Mother Jones is the name by which Mary Harris Jones (1830-1930), a legendary union activist and organizer, was known. The nickname was given to her by the workers because of the caring way she dealt with them especially during strikes.
Known as the miner’s angel, Mother Jones became an active campaigner for the United Mine Workers Union. A political progressive, she was a founder of the Social Democratic Party in 1898. Jones also helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905. For all of her social reform and labor activities, she was considered by the authorities to be one of the most dangerous women in America.
Nothing could dissuade Mother Jones from her work. At the age of 82, she was arrested for her part in a West Virginia strike that turned violent and was sentenced to 20 years. But her supporters rallied and convinced the governor to grant her a pardon. Jones, undeterred, returned to organizing workers.
You would think that a magazine that is named after her would be a radical leftist one that supports workers and unions. But that is far from the case. It is, in fact, very much a centrist publication, issuing all the usual liberal tropes and platitudes. What I had not realized was that at one time Michael Moore had briefly been editor of the magazine. In a podcast with Matt Taibbi and Katie Helper of Rolling Stone magazine, Moore describes why he was fired and it reveals a lot about the magazine.
The left liberals, whatever you want to call it, they’re not always friends of the working class. … I don’t know how you guys would describe it, that part of the so-called left. … They’re really centrists. They’re not really left. These centrists? These liberals? They love humanity, they just hate people. … I was fired on Labor Day 1986.
The owner asked me to come in. They did not like this [column Moore commissioned by an autoworker], he did not like that I refused to publish things by these neo-liberals about Nicaragua that weren’t true. I wouldn’t participate in that.
But the thing that really upset them … One day I’m sitting in my editor’s office. . . . Fifteen or 20 women came in and shut the door. They were unionized…. They say, “We’re going to go on strike, we’re going to do a wildcat, we’re walking out.” I say, “Whoa, what happened?” They say, “The publisher harasses women. We’re not respected, we’re hit on.
I went to the owner’s house …. he cut me off. He said, “All right, what are you doing listening to these women? They’re always complaining.” [I say], “Are you saying it’s not true?” He said, “What I’m saying is, the publisher is getting help. … And your job is, you’re management. You’re editor. And you’re not to take their side.
Side? It’s Mother Frigging Jones! I couldn’t believe it. I was booted, within the week.
That’s liberal media in a nutshell.
Moore, who warned back in 2016 that Hillary Clinton would lose the mid-western swing states to Trump and thus lose the electoral college vote and the presidency, also issues an ominous warning about the 2020 election.
This is going to be the biggest mess. We’re not even prepared for what we’re going to see. … I think if the election were held tonight, Trump would win. Not in the popular vote. Oh, no. Hillary won by 3 million votes? Whoever the Democratic nominee is, is going to win by 4 or 5 million votes. The gap will be even larger. … The popular vote is going to be huge. But Trump has not lost his base. They’ve gotten bigger, and angrier, and whiter, and madder.