Kitty Kelley bails on Saint John's over Nick Coleman kerfuffle

Kitty Kelley supports Nick Coleman.
Kitty Kelley supports Nick Coleman.

Celebrity biographer Kitty Kelley is so ticked off over Saint John's University's controversial ousting of Star Tribune columnist Nick Coleman that she withdrew her support for the school and slammed it on Huffington Post.

Coleman was a Senior Fellow at the college's Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement until pressure from donors--who disliked what they viewed as a liberal slant to his columns--led to the school unceremoniously dumping him.

Turns out that Kelley worked for the Senator from Minnesota for four years, during and after his run for president. After he died in 2005, Kelley was on the committee that started the fellowship in McCarthy's name. Coleman was the school's first Senior Fellow.

When Kelley found out that Coleman was dropped, she pulled her support and wrote a column for Huffington Post accusing the school of tarnishing McCarthy's legacy.

"Apparently conservative donors had objected to Mr. Coleman's liberal views and strongly expressed their objections to the university, which denies that political pressure drove them to deprive Mr. Coleman of publicly using his award as a Senior McCarthy Fellow as his identification," Kelley wrote.

"Whatever happened, it's clear that Saint John's has forgotten the principles that once informed the idealism of Eugene McCarthy, who believed that a university is to be an arena for the free expression of all views and that even those ideas which do not comport to orthodoxy must be heard in order to be understood."

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