ATC editor neutral in corporate take-over of Pacifica

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Jun 11 07:45:25 MDT 2001

At 09:56 PM 6/10/01 -0400, you wrote:
>[from [Marc Cooper <mcooper at>], entire quoted text
>snipped (sigh)]
>Jim.. you know, you are right. I had never considered certain things
>before I read your last message. But alas, I am forced to confess that
>the printed page, words on paper and all of academia are indeed a
>waste of time. Two more bourgeois institutions to be tossed onto the
>scrap heap of history!  And yes.. I confess.. after 30 years in
>journalism, having published hundreds of articles in scores of
>publications around the world, after having those words read by
>millions, having published several books (on real paper no less!) and
>after having dozens of my pieces reprinted in textbooks to be used in
>-- arghh-- academia (!), well.. yes.. I confess.. I AM envious! It's
>only now because of your prodding that I realize that at this late
>"aging" stage in my life, at the decrepit age of 50, what I have
>always secretly wanted was to be regularly published on the internet
>Marxism page.

Count of how many times the word "I" occurs in the above paragraph: 8.

What Cooper still doesn't get is that the Internet left, which this mailing
list is one small part of,  operates on a completely different paradigm
than the one he is involved with. He is essentially a careerist whose
fortunes are tied up with the ability to produce a product that is
marketable in the "responsible" left. This, of course, is a highly
competitive market and you are fighting for market share against
Christopher Hitchens, Alex Cockburn, Kathe Pollitt, et al. A job at the
Nation opens doors at glossy publications like Vanity Fair, while a
sinecure at KPFK keeps your name in front of the public, especially in a
high visibility market like Los Angeles. This sort of "cultural capital" in
the Bourdieu sense is accumulated assiduously by talented, media-savvy
people like Marc Cooper who probably wants to be seen as some kind of John
Reed for the 21st century when in fact he has more in common with Bill Moyers.

>Guess that up to now I have been one of those cabbage-headed
>intellectuals!  Thanks for turning my silly little life around!  Until
>this very moment, frankly, I was into what I do merely for the glory
>and the glitz of working for the sleek and shiny Nation

By you, the Nation is underground. By us, it is liberal. For that matter,
in recent years it has decided to accomodate itself to the DLC, as this
excerpt from a 2/10/96 Houston Post article indicates. Of course, for
somebody like myself, this was obvious when I got the mag each week
starting with Clinton's first term and was the reason I dumped it. A
magazine that had its roots in the abolitionist movement was now an
ideological prop of the Clinton administration, whose chief executive went
to Arkansas to oversee the execution of a mentally incompetent man.

For years before that, there had been a consensus among The Nation's staff
as to what the magazine's role should be in the country - and for that
matter, what the role of the political left should be. Should the left
criticize the Clinton administration, or defend it against its
neo-conservative enemies?

By the time Navasky moved from editor to publisher, "our people were split
on everything,'' he said.

Some of them remain split. For her part, vanden Heuvel is trying to
ESTABLISH A BALANCE that includes both sides in the dialectic - or
discourse, as she calls it.

A quiet, deliberative woman in her mid-30s, she has worked for The Nation
on and off for years.

She brings to the job a glamour that incorporates a grandfather
media-mogul, an ambassador father, a New York society-publisher mother -
along with looks that won her the title "babe'' from a couple of glossy
magazines, and a nervous system sensitive enough to victimize her with
sudden blushes and, occasionally, a suddenly sinking voice.

>Earlier in ym career I had worked for such trashbin
>go-nowhere outfits like Rolling Stone and Playboy and Harpers. But
>them when the gilded doors of The Nation opened before me..
>well.. hey.. it was a no-brainer! I sold my soul to the devil himself,
>Victor Navasky.

Gosh, I have a new attitude toward you now. Going from Harpers to the
Nation is a sacrifice comparable to Che Guevara going into the Bolivian
jungle. "Live like Marc!"

Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list:

More information about the Marxism mailing list