“Blech!” “sick,” “disturbing,” “nauseating” and “ugh” are a few of the epithets aimed at the Fox News ad on the back cover of our February 17 issue. Readers were “appalled,” “confused,” “shocked,” “hurt,” “horrified” and “wanted to weep.” They likened it to “finding a nudie ad in Ms.” or “finding that the woman you were totally in love with voted for Bush.” Subscriptions were canceled. The ad was more despised than the “dime bag” ads, which caused us to reiterate our advertising policy in these pages [“Letters,” Feb. 10]. But we follow the advice of Bill Michie of Manhattan, who urges us not to fill the Letters page “with some stupid Fox News flap,” because nothing would make Fox happier. So we publish only a small sample. –The Editors

Ojai, Calif.

What in the love of God are those Nazis doing on the back of my magazine?! If they took it over, I and my subscription are outta here.


Washington, DC

I can take the pro-Zionist ads, the dime bag ad, even the ubiquitous “Jesus Never Existed” ads, but Faux News?! Before you accept a full-page ad for Rush Limbaugh’s show, three words of advice: Just say no!


San Luis Obispo, Calif.

I’m wondering if The Nation‘s recent decision to reiterate its advertising policy [“Letters,” Feb. 10] wasn’t a setup to prepare readers for the gag-reflex-inducing propaganda ad featuring the sorry mugs of our archenemies in the War on Lies and Disinformation. Rather than cancel my subscription, however, I’m returning to you under separate cover the back page of the offending issue and demanding a 1.6-cent refund ($35.97 one-year subscription/47 issues/48 pages). I’ll have to sacrifice Frank W. Lewis’s Crossword Puzzle #2880, but so be it. I await your check for 1.6 cents.


Hayward, Calif.

Congrats on taking the 8K ad. I’m 74, have been a Nation reader most of my adult life, am also a member of the ACLU and didn’t resign after Skokie.


Shelton, Wash.

Any chance of getting Fox to spring for a regular weekly back-cover color ad? It’d be converting narrow-minded, backward-thinking dollars into progressive reporting.


Portland, Ore.

Although I’d been waiting for a Personals ad by Henry Kissinger proclaiming himself a “compassionate advocate of international human rights who enjoys long walks on the beach,” your Fox (the “unbiased news source”) ad serves just as well.



I laughed out loud when I saw the Fox ad–they’re simply out to rankle Nation readers. Refusing to print the ad because you find it nauseating constitutes censorship. Anyone who cancels a subscription over it has no chance of winning a debate with those folks, much less throwing their political patrons out of office. Keep my sub rolling.


Topanga, Calif.

Add my name to the list of the outraged. However, do not stop–do not ever stop–my subscription to your great magazine. Do not ever stop crusading for the good and decent things in our society.



Wagener, SC

I agree with much of Robert L. Borosage’s “Bush’s Big Bad Budget” [Feb. 24], but I take issue with his reference to investment income as “unearned,” morally inferior to wage income. This nomenclature is not, unfortunately, unique to him. I am retired, and my wife and I live on Social Security, a pension and investment income. I worked for and saved wages to accumulate the investments that supplement our pensions. The income from them is not “unearned.” The appropriate taxation of investment income is a matter for debate, but it should not be clouded by derogatory terminology.



New York City

As Jennifer Baumgardner eloquently points out in “Roe in Rough Waters” [Feb. 10], women seeking abortion procedures face myriad obstacles. For low-income women, paying for the procedure is one of the most daunting. The 1977 Hyde Amendment bans the use of federal Medicaid dollars for pregnancy terminations, leaving the option to cover abortions with Medicaid dollars up to individual states. Currently, only sixteen states cover medically necessary abortion services for Medicaid recipients, whether by choice or by court order. The National Network of Abortion Funds estimates that one in three low-income women seeking an abortion is forced to carry her pregnancy to term. The result is a fundamentally undemocratic, two-tiered system of healthcare. Middle-class and affluent women are able to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion, while low-income women are left without the resources to do so. In this context, reproductive choice becomes a legal abstraction. Organizations like the New York Abortion Access Fund and the Haven Coalition ([email protected]) make reproductive choice a reality. You can support NYAAF’s work by sending a check to NYAAF, FDR Station, Box 7569, New York, NY 10150.

NYAAF Board Member



Thanks to Stuart Klawans for his review of the films of the intifada [“Films,” Feb. 10]. Another excellent documentary is Crossing Kalandia, directed by Sobhi Al-Zobaidi. Sobhi’s film of daily life in his home in Ramallah under Israeli tanks and artillery fire in 2002 is moving, funny, tragic, fascinating, humane–a beautiful account of people living under extraordinary stress. I also second Klawans’s recommendation of Hidden Wars of Desert Storm. It’s excellent and most timely. It can be obtained directly from Ungerman’s distribution company, FreeWill Productions (818-487-2879; It’s an effective organizing tool, especially since the last part deals with the US Army’s exposure of our own troops to depleted uranium shells.

One more point about Klawans’s review of L’Chayim, Comrade Stalin! and Birobidzhan. The Soviets chose a location hundreds of miles east of the Caspian Sea for the Jewish Autonomous Region because it was reputedly the ancestral homeland of the Kazars, whose elite converted to Judaism in the ninth century after the Kazars migrated west to the region south of present-day Kiev and became a regional power. Caught between the Byzantine Empire and the Caliphate of Baghdad, the Kazar kings saw Judaism as a way to reap the benefits of “book monotheism” as a unifying cultural force without opening the kingdom to undue influence of Christianity or Islam.



Iowa City

I have been contemplating the letters in the February 10 issue that emphasize the need for current and former Nation writers to “work together” and ask if we are not all “more or less on the same side.” “Amen,” the editors reply.

In a practical, organization-minded, activist way, I agree. But in other, perhaps more important ways, I beg to differ. Our arguments–our passionate quests, our belief in what we know to be true–are essential to our human experience. To work together, to build a coalition, to figure out the ways we are on the same side, are good and honest goals, and ones that must be pursued. But if to do so you must sacrifice the thing most dear to you, the thing you most know to be true–to do that is to betray not only yourself, but also the very thing that makes us human.

So have at it–work together, but keep up the fight.



Rochester, NY

Thank you for the sharp and timely call to arms by Walter Mosley, “An African-American Appeal for Peace” [Jan. 27]. We were particularly struck by the statement: “Our collective freedom, fellow Americans, depends on our ability to defend the rights of others.” This is a perfect complement to the statement by excommunicated Episcopal priest Algernon Crapsey at an African-American church in Washington, DC, around 1900. To wit: “When you fail to fight for your rights, you also betray mine.” This is powerful stuff.

We wish the Democrats would fight for themselves when so regularly and freely trampled by the Republicans. We wish the Democrats would fight to promote our interests and defend our rights.