[Marxism] Reply to Daniel Okrent

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 3 15:08:35 MST 2004

> Dear Mr. Proyect,
>         You appear to have a much more intimate familiarity than I do 
> with The Times's reviewer policies. You might want to share them with 
> the right-wingers who complained that eight books attacking John 
> Ashcroft and the Patriot Act were assigned to a former member of the 
> paper's "notoriously leftist" editorial board. Or maybe you'd prefer to 
> hear from the Zionists who just accused the editor of the Op-Ed page of 
> anti-Semitism for publishing a piece by Prof. Chomsky.

Dear Daniel, thanks for getting back to me. I feel a little bit less now 
as if I had pressed the close button in an elevator that serves as a 
placebo. I honestly think that you are trying to do a good job, but I 
wouldn't take the evidence of rightwing complaints about the Times very 
seriously. There was a time when the paper had Claire Sterling writing 
for it. When it gives Amy Goodman a job, then I'll think there's 
something to the rightwing crank complaints. Indeed, when Raymond Bonner 
had the temerity to report that the FMLN might have popular support, he 
was removed from his beat by A.M. Rosenthal to keep the State Department 
happy. Why doesn't this sort of treatment ever get meted out to the 
likes of Judith Miller, I wonder.

>         I'm not saying that there is nothing to your argument -- I think 
> there may be some validity in a couple of things you say. But as you 
> have buried them in such a torrent of passionate intensity (see Yeats, 
> "The Second Coming"), I don't see there's much point in discussing them. 
> And if you want to be convinced that I'm a "close door" button, it would 
> be impolite for me to act in any other fashion.
> Yours sincerely,
> Daniel Okrent
> Public Editor

Well, I did get your attention! ;-)


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