

Brynaert's post on Coulter's 'cribbing' and more, can be read here.

Originally published on Wednesday July 20, 2005.

 


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