The Nation has long been the flagship of the American left. This, despite its small circulation and, even more to the point, despite its long and disgraceful record of supporting, apologizing for, and whitewashing totalitarian ideology on the apparent premise that even the most murderous tyranny is preferable to democratic capitalism. As David Horowitz put it quite succinctly in 2006, we are speaking here of a "propaganda mill," pure and simple, whose editors, it is no exaggeration to say, "cheered [Stalin's victims] to their graves during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s."
Horowitz explained how The Nation addressed those purges: "In a 1946 article…Walter Duranty explained to The Nation's progressive readers that 'purge' meant 'to cleanse' in Russian, and that a house cleaning was all Stalin intended. In Duranty's memorable words, Stalin had launched 'a general cleaning out of the cobwebs and mess which accumulate in any house when its occupants are so deeply preoccupied with something else that they have no time to keep it in order.'" As Horowitz reminds us, "At the height of this house cleaning, Stalin was killing 20,000 Russian citizens a month. But according to The Nation (in 1946 as today) the main danger facing humanity was the incipient fascism of the West."