In her January 6 nationally syndicated column, titled "Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole," right-wing pundit Ann Coulter attacked liberals for "heaping insults on America." Coulter claimed that The New York Times "was sticking with [calling the United States' response to the December 26 earthquake and tsunami] 'stingy.'" But the Times' criticism of the U.S. as "stingy" came in response to the United States' $35 million aid pledge, and the newspaper has since openly praised the U.S. for raising that pledge tenfold.
Coulter attacked the Times for a December 30, 2004, editorial titled "Are we stingy? Yes," writing that even though U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs Jan Egeland had "retracted" his comment about "stingy" Western nations, "the New York Times was sticking with 'stingy.'" (As Media Matters for America has noted, Egeland did not single out the United States as "stingy" and was specifically referring to foreign aid budgets not related to the tsunami.) Coulter continued: "In an editorial subtly titled 'Are We Stingy? Yes,' the Times said the U.N. sponge [Egeland] 'was right on target.' This followed up a patriotic editorial a few days earlier titled 'America, the Indifferent.'"
The Times editorial, however, was written after the U.S. announced a pledge of $35 million in aid (up from its original pledge of $15 million), which the paper criticized as "a miserly drop in the bucket ... in keeping with the pitiful amount of the United States budget that we allocate for nonmilitary foreign aid." After the U.S. increased its aid pledge to $350 million, a January 4 Times editorial titled "Raining money" praised the action as part of "[t]he greatest outpouring of disaster relief on record" by stating: "President Bush, who embarrassed Americans with his initial offer of a piddling $15 million, should be commended for increasing the government's pledge to $350 million."
- Natural Disasters