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WND provides what I believe to be the broadest forum of political commentary anywhere – not just on the Internet, but anywhere.

To be a columnist on WND does not suggest agreement with my views or the corporate opinions of WND.

If it did, I’d be the only columnist, because I’m the only one I agree with 100 percent of the time.

I tell you that because every day, without fail, readers write to me demanding that one or more of our columnists be fired for some opinion he or she offered.

Lately, most of the demands have been for the head of Ann Coulter.

Coulter committed what many see as the unpardonable sin of attacking “birthers” – those “nuts” and “fruitloops” like me who actually want to see Barack Obama release his birth certificate and other documents he is so clearly hiding from the American public – documents crucial to knowing who our president really is and whether he is constitutionally eligible to hold office.

The attacks from friends, which I consider Ann to be, always hurt much more than attacks from adversaries. My skin is thick. It has to be in this business. Coulter’s comments were scathing, and she painted with a broad brush. I was grateful she didn’t make it personal in her comments on TV and in her WND column – the place where more people read Coulter than anywhere else. Nevertheless, I noted that her statements on this subject were much less informed than is her usual standard.

But the real hurt came when some WND readers began forwarding me Coulter’s personal responses to their questions. They included what I consider to be scathing personal indictments of me and the company I direct.

Here are some samples of what she wrote:

  • … this was thoroughly discredited during the campaign and now is being pushed by lerouchites, ron paul crazies (I love ron paul on most issues, but a lot of his devoted followers are nuts) and liberals.
  • fanatics will accept no evidence as proof – any evidence against their theory is taken to be proof of how big the conspiracy is.
  • (there are security and id fraud reasons hospitals don’t release the full “b.c.” on anyone and as a public figure I appreciate that. you’d have crazy people protesting outside the delivering doctor’s house if his name were released.
  • sweetness & light (the rt-wing snopes) investigated and found out that the “certificate of live birth” is what hawaii produces for anyone.
  • back during the campaign, the conservative american spectator – which broke the troopergate story under clinton – sent a researcher out to hawaii and found contemporaneous birth announcements for young barry in little local newspapers in hawaii corresponding to the obama “certificate of live birth.”

That’s the ill-informed stuff. Then came the vicious personal attack: “not one known conservative public figure or publication believes this – except WND, which I believe is pushing it to get website hits, bc no sane person could believe it – but the MSM keeps interviewing the nuts to make all conservatives look crazy and to distract from the serious problems with obama.”

It really grieves me that Ann Coulter dismisses the one real investigative news agency’s work and relies on warmed-over pabulum from the American Spectator and an unknown blog. There’s a reason the American Spectator is named as such. It is a spectator when it comes to news. It is simply untrue that the Spectator found the birth announcements during the campaign. The first known source of the newspaper birth announcements was a pro-Hillary Clinton blogger in the summer of 2008.

Coulter’s problem seems to be her contempt for real reporting – unless it is conducted by a pedigreed “conservative” source. Unfortunately for Coulter, as a lifelong journalist involved in investigative reporting for 30 years, I can tell you there is no such animal as a pedigreed “conservative” news outlet that does real investigative reporting. Apparently WND is just too “independent” for Coulter’s trust.

But to suggest that anyone has investigated this story more thoroughly than WND demonstrates real ignorance. Our senior staff reporter, Jerome Corsi, wrote the No. 1 New York Times best-seller last fall based largely on his WND investigations of Obama’s past. His investigative work took him from Chicago to Hawaii to Kenya, where he was famously detained by authorities. His work was complemented at WND by reporting from six other full-time staffers over the last 11 months.

It would not be inaccurate to say that WND’s 300 groundbreaking stories on this topic rival the world of all other media combined.

To suggest we did this – that I did this – “to get website hits” and “that no sane person could believe it,” is really hitting below the belt. I have grown to expect that sort of insult from the insanely jealous Michael Medved and the delusional Keith Olbermann, but not from Ann Coulter.

Does Ann Coulter think Rush Limbaugh is insane? How about her friend Sean Hannity? While neither has pioneered the story or pursued active investigations, both high-rated talkers, and good friends of Coulter, have skewered Obama about his refusal to release his birth certificate.

From my experience, so does just about everyone who has actually looked at the evidence objectively rather than allowing their opinions to be formed by the partisan pap produced by the establishment media.

I still respect, admire and love Ann Coulter. But she couldn’t be more wrong on this issue. The fact that she is in agreement with Geraldo, Olbermann, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and the entire mass media slime machine should provide her a clue that she’s way off the reservation. It’s one thing to ignore the story. It’s another to impugn the motives of those who don’t.

It still comes down to one question: “Where’s the birth certificate?”

Obama hasn’t produced it. Ann Coulter shouldn’t be making excuses for him.

But, you know what? Even though Coulter’s gossip hurts, I forgive her. She’s been a good friend for many years. Her good work overshadows what I hope is a momentary slip. I fully expect Ann Coulter will toast me one day for pursuing this unpopular story when no other news agency would. That’s just the kind of gal she is. And that’s just the kind of guy I am.

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