UC-Berkeley is trying to change the record on what happened to conservative writer and pundit Ann Coulter’s speech, which was canceled ahead of its scheduled time on Thursday.
After telling the New York Times that she was withdrawing her talk, Coulter took to Twitter to say, “I’m so sorry Berkeley canceled my speech. I’m so sorry YAF acquiesced in the cancelation. And I’m so sorry for free speech crushed by thugs.”
I’m so sorry Berkeley had a different story every 20 minutes, which always was: No speech.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 26, 2017
She continued by writing, “If we had continued to fight we would have won.”
However, UC-Berkeley is now contesting who canceled on whom. Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent out a message to the campus community indicating they actually pulled out all the stops for Coulter.
“Contrary to some press reports and circulating narratives,” Dirks wrote, “the UC Berkeley administration did not cancel the Coulter event and has never prohibited Ms. Coulter from coming on campus. Instead, we received a request to provide a venue on one single day, chosen unilaterally by a student group without any prior consultation with campus administration or law enforcement.”
During a news conference, Dan Mogulof, assistant vice chancellor for public affairs, said that Berkeley did everything in its power to protect Coulter’s First Amendment rights.
“Ms. Coulter and speakers, regardless of their positions, are welcome on this campus, full stop,” Mogulof said. “Everything we have done to date is about facilitating and supporting our student group in trying to make it possible for Ms. Coulter to exercise her First Amendment rights.”
Conservative pundit Gavin McInnes ended up standing in for Coulter and delivered her speech on Thursday.
“Ann was betrayed, she was censored,” McInnes said. “They put all the legal onus upon her so if someone gets hurt tonight it would have been on her head, but now it’s on my head and I’m happy to take this on my head.”