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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I am a subscriber to and a big fan of The Nation. I'm also a fan of the work of Eric Alterman. But I feel I must correct something in this piece, something that has been widely disseminated. It's a mistake that has become accepted, and although I expect as much from the corporate media, I expect better from Eric Alterman.

I worked in television news for many years and was doing that when Rev. Louis Farrakhan delivered the speech in which he supposedly called Judaism "a gutter religion." I got a videotape copy of the speech and watched it. Farrakhan did not call Judaism "a gutter religion."

In that part of the speech in question, Rev. Farrakhan was condemning the treatment of Palestinians by Israel. He said anyone who oppressed other people and used their bible or religious teachings to justify such treatment was practicing "dirty religion." The point in context, although it referred to Israeli actions, was not about Judaism only, nor was it limited to Jews. And he said "dirty religion" not "gutter religion."

As for the Hitler quote, which was from a different, later speech, in context Rev. Farrakhan did say Hitler was evil. And it did not, in context, sound like he was holding Hitler up as someone to be admired.

I make no case as to whether or not Rev. Farrakhan is an anti-Semite. I hold no brief for Rev. Farrakhan. I simply think the truth matters. That's why I read The Nation and respect the work of Eric Alterman.

Earl Frounfelter

Santa Maria, CA

Jul 16 2008 - 9:39pm

Web Letter

I am always amazed by how much Republicans love Joe Liberman. This is always matched by how much he seemed to be reviled by many liberals. I, too, wonder what on earth Gore was thinking by chosing Liberman, but I don't have to wonder long. Gore, like all politicians, was making a calculated move. He wanted to garner the Jewish vote, and he also wanted to get the centrist and independent voters who may have considered him too liberal. He also wanted to send a message to the Democratic ranks that he didn't belong to Clinton (remember how ardently Lieberman castigated Clinton for the Lewinsky scandal). Unfortunately for him, Liberman just made them look like intellectually elitist duo who were out of touch with middle America. And columnists like Maureen Dowd made it no easier for him when they deconstructed his sentences, made him look like a seasoned liar with psychological issues (compared to how we now know Bush, this is laughable) and generally just got paid for making fun of him. Obviously, he still did well despite this. After all, he did win the popular vote. How much better would he have done had he not selected Liberman as his veep?

Jennifer Orozco

Raymondville, TX

Jun 9 2008 - 1:41pm

Web Letter

Unfortunately, this column is not news. Lieberman has long been a wolf in, well, wolf's clothing. The one question I would ask Al Gore if I ever meet him is: What in the hell were you thinking by choosing Lieberman as a VP? How many of us voted for Gore in spite of his runniing mate? I did.

Dana Cochran

Bramwell, WV

Jun 8 2008 - 10:20pm

Web Letter

The only thing you need to know about Joe Lieberman is that he is a right-wing Zionist, a Likudnik. Right-wing Zionism was a late form of integral nationalism, a development which in Europe was the forerunner of Fascism.

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, GA

Jun 8 2008 - 1:49pm

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