Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

The other three web letters published in response to this article are from men. I'm not blaming The Nation, or the men who wrote in, for this, but I think it's relevant to the discussion.

I would be willing to bet that thousands of women like me look forward to every single one of Katha Pollitt's columns, because she so often validates our observations. Why aren't they writing in? I don't think it's because they are collectively doing the dishes--there are hundreds of comments by women to the posts on the feminist blogs. I think it's because all of the general interest magazines, including The Nation, with Katrina vanden Heuvel as publisher, are dominated by men. Count up the writers. Read the blog comments. In an environment dominated by men, women often feel that their every response has to be impeccable, because they will get shredded if it's not, and everyone will think they are stupid because they are female. Research supports this.

Pollitt points out that often (not always, of course) even liberal men tend to overlook other men's views on women's issues, or even their blatant sexism, when evaluating men's contributions. This is certainly my observation. And it's true because the men have nothing to lose, because women are silencing themselves. I would like to recommend Rebecca Solnit's article "The Archipelago of Arrogance" from tomdispatch to anyone who doesn't understand the dynamics of this.

Cynthia Lepthien

Eagle, CO

Apr 2 2009 - 9:05am

Web Letter

Given her citations of Ross Douthat's own writings, it would seem that Ms. Pollitt's analysis is substantially on target and that the New York Times is continuing its campaign of confusing conservatism with prejudicially subjective miasmata.

First Tanenhaus, who still thinks that Alger Hiss was guilty, then Bill Kristol, whose Joe Franklin imitation along with the "Project For A New American Century" were the highlights of an outstanding comedic career, and now Douthat, another incipient grosse Arschloch--pardon my German.

If Douthat also bombs, I would suggest that they give Mussolini's granddaughter a chance at writing a column. Her ideas would, I think, fit nicely into the Times's concept of “conservative,” as their enthusiasm for her grandfather's politics did not so long ago.

Jim Crawford

Westwood, NJ

Mar 28 2009 - 4:06am

Web Letter

I agree with Katha Pollitt that the New York Times should have just kept William Kristol, if all the Times had in mind was to replace Krisol with the likes of Russ Douthat. But, aside from reminding us of the astounding news that conservatives have retrogade views, I cannot figure why Pollitt would bother. Does she really believe there was ever a time in the last thirty or so years when the Times hadn't ceded the pulpit of the ground to conservatism? Besides, if Douthat and Reihan Salam are even partially sincere in telling GOP supporters that families and workers are worth spending money on, I won't sneeze. Beats Title IX by miles.

Douglas Presler

Minneapolis, MN

Mar 24 2009 - 10:42am

Web Letter

I'm sure Katha Pollitt has received many letters commenting on her "liberal blogger men" remark. But I haven't seen any responses to the inevitable questions she has undoubtedly received, like "Which liberal bloggers?" Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein aren't the only liberal bloggers out there, and are about the only ones I know of who have said someting positive about Ross Douthat. And they both work, or did work, at The Atlantic.

I read many blogs, mostly "liberal," and except for the two mentioned above, they have uniformly decried, derided, ridiculed and denounced the NYT's choice. Did I mention those bloggers thought it was a bad idea? I'm including the bloggers at Eschaton, Hullabaloo, Sadly, No, to name a few. I didn't read anything one way or the other that I can recall on Think Progress, TPM or anything else.

I guess Katha needs to publish her definition of "liberal blogger men" so we can know whom to vilify. I hope she isn't just trying to drive a wedge between the liberal sexes.

Tom Church

St. Paul, MN

Mar 20 2009 - 11:41am