Over the past 10 months, many readers have wrote, emailed, and called to complain about Michael Coren. It should be noted that these complaints were never about something he wrote in The Interim. But his columns elsewhere and on-air commentary sometimes rubbed readers the wrong way when he differed with this paper’s editorial line. He took a different approach on homosexuality, pro-life tactics, and sex-ed than we do here at the paper. My response to those asking why we continued to provide space for a writer who was not onside on all issues was that columnists are allowed to differ here and there on some issues. I assured readers that I would not permit Coren to publish some of the things he said in other papers, including the Catholic Register and the Sun newspapers, in The Interim. Fortunately, Coren was wise enough to not submit any column that would be hugely problematic.
Sadly, there came a point where our affiliation with Michael Coren was too scandalous for too many readers. Frankly, the feeling was probably mutual. He has become critical of what he calls “the hard-right” which might include the writers published, and views expressed, in our paper. Last month the business board made the decision to cut ties with our long-time columnist. When I informed Michael, he was not surprised and his comments on Twitter and Facebook were magnanimous.
The reason we kept Coren in the paper as long as we did was that it seemed strange to not have a place for Canada’s most prominent pro-life journalist in Canada’s pro-life paper. But we had reached the point where it now seemed strange that Coren’s heterodoxy on many issues of faith and family would be countenanced by the editorial and business boards of The Interim. We let Coren go and it is probably in both our best interests. He was certainly very understanding.
I want to thank readers for expressing their concerns over the past year, some passionately, some just curiously. We took those complaints to heart and weighed them in numerous board discussions. We value your input; The Interim is, after all, your newspaper, the newspaper of the pro-life movement.
On a personal note, I also want to thank Michael for being a staunch defender of preborn life and fervently hope that we find ourselves on the same side of more battles in the future.
– Paul Tuns