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Radio, Radio | The Nation

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Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

Well-chosen words on music, movies and politics, with the occasional special guest.

Radio, Radio

I co-authored my "Think Again" column with Danny Goldberg this week. It's about how important right-wing talk radio is to the politics of this nation and what a mistake liberals make by failing to pay attention to it. That's here.

My Nation column is called "Money for Nothing" and it's about how networks are looting their news divisions to carry insane celebrity salaries for their hosts and anchors.

I did a Daily Beast column on how the failure of Biden's trip to Israel indicates that the only solution that's even thinkable anymore is an imposed solution. That's here.

I could not help but notice in this Jonathan Chait column attacking the "Delusional Left" for its opposition to Obama's healthcare bill, the entire "left" for Chait's purposes consists of one Jane Hamsher. Now Chait is not stupid. He knows that Hamsher represents a tiny, minority sliver of the left and that almost everyone of significance among liberals supports the health care bill albeit reluctantly in many cases. But he is dishonest in exactly the manner that appears to infect TNR writers and editors with surprising consistency through the years. Can it be a coincidence, for instance, that the very same magazine has made a practicefor decades now of the deliberately and dishonestly misrepresenting the position of those on its left for the purposes of pretending that the Neocon view of things like Regan's war in Central America, Joe Lieberman's presidential hopes, the war in Iraq, whether criticism of Israel is evidence of anti-Semitism, etc is actually the only legitimate "liberal" view.. Hence the famous phrase "Even the liberal New Republic...." Now here's Chait doing exactly the same thing. He could not defend his equation of Hamsher with the entire American left. But neither have I seen him apologize. I guess he's hoping nobody, except his boss and apparent role model, Marty Peretz, bothers to notice. Sorry, but we here on the health care reform supporting left, can't help it....

The Mail:

Name: Joe Gallagher
Hometown: Prairie village, KS

I realize this is an inappropriate forum, but could someone please explain to me what has happened to Newsweek? In 1970, I got married and started a nearly 40 year consecutively maintained subscription. The marriage will last longer than the subscription because I am canceling it, obviously giving up on something I once believed in. From the expanses of white space to the just awful and unfair stories (two examples: the Harvard/religion/let's trash Stephen Pinker one to the current blame the teachers for all that's wrong) I have just had my fill. If I had any forum, I would lead the boycott. I am so steamed about the current cover story. Now, no one want s poor teachers to keep working, well, almost no one, but to blame a problem that is virtually 100% socio-economic on teachers is beyond the pale. No one wants to hassle those teachers in those well-funded suburban schools, where, not so coincidentally, the parents care about their kids education, but when young inexperienced teachers cannot overcome the lack of support endemic to too many families, they are to be fired. You know, most public school teachers do not technically have tenure as the word is properly used, although it is true it is not easy to fire them. In Nebraska, where we taught for nearly three decades, teachers can be fired for any or no reason for three years. Shouldn't decent administrators notice who can't teach in three years? Sorry for the rant; feel free to trash.

Name: Ed Tracey
Hometown: Lebanon, NH

Professor, while I never met Doris Haddock it seems many here in the Granite State speak of the late Granny D as if she was their grandmother (which, I suspect, wouldn't have troubled her a bit).

But to understand why a 90 year-old would trek across America to support campaign finance reform, get arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence at the Capitol and run for the US Senate at age 94...well, it began in her youth. She attended Emerson College in Boston for three years but was 'asked' to leave for the crime of...getting married...in 1930 (although they gave her an honorary degree seventy years later) So in terms of her following convention...why start now?

Eric replies: We appeared together somewhere once, in Asheville, come to think of it, and stayed at the same out of the way Inn. A delightful and inspiring lady...

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