During the three days after the May 2010 issue of In These Times went to press, I signed more than 1,600 letters to members of the In These Times Community who contribute above and beyond the cost of their subscription.
This “news” is not more important than: the story of how the Obama administration’s remedy for the housing crisis benefits bankers, or how the healthcare reform group HCAN compromised too soon, or why Tavis Smiley and Al Sharpton are feuding, or the reason Alice Waters’ foundation promotes the use of sewage sludge in San Francisco school gardens, or Slavoj Žižek’s explanation of why this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner masks the atrocities of war, or our groundbreaking cover story on the resurgence of Honduran death squads.
Without your financial investment these stories would not exist.
It has been nearly five years since Jimmy Weinstein, our founding editor and publisher, “came a cropper” (his favorite 19th century metaphor) and left this mortal coil. Since then, against all odds, In These Times has persevered.
But it has only done so because you, the In These Times Community, decided that this magazine is an institution worthy of your support.
Where is the progressive movement today? The passage of healthcare reform legislation has energized the Obama White House and stiffened the spines of congressional Democrats. More importantly, it has whet progressives’ appetite for fundamental social change.
During the next year, In These Times and InTheseTimes.com will explore and debate how we can build on that success.
If the progressive movement is to get any traction, such discussions are vital.
With your backing, In These Times will say what the corporate media doesn’t: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act demonstrates that corporate interests and their lobbyists are as powerful as they are self-serving.
This new legislation may curtail some of the insurers’ most unsavory practices, but it does not control healthcare costs. And it does not challenge the private, for-profit insurance model that is at the root of our national healthcare crisis.
That victory begins the ongoing struggle for truly universal healthcare – a struggle that In These Times pledges to support. With your help, we will report on how a resurgent right – financed by covert corporate contributions – panders to people’s fears through a sophisticated campaign of public-relations demagoguery.
Unlike the Tea Party, In These Times does not have corporate sponsors. In order to make In These Times affordable (to students, to people surviving on minimum wage and activist pay, and to seniors living on fixed incomes), we sell subscriptions to In These Times at well below cost.
Unfortunately, donations from InTheseTimes.com – which has been averaging more than a quarter million page views per month – don’t begin to cover costs.
Political magazines and websites never make a profit. They all rely on the financial support and generosity of their readers. It is a fact: Since our first issue in 1976, you and other members of the In These Times Community have made In These Times and InTheseTimes.com not only possible, but essential.
Thank you for your continued support. We hope we have earned your trust.
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.