We saw Crevalcore’s diary, "Katrina vanden Heuvel: Go Into Debt For The Nation" and felt like we should respond.
One thing we thought was unfair in Crevalcore’s attack on Katrina and The Nation was the kicker:
"Does anyone know Katrina well enough to ask her to explain this email?
There are warm and friendly relationships between many people associated with The Nation and FDL, which we’ve always respected and supported. Many FDL contributors have guest-blogged for us and even been involved in fundraising events for the magazine. The point is that we could have been reached easily if you really did want an explanation of our credit card program. This goes not just for the Editors and staff at FDL, but for any of the diarists – we would gladly answer any and all questions.* This depiction of The Nation as some opaque, unresponsive outfit is unfair and paints a false picture for your readers.
So we wish you would have called before writing from-the-hip. If you had asked us what was up, this is what we would have said:
Our credit card contract is with a small, regional bank, UMB, in Kansas City. We’re supporting the new campaign to "Move Your Money" to banks like this, and, for what it’s worth, this particular institution is sanctioned by this new movement. But we’re not undertaking this campaign to promote our politics. We’re doing it to survive. It’s enormously difficult to run a small business and we need the money the program generates. That’s why we do it. Most people use a credit card, at least sometimes, and we’re just asking people to consider that when they do so they can also support The Nation’s brand of investigative reporting. You may not like all of that reporting – certainly there is debate here at Firedoglake about our healthcare coverage – but this funding also pays for reporting like Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater, Aram Roston on Afghanistan and William Greider on the financial services sector. Our hope is that people won’t throw the baby out with the bathwater because we may have disagreements on some issues.
Finally, there has been a recurring theme in some diaries that we’re not willing to criticize President Obama. On Thursday we’ll be posting our "Obama at One" forum at TheNation.com, and we hope you’ll give it a look. We expect you’ll find that the idea that criticism of President Obama isn’t welcome in our pages is just flatly untrue. The Nation has always been a home for debate between different perspectives in the progressive community, and while every word in our pages may not reflect your viewpoint, we hope that we’re providing a thoughtful, intelligent and informed debate that’s worth supporting.
We hope that makes sense.