The Cruelest Prosecutor
After reading Jessica Pishko’s “Is Angela Corey the Most Hated Prosecutor in America?” [Sept. 12/19], I don’t understand how Corey stays in office. There should be someone to say, “No more—this has to stop!” I thought sending a child to prison for life was bad enough, but to convict a woman who defended herself against an abusive husband is inconceivable. She should be removed from office yesterday, if not sooner. I can only hope that there are others like myself who see the rage in this woman and believe she should be in jail.
Frank E. Shirley
The Nation Replies
We are pleased to report that Corey lost her reelection bid by 38 points on August 30. She’s the first sitting Jacksonville state attorney ever to lose an election. Her replacement, Melissa Nelson, was an attorney for Cristian Fernandez, one of the children that Corey’s office tried to send to prison for life.
Senior Editor, The Nation
new york city
Nothing Ailed Us!
I believe The Nation owes us an apology [Samantha Schuyler’s “Rancid Roger,” Aug. 15/22]. I was a reporter at Television News Incorporated (TVN), and none of my colleagues would have joined a “propaganda machine.” We covered the news as professionals, without any interference from Roger Ailes—who, by the way, I never met. We were engaged by the idea of building a fourth network, not a right-wing enterprise.
ocean view, del.
Samantha Schuyler Replies
Carolyn Lewis is absolutely right that many TVN staff were serious professionals intent on reporting the news with accuracy and integrity—a point captured by Northeast bureau chief Pete Simmons in an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review in 1975: “[TVN] hired professional newspeople to get the operation going.” However, the same commitment to honest reportage cannot be granted to the company’s founder, conservative beer magnate Joseph Coors, who created the news service as a corrective to what he believed was the liberal bias of network news. TVN, wrote Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson in a 2011 profile of Roger Ailes, was “designed to inject a far-right slant into local news broadcasts by providing news clips that stations could use without credit.” Indeed, when the news staff failed to produce the desired content, company president Jack Wilson would harangue his news director, Dick Graf (who was eventually replaced by Ailes), for not pushing the company’s news packages rightward, or for covering events or people not deemed politically palatable. (One memo, also quoted in the 1975 CJR article, reads: “Why was only Hubert Humphrey given a chance to voice his socialist viewpoints on food stamps, housing, medical care and the provisions of federal funds?”)
So while it’s true that TVN reporters did work hard to cover the news, it’s also fair to say that the company’s ethos was a right-wing one— a mismatch that created significant internal conflict and was one of the reasons for TVN’s ultimate demise. In 1975, a year after Ailes was brought in to replace Graf, TVN collapsed amid staff rebellions and financial losses.
new york city
I agree with Katha Pollitt [“France’s Cultural Panic,” September 12/19]: Women should wear whatever the hell they want! It’s not for men or the government (almost always run by heterosexual men) to decide what’s appropriate for women to wear. It’s easy to condemn patriarchal Muslim countries for dictating that women should cover themselves, but it takes a little more self-reflection to see how mainstream Western or Asian cultures also dictate how women should look. Why are women expected to wear makeup, short skirts, tight-fitting clothes, high heels, bikinis, and the other trappings of “liberation” in order to feel empowered? Aren’t we saying that a woman has to publicly highlight her sexuality in order to have agency? Why aren’t men held to the same standards? Why don’t men wear short-shorts in the workplace, or tight, low-cut shirts that show off their chest hair, or high heels to accentuate their calf muscles, or makeup to highlight their lips, eyes, and complexion? Yes, many Muslim women are oppressed, and we should encourage them to make their own decisions about their appearance. But they are also free not to buy into consumer-driven expectations of what a liberated woman “should” look like.Sami Hussain
I sometimes like to wear long-sleeved rash-guard shirts because I don’t want to scorch my skin and don’t especially like sunscreen. I’ve even worn tights to snorkel when the sun was especially bad. And I don’t wear skimpy bikinis ever, even when the sun isn’t so strong—they just aren’t comfortable for me. The burkini actually looks more comfortable than conventional bikinis. Are the French cops going to rip off my clothes if I dress the way I like on the beach? Probably not, since I’m of European background, not Middle Eastern or South Asian. Still, I don’t especially want to visit France these days.
We didn’t do a great job of staying sane after 9/11, but France seems to be going off the deep end. Good article!
I applaud France’s efforts to accelerate assimilation into the host culture, rather than to grant the freedom to remain separate by minor freedoms while remaining excluded by major prejudice. As for the comment that France has gone overboard in reaction to terrorist attacks compared to the United States—unbelievable! Last time I looked, only America launched a war that destroyed a million lives in a country that wasn’t even responsible for 9/11.
When Journalism Matters
Kai Wright’s “End of Private Prisons” [Sept. 12/19] is why I and many others continue to subscribe to The Nation. There is very little left in the national media even worth looking at.
Between Our Readers
As a woman in her 90s who marched for the Equal Rights Amendment and calls herself a feminist, I am full of hope about Hillary becoming our next president. I feel that Kathleen Robinson’s personal evaluation of the qualities and skills of men and women [“Letters,” Sept. 26/Oct. 3] can wait until after this extremely important election.