NEW YORK – The syndicator of Ann Coulter's newspaper column is looking into allegations that the right-wing pundit has lifted material from other sources.
"We are reviewing the material and expect to have a response some time next week," Kathie Kerr, a spokeswoman for Universal Press Syndicate, told The Associated Press on Friday.
The New York Post and the Web sites Raw Story and the Rude Pundit have raised numerous questions about Coulter's columns, which appear in more than 100 newspapers, and her best-selling "Godless," already notorious for the author's calling four 9/11 widows, who supported Democrat John Kerry for president in 2004, "harpies" thriving on their husbands' demise.
Kerr said that the press syndicate had not discussed the allegations with Coulter, who was not immediately available for comment Friday. The publisher of "Godless," the Crown Publishing Group, issued a statement saying it had reviewed the "the allegations of plagiarism" in her book and "found them to be as trivial and meritless as they are irresponsible."
"As an experienced author and attorney, Ms. Coulter knows when attribution is appropriate, as underscored by the 19 pages and hundreds of endnotes contained in 'Godless,"' Crown's senior vice president and publisher, Steve Ross, said in the statement.
In "Godless," Coulter writes:
"The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River in Maine, was halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant previously believed to be extinct."
An article that ran in 1999 in Maine's Portland-Press Herald contains the following passage:
"The massive Dickey-Lincoln Dam, a $227 million hydroelectric project proposed on upper St. John River, is halted by the discovery of the Furbish lousewort, a plant believed to be extinct."
In a newspaper column that ran in 2005, Coulter wrote of Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter:
"As New Hampshire attorney general in 1977, Souter opposed the repeal of an 1848 state law that made abortion a crime even though Roe v. Wade had made it irrelevant, predicting that if the law were repealed, New Hampshire 'would become the abortion mill of the United States."'
A Los Angeles Times article from 1990 noted: "In 1977, Souter as state attorney general spoke out against a proposed repeal of an 1848 state law that made abortion a crime — even though the measure had been largely invalidated by the Supreme Court in Roe. vs. Wade ... 'Quite apart from the fact that I don't think unlimited abortions ought to be allowed ... I presume we would become the abortion mill of the United States(.)"'
Coulter's career has rarely suffered despite numerous questions about her accuracy and her pitiless remarks about political opponents, including an open wish for the bombing of The New York Times building. An exception was in 2001, soon after the Sept. 11 attacks, when Coulter was fired by the conservative National Review Online for writing about the hijackers: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
Coulter's latest controversy includes a high-tech twist. TheNew York Post enlisted the Berkeley, Calif.-based iParadigms to run the author's material through its iThenticate software program, a web-based plagiarism detection system.