Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dear Salon

[Update below]

My subscription cancellation letter to Salon

To whom it concerns:

After being a Salon Premium subscriber for a number of years and having enjoyed numerous of your magazine's investigations in the past, I now find myself in the unenviable position of requesting cancellation of my Salon subscription. I find your magazine to be no longer terribly relevant in my daily reading. Consider, for example, today's top offering:

Four Square for Grown Ups: Childhood games like tag, dodgeball and rock paper scissors are being reclaimed by adults. Is there some deep societal reason why people are returning to kiddie fun?

Considering only a few of the many things going on in this country and the larger world, that such a story is the top story must be nearly embarrassing. With wars, rumours of wars, monumental government bungling and intrusion into the lives and activities of American citizens, unfettered waste of this country's resources, both financial and otherwise, and corruption abounding, I can little understand how Salon deems adult kiddie-fun the top feature of the day. Perhaps it is because an otherwise feckless US Congress is now considering condemning the New York Times for that paper's untoward behaviour? I'm only guessing, really, but I am no longer content to shovel money out for this nonsense.


But that is not the real reason why I am cancelling my subscription. The real reason for my decision is Salon's apparent editorial position regarding the ongoing debate surrounding the 2004 election and the magazine's incredible lack of interest in the many current fights now taking place across country as citizens voting rights groups resist the installation of insecure, hackable, uncertified private vendor voting machines. Just today, the California Election Protection Network has demanded that the results of the San Diego county election of June 6 be verified by hand recount after it was revealed that DRE voting machines were illegally used in that election. This is only one of many actions being taken by citizens voting groups around the country. Also, the Brennan Center Task Force has just released an exhaustive study of electronic voting machines, claiming that software attacks pose a "real danger" to these instruments. In other words, proprietary voting machines, as they are now, cannot be trusted. At some time in the not so distant past, I could imagine Salon at the forefront of coverage regarding these issues. No longer.

In 2001, Greg Palast's investigative report regarding the appalling behavior of Florida State's GOP and the program of targeted disenfranchisement that the party engaged during the run-up to the 2000 election was named "Story of the Year" by Salon. Today, artlessly expressed as it is by Farhad Manjoo, Salon's current position regarding the well documented abuse of the electoral system by Republicans again in 2004, is not only obtuse but practically a reversal of its own position in 2001. Considering the evidence as it has been documented by the Conyers report, along with the exhaustive reporting by Fitrakis and Wasserman, I can neither understand Salon's position now, nor find any reason to justify it. Manjoo's recent dismissal of Robert Kennedy's article in Rolling Stone was simply opinion backed only by meager and inaccurate nitpicking. He offered no convincing argument that the situation in Ohio did not warrant further investigation, which is really what Kennedy has called for.

So, please cancel my subscription to Salon. I find your magazine no longer relevant to the larger experiment of American democracy. If anything, you are now merely getting in the way.


Sincerely,

me

Update: Thom Hartmann has also asked that his Salon subscription be cancelled, albeit in a distinctly more concise manner than my own rambling effort:
"Some readers take issue with his tone, but none have identified an error in his reporting."

XXX,

I'm amazed you'd even put such a breathtakingly inaccurate statement into an on-the-record email. I'm assuming you're a sales flack who hasn't been reading the discussions, and am now even more certain that Salon is so lacking in credibility that it's a waste of my time to read it. Please process my cancellation.

Thom Hartmann
Ouch.

7 Comments:

Blogger Musclemouth said...

Good work. You mentioned the debate about the 2004 election. I'm going to have to go ahead and do it: put quotes around "debate". Yep, I just did it. These days, "debate" generally means "rhetorical entanglement". Know what I mean? Once there is enough evidence, what's the point in debate? The point, I'm afraid, is to make people question what is in plain sight. It is to delay the application of the five senses in pursuit of knowledge. What this country needs is less debate and more reporting. Just a random thought.

I thought your cancellation letter was excellent.

12:06 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Musclemouth,

Thanks. These so-called "debates" that we see occur around current issues all take on the same appearance. Just like the evolution "debate," which supposedly pits evidence and scientific reasoning against mythological proselytizing as though the two are equivalent, we see this in the election debate, where one side simply ignores the gobs of evidence that clearly demonstrate certain prevalent conditions, while the other side simply says the evidence does not show them anything at all. In effect, they are simply saying that they are to stupid to recognize the obvious.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Kel said...

Good for you Bhc.

It's funny you should bring up the evolution debate because that's the very point I wanted to comment upon.

Bush says that we need to have a debate when there's nothing to debate.

One side have no argument and are making all of their assumptons based on faith.

And Bush wants this taught in a science department so both sides of the argument can be discussed?

Great letter by the way. I suppose that's made up my mind whether or not to suscribe to them.

12:09 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Cheers!

It is unfortunate to see a zine like Salon crumble. They used to be quite good. Now, apart from The War Room and Daou Report, there's not much there. And those being blogs and blog aggragates, the content is usually to found many other places.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Musclemouth said...

Bush has said, "The jury is still out on evolution." Comedian Lewis Black, a hero of mine, said, "Uh, the Scopes trial ended a long time ago." I believe Kel has the HBO video posted in his archives. All six parts, one hour total. Great stuff. Useful rhetoric there.

Salon ain't the only turncoat. As you are probably aware, The New Republic, America's leading "liberal" print magazine, has sold its soul to the neocons. The editor, Martin Peretz, appears to be a self-appointed black ops agent for PNAC.

4:22 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...

TNR is definitely troublesome, mostly because the afflicted still see it as some bastion of liberalism. It really is nothing of the kind. They're as neo-con as any on the howling right, they're just more subtle and literary about it. I mean, even Bill Kristol has been crapping on the Bushies lately.

The lastest attacks on the blog, specifically the Kos-mania going around right now, is quite amazing. The establishment is pulling out the stops to damp the influence of Kos and they don't appear near finished. Take, for example, the latest bit from Howard Kurtz.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Musclemouth said...

Kurtz said the media have declared war on the war in Iraq. He says the media have overemphasized the violence. I don't know about you, but I haven't seen tens of thousands of dead people and bloody children and screaming mothers and fucked up buildings in the media.

Anyone who denies the existence of Iraqi suffering, by my own definition, is a devil/neocon/fascist/killer/liar. I mean why else would someone deny the sheer horror of the war, if not to profit from it in some way? I wouldn't trust Kurtz or his professed motives as far as I could spit at him.

9:17 PM  

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