Wouldn't you know, the offer from UC Berkeley to allow conservative firebrand Ann Coulter to speak on campus this semester is not going to fly with Coulter because, she says, the time slot is terrible and she still plans to come next Thursday as originally scheduled.
Yesterday, as we reported here, the university reversed its decision to cancel and/or postpone to the fall a planned speaking engagement by Coulter on April 27, offering instead to host the event during the afternoon on Tuesday, May 2.
As the Washington Post reports, Coulter and the Republican student groups who invited her are rejecting the date change because, they say, it falls during the campus' "dead week" when classes are over and students are preparing for final exams.
Naweed Tahmas, 20, of the Berkeley College Republicans tells the Chronicle, "It's at an awful time," and Coulter shared her rage over the rescheduling via Twitter Thursday night, vowing to come on April 27 whether they like it or not. She also decried every headline that said she had been re-invited to speak, including one from her pal Drudge, as "fake news."
Do not fall for b.s Berkeley press release claiming they “rescinded” cancelation. They added NEW, more burdensome condition on my const rts. https://t.co/bPMuVUEEMY— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 21, 2017
I'm speaking at Berkeley on April 27th, as I was invited to do and have a contract to do. https://t.co/thkiODIsSi— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 20, 2017
GOOD NEWS FOR CA TAXPAYER! You won't be required to pay $$$$ to compensate me & my crew for rebooked airfare & hotels. I'm speaking on 4/27. https://t.co/gsScwzeDNM— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 20, 2017
In addition to facts: We've already spent $ for 4/27 Berkeley spc & I can't do May 2...THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2!!!— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 21, 2017
FAKE NEWS! https://t.co/UoUY8jaaJ9— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 21, 2017
MORE FAKE NEWS FROM NYT! https://t.co/B4SbsllpOq— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 21, 2017
Now @DRUDGE promoting FAKE NEWS:'Berkeley reverses decision to cancel speech by Coulter'... Idea: Read past the headline on a press release!— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 21, 2017
Coulter continues to promote her August 2016-released book In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!, and she was on Fox News last night discussing how UC Berkeley's actions constituted a violation of her First Amendment rights.
Meanwhile, this morning, a lawyer hired by the two student groups who invited Coulter (and possibly paid for by Coulter herself?) has submitted a letter to the university's interim vice chancellor of student affairs Stephen Sutton claiming that disallowing Coulter from speaking on April 27 "violate[s] fundamental principles of free speech, equal protection, and due process guaranteed by the United States Constitution, and will not be tolerated."
Further, the attorney's letter argues "The illegitimate time, place and manner restrictions imposed by the University will prejudicially limit, if not eviscerate, student access to the event, defeating its very purpose, and depriving Berkeley students of a much-needed counterweight to the favored voices such as [Mexican President Vincente Fox], or [former Clinton administration member Maria Echaveste], that UC Berkeley warmly welcomes."
Demanding a central campus location and an evening time slot, the letter puts the university "on notice of potential imminent litigation."
Clearly in rescheduling Coulter's talk to May 2, the university wanted to avoid appearing to stifle conservative speech though they are struggling to balance accommodating the event with the inevitable protests and potential for nighttime mayhem that they saw the night of a Milo Yiannopoulos speaking engagement in February, which had to be canceled at the last minute.
UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof gave a statement saying, "Everything we’re doing is so the speaker and students can actually exercise their rights without disruption. It’s hard to understand this display of disdain and disregard for the assessment of law enforcement professionals, particularly when their primary concern is the safety and well-being of college students."