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Conservative outlet Townhall this week quietly deleted an opinion column from its website that took direct aim at 2000 Mules, the election-denying Dinesh D’Souza “documentary” funded by Salem Media Group—the company that owns Townhall.
The post in question, titled “Dinesh’s Stupid Movie” and written by influential right-wing columnist Ann Coulter, ripped into D’Souza’s baseless movie, calling it “stupid” and based on “hocus pocus” claims. The syndicated column was posted to Townhall’s website on Wednesday evening and then removed some time early Thursday.
“Page Not Found,” a notice now states at the URL where Coulter’s thrashing of D’Souza’s movie once existed. “We’re sorry, we seem to have lost this page, but we don’t want to lose you.”
Neither Townhall’s publisher Jonathan Garthwaite nor its editor Katie Pavlich responded to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment. When reached by phone on Friday afternoon, a woman in the Salem Media executive office who would only identify herself as “Tracy” snarkily told The Daily Beast of the Coulter column deletion: “Oh, really. That’s interesting. We have been deleted from a lot of Google sites because they don’t agree with us being a religious organization. Is that… illegal too?”
D’Souza’s movie executive is produced and distributed by Salem Media, the mass media company that owns conservative websites like Townhall and RedState as well as a network of syndicated radio stations and affiliates. “I’m producing this movie in conjunction with Salem Media,” D’Souza wrote on Twitter in mid-May.
On Wednesday night, sparks began flying after Coulter, who in recent years has soured on former President Donald Trump, wrote that D’Souza’s movie was a “grift” and “stupid.”
“The movie doesn’t show what it says it shows,” she added.
D’Souza responded to Coulter’s “latest rant” by calling it “unbelievably funny.” He added, “She is a specialist in playing idiots like you to get attention, and evidently it’s working!”
Talk-radio star and Fox News host Mark Levin also stepped into the fight, taking shots at his fellow relic of early aughts right-wing commentary. “Does it get any lower than Coulter? Speaking of grifters,” Levin tweeted about her.
This is far from the first time a right-wing blog under the Salem Media umbrella has deleted an article, although the last time they famously did so, the company included an editor’s note.
In February 2021, RedState retracted a post asking readers to go “RINO hunting” and gather “targets” on the publication’s behalf, after Mediaite reported on its existence. “On February 5th, we published an opinion piece that unfortunately used a metaphor that we find inappropriate. It has been retracted and we regret its publication,” the retraction notice stated.
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