PARDON ME, DO YOU SPEAK LIBERAL?
Congratulations to Eric Alterman for “Corrupt, Incompetent & Off Center” [“The Liberal Media,” Nov. 7]. Pulling the facts together like this is a service to the progressive community, as it helps re-instill hope that change is not only possible but on its way. I wonder, though, if we really need a new language for liberals or just a way to get the word out. I recently ran for County Council here in Whatcom County on a progressive “relocalization” platform and was surprised at the support I got from self-described conservative Republicans. They were as thrilled as anyone to hear someone actually talk about the issues. Of course, I didn’t make it through the primary. My $800 campaign was little match for the $17,000 spent by the incumbent. But it did start a conversation that had been missing, and many people thanked me for it. Columns like Alterman’s gave me the background information for these conversations.
RATTLE & HUMPH
U2 “bombastic”? Compared to who? Liszt? Gilbert and Sullivan? Marilyn Manson? Gilbert O’Sullivan? Doug Henwood [“Bono Meets Dr. Shock,” Oct. 31] should push the button on his radio–from NPR to music–occasionally. That way he’d know that U2 is “expansive” or “grandiose.” You need two guitars to be “bombastic,” man. C’mon.
New York City
Bombastic, yes. Pompous and bloatedly anthemic too. And I speak as someone who won the “Best Music on a Radio Show About Economics & Politics” from the Village Voice, in its Best of NYC 2005. By the way, I almost never listen to NPR. Too dull.
Producer, Behind the News
WBAI, 99.5 FM
LET’S HEAR IT FOR RUSSIA (& FDR)!
Eric Alterman’s self-satisfied attack on FDR (cum plug for his book) [“The Liberal Media,” Oct. 24] has the unpleasant smell of much American cold war writing: The United States won the war. Stalin was murderous, de Gaulle vainglorious, Churchill unreasonable and so on. Actually, if any one nation defeated Germany, it was, of course, Russia. De Gaulle’s vanity was not personal but on behalf of France, and that way and in no other way France remained an important nation. Churchill was reasonable enough to realize that no nation, ever, after being defeated in one war and then triumphant in the next one, would not expect to make up for the losses. American wailing about the Yalta “giveaway” was caused by four years of war during which the role of the Soviet Union was systematically ignored or belittled here.