Hate Me, I’m a Columnist

By Emily Gold Boutilier / July / August 2003
June 22nd, 2007
When New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman spoke at the Salomon Center in May, the audience peppered him with questions on such pressing foreign-policy topics as the rebuilding of Iraq and the road map to peace in the Middle East.

But a student newspaper columnist got one of the best responses of the evening when she mentioned the abuse she receives from readers and wondered whether Friedman faced the same hostility. “Darlin’,” he told her, “I get so much hate mail.”

Friedman delivered the annual Casey Shearer ’00 lecture, named after an aspiring sports columnist who died suddenly just days before his graduation. Friedman told a capacity crowd that he’s recently drawn the ire of both liberals, for his support of the war in Iraq, and conservatives, for not supporting it enthusiastically enough.

Focusing on the war’s aftermath, he said the United States must treat Iraq as its fifty-first state, an idea that showed up in his newspaper column three days later—no doubt generating more hate mail.

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July / August 2003