letters

Comments: Week of June 6, 2022

1.

“A Practical Guide to Accessing an Abortion, Today and Tomorrow,” May 23–June 5

Illustration: New York Magazine

In a special issue, New York’s latest cover story featured a handbook of abortion providers in all 50 states and a road map of options if Roe v. Wade falls. Journalist Cindi Leive called the cover “a beautiful sight,” and @GeneralGrantW tweeted, “This is an incredibly important read for every American, even if you don’t have a uterus. You never know who in your life will need this information.” Aaron Huertas wrote, “Members of Congress, state legislators, and health agencies should be publishing information like this, too.” The News & Observer’s Sara Pequeño added, “I really hope copies of this end up in public libraries virtually and physically!” Media consultant Molly Cantrell-Kraig urged her followers to “buy as many paper copies of this edition & leave them in public laundromats, subway stations & bathrooms as you can.” And Nicole Stipp wrote, “I work in abortion justice in Kentucky and the magazine issue is going to be incredibly important in the coming months and years for places like this. I also happen to own Trouble Bar here in Louisville, and we are ordering dozens of copies to give out to patrons who might need it. Thank you for what you’re doing.” Video editor Rebecca June Lane said, “For all the horrible backsliding, it does give me the tiniest micro-feeling of hope that at least some organizations are saying ‘abortions are normal’ with their full chest. That’s new.” But Texas-based journalist Andrea Grimes criticized the project: “Just point people to the existing, vetted, expert resources people created years ago to do this thing safely and accurately … Imagine thinking people in abortion-hostile geographies needed a New York City magazine to tell them how to get abortions, instead of asking people in abortion–hostile geographies what people in New York City could do to help them access abortion.” The Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund’s Laurie Bertram Roberts wrote, “The least this piece could do is acknowledge that this same information had already been gathered years ago.” Megan Schmidt of Toledo Persists countered, “I wish people would stop nitpicking every little thing about this article. It doesn’t claim to provide a perfect solution for every abortion scenario and every patient scenario, but it’s a good start, and it’s never a bad idea to have paper copies in the situation we’re entering.”

2.

“There Has to Be a Backup Plan. There’s a Backup Plan, Right?” May 23–June 5

Gabriel Debenedetti wrote about Democrats’ mounting anxiety over Joe Biden’s chances for reelection in 2024 and how some have started poking around for an alternative. Daniel Berman called it “a terrifying article. It is not that Democrats have challenges. It is rather that the WH seems entirely out of touch or dismissive of the concerns and sentiments of donors and the wider party.” And political scientist Patrick Giamario commented, “Seriously: absent a major course correction, the window for this being a successful presidency is closed, and the party would benefit from an honest reckoning with what went wrong and what a better approach would look like.” Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang added, “58% of Americans don’t want a Trump vs. Biden rematch in ’24—yet that is exactly where our dysfunctional system is leading us.”

3.

“The Liberal Obsession With ‘Disinformation’ Isn’t Helping,” May 23–June 5

Sam Adler-Bell wrote about how the left’s campaign against disinformation functions as a cultural palliative more than an actual tool for change. Will Nelligan said Adler-Bell “does a real service here in dismantling a growing, pointless, self-soothing movement,” while Chad Ragsdale noted, “Great insight buried in this interesting piece. It’s hard for us to admit that we are even partially wrong. It’s much easier to imagine that our enemies are simply dupes who have been misinformed.” Referring to the administration’s pause of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board, Meta designer David Gillis added, “I’ve sorta felt that overly technocratic solutions to problems like misinfo were rooted in overly techno–deterministic frames. This essay hypothesizes an even deeper motivated reasoning that I think is good for folks in our industry to wrestle with.” Praising Adler-Bell as one “of the smarter and more independent-minded left-liberal writers,” Glenn Greenwald noted that he “highlights the key point: ‘Government officials … are professional liars.’ Trusting them with ‘Disinformation Boards’ is madness. And he makes the most important point of all. When Dems lost in 2016, they blamed everyone but themselves.” Reader Ruth Wong argued, “People are mixing up disinformation with misinformation. Stopping disinfo is, e.g., stopping Russians pretending to be Americans on social media to spread false info to influence elections. That’s obviously a national security issue & should be addressed.”

Send correspondence to comments@nymag.com. Or go to nymag.com to respond to individual stories.

Comments: Week of June 6, 2022