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My e-mail to Mr. Corn

A continuation of the conversation sparked by Jennifer’s article which appeared on the Flaming Grasshopper March 2. David Corn of The Nation wrote a defense of his choice to sign with a large publishing house for his book The Lies of George W. Bush. Now, Jennifer writes him an e-mail and promises a more lengthy response next week.

Mr. Corn,

Thanks for taking the time to respond publicly. I welcome the opportunity to further this debate, as you missed some points and misinterpreted others. In particular, I never said that writers do not deserve advances.


I am a writer. I know very well that writers need money. I was simply asking people to think about the implications of making money for the likes of Rupert Murdoch, and inviting progressive writers to join with independent publishers to think up new ways of finding money for projects–while simultaneously strengthening indy media.

Your point about my working at Variety will be fun to answer, too–as I have founded an educational non-profit, written for many independent outlets, worked at a peace institute in Jerusalem, taught, worked at political, health and arts organizations, etc. And when no one in independent journalism would hire me a few years back, I did take a job for one year at Variety. That is when I began to see that in working for and giving money to the very machines that accelerate our national and global decline, we are only a part of the problem and in no way a part of some new, better solution. That’s why I work for an independent publisher, Mr. Corn. Very petty of you, and silly, to have attempted to “out” me, too, as I’d admitted it myself in my bio line.

And as for “You have a rather funny way of doing business.” Well, I guess it’s not all “just business” to me. It’s about getting people to face hard truths, so that we might begin to really change what’s wrong. But, the establishment left, as usual, is once again trying to eat its own rather than do what truly needs to be done.

Be sure to read the rest of the story on Monday.

All best, Jennifer


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