Miss Coulter said that she did not use the word to demean homosexuals, nor to suggest that Mr. Edwards -- a 53-year-old married father of four -- is homosexual. Describing her remark as "a schoolyard taunt," she said on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes" program that she meant to describe Mr. Edwards as "lame" and a "sissy."
"In that way, it is a sophomoric word, not a bad word," said Miss Coulter, longtime legal-affairs correspondent for the conservative weekly Human Events.
This story brings up several important issues (including "intelligent design") I hope soon to be able to address at great length, but for now I will sing the praises of my friend and direct supervisor, deputy national editor Victor Morton, who but rarely accepts a byline (or any other public credit) for his tireless work at The Washington Times.
Our schedule Monday, however, meant that we had to produce the final edition of the Coulter story -- including quotes from Miss Coulter's appearance on "Hannity & Colmes" -- on a very short deadline. Therefore, because Victor (who has a master's degree from Notre Dame, FYI) is much better than I am at note-taking, he agreed to take notes of the Fox TV broadcast while I worked to smooth out the bumps in the first edition version, and then incorporate the new material into the the second edition version.
Such was the importance of Victor's contribution to the story that he agreed to accept a joint byline on the final version, which was meant to be a comprehensive round-up. The 1,400-word result of this team effort has now prompted David Weigel of Reason magazine to say we reported the story "to a bloody pulp."
He meant that in good way, I think.
By the way, Victor is also a movie critic who attends the Toronto Film Festival every year, and who blogs as Cinecon: The Right Wing Film Geek.