Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Respecting Ann Coulter’s Privacy

Ann Coulter has been getting harassing visitors to her home.

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter is nationally notorious for vitriolic broadsides, but she has been unnerved by invective she received at her Palm Beach home. So much so that she got the county property appraiser to remove her name from public records identifying where she lives.

In doing so, she won an exemption from public disclosure of her address, allowed by law for victims of stalkers or harassment.

Coulter, 45, has called Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot” and said she wished he would be killed by terrorists. She once said President Clinton “could be a lunatic” and wrote of a group of widows of men killed in the World Trade Center that she had “never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”

So maybe it came as no surprise when somebody delivered a greeting card to her home in March with this salutation: “You self-aggrandizing — sociopath!! The only thing left after a nuclear war are you and cockroaches.”

Sheesh.

[…]

In June 2006, Coulter received several nonthreatening but antagonistic phone messages from an Alameda, Calif., man whom she did not know.

“Hey, Ann, now that you’ve moved to Florida and you’re in your 40s, did you know that you can join the Florida National Guard?” the man, later identified as Brian Hatoff, 58, said in one message.

“Oh, I forgot, you and your rotund buddy down the street [an apparent allusion to radio commentator Rush Limbaugh] and the vice president, you’re all registered chicken hawks. You love war until you have to put your own ass on the line. I don’t call that patriotism. I call it cowardice.”

Coulter told police the calls were made to an unpublished phone number that only a few people knew.

After subpoenaing phone records, Palm Beach police traced the calls to Hatoff.

[…]

The month of March, however, was the most vexing for Coulter, who did not return a phone message asking for comment.

The evening of March 25 she heard somebody screaming from a vacant lot next door: “Ann Coulter is a big [expletive].”

Coulter called police, then went downstairs and locked a door. When police arrived, the person was gone. Coulter opted not to file a report. But police placed a “special watch” on her home.

Coulter called again a few days later. She had checked her mailbox and found an apparently hand-delivered pink and white envelope inside. It read, “Ann Coulter!!” Below her name was a cupid heart with an arrow drawn through it.

On the greeting card inside was written: “Go [expletive] yourself.”

I don’t condone this kind of stuff no matter who it is. I think it’s stupid and pointless — not to mention illegal. Writing a column or a blog or speaking on TV is one thing, but everyone has a right to their privacy. Besides, if we progressives can’t make our case without resorting to terrorizing someone at home, we’re no better than the jerks who do this stuff as a matter of course.

Cross-posted from Shakesville.