Mar 7, 2007
In a classic case of understatement, the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus is reporting that Cleary University has no plans to cancel a planned appearance by right-wing hate-monger Ann Coulter at its Economic Club Speakers Luncheon Series, despite Coulter's recent use of the word "faggot" when referring to Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards. Is anyone surprised?
In an exercise in futility the Livingston County Democratic Party is petitioning Cleary University to have Coulter cut from the series. If that fails, the local Democrats plan to mount a protest. I am one of those local Democrats, and I say let her speak. We support free speech no matter how vile and disgusting.
Every time she opens her mouth people realizes what the Republican Party really stands for. Calling Edwards a “faggot” is tame compared to some of her other despicable rants, and the more she makes them the more money she sticks in her pocket. She is making $30,000 plus expenses for two hours of work, and apparently that’s the reduced rate for colleges and universities
It pays very well to call leaders “fagots, calling the First Lady a lesbian, calling the President of the United States a homosexual and telling women who lost their husbands in the 9/11 attacks they enjoyed their husband’s deaths.
This entire situation is so full of conflicts of interest it’s not funny, and it illustrates she will speak even if the Pope asked Cleary not to invite her.
This is the fourth year for the series, and in the past they invited people who actually had something to do with business, like Florine Mark and other entrepreneurs and business people. Coulter is the first political person ever invited, and it’s not by chance. This year's guests include two journalists, and one rightwing whack job. Mike Jensen, a journalist and economic analyst for NBC Nightly News, the Today Show and The New York Times, is one speaker. The other is Steven Emerson, an internationally recognized journalist and expert on terrorism and national security. Emerson is known for having predicted, before September 11, 2001, that Islamists would launch a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and for having warned the U.S. Congress in 1998 of the danger posed by Osama bin Laden.
CORRECTION: Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick spoke at the series in 2004. He spoke on the relationship between the state’s largest city and its suburbs, including Livingston County.
Republican Congressman Mike Rogers is one of the sponsors of the series, so we know where he stands. The Press & Argus is also a sponsor, so we can expect no tough questions of Cleary University or its president.
The Press & Argus article also quoted Alan Filip, chairman of the Livingston County Republican Party, who denounced Coulter's comments, but not her appearance. Filip said Coulter doesn't speak directly for Republicans. Why is it they always denounce her disgusting comments, but shove dollar bills at her and fawn over her? Sorry, Mr. Filip, she does speak for you. We also know of Filip’s problem with the truth in the short time he ahs been chair of the county GOP.
We also know why Coulter is the only political figure to ever appear at Cleary. Filip’s wife, Janet Filip, is Cleary’s Director of Development and Alumni Relations, and she is responsible for booking speakers.
It’s funny that all these Republicans continue to be “appalled at her comments” every time she makes them, but they are still fans, like Bill Rogers — chairman of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners and brother of Mike Rogers. Bill is a good county commissioner, but I never suspected he respected Coulter. He told the paper he’s “…a fan of Coulter's no-holds-barred take on politics — said he was appalled by her recent remarks.”
Cleary University President Tom Sullivan said Livingston County is "healthy" enough to take any potentially offensive comments in stride.
"Our community is one that's healthy and one that is tolerant, and I would be surprised if anyone speaking within the county would change that," he said.
Maybe he hasn’t heard about the anti-gay hate group drawing national attention by trying to ban books.