Readers: Pissed about Shell ads

MoJo Wire Decides to Accept Shell Ads

I am disheartened by your decision to run Shell Oil banner ads. I have come to respect Mother Jones , in print and on the web, as a source of information that simply rejects the corporate advertising pervading almost every space we look. I am inspired when I find sources of alternative media that refuse to offer their space to a broadly abhorrent corporate system. Just as I will not wear glaring brand-name clothing, I expected Mother Jones to hold itself with dignity as an example and trusted space for the skeptical eye. Corporate money undermines your credibility and destroys my trust in you.

I expected more and I will certainly not renew my subscription.

Shane Powell
Bellingham, WA


Shell ads? That’s pathetic!

Edward Reid


I strongly oppose the running of ads from Shell. How can MoJo stay critical and unbiased when becoming economically dependent on those very companies that are doing the most to destroy our world? History has shown that advertisers are not just neutral, they interfere, and often (about 40% of the time, as an American newspaper study showed) succeed in changing stories.

Besides, adverts are not just innocent little pictures. They are designed to manipulate people into buying, in this case Shell products – thereby supporting the company. And it works! Otherwise they would not spend billions of dollars every year on PR.

I also strongly disagree with your point about “free expression”. While I do consider myself an advocate of free speech, I am a strong opponent of “free manipulation” and “free deception”. Adverts are not a way of expression, they are a way of manipulation.

Yours Sincerely,
Jens Nielsen


I’m all for “freedom of expression” but accepting ads from Shell leads me to question the very values your magazine is predicated upon. It’s bad enough that we have to tolerate Shell’s propaganda in the mainstream media, but Mojo/Mother Jones too? Talk about allowing the fox into the henhouse!

–Anonymous reader

Settlement v. Judgment

$4.9 Billion Judgment Latest in GM Liability Saga

Far be it for me to defend Starr; and I won’t do it now, but the Brooke Shelby Biggs article has a serious error.

A settlement is a private agreement between the parties to potential, current or past litigation. With rare exceptions (as in class actions) a judge has nothing to do with a settlement. The parties’ counsel file a joint stipulation of dismissal, with prejudice, in Federal court. In most state courts only the Plaintiff need dismiss their case (assuming no counter-claim).

A settlement cannot be appealed because it is not, and cannot be, an error of law made by or through the judgment of a court and/or jury. Only a judgment can be appealed and the grounds for appeal has to be (at least one) a judicial error.

The Biggs article treats judgments and settlements as though they were synonyms.

Picky, picky, picky……

George R. O’Connor
The O’Connor Law Firm
Parkville, Missouri

Ed: Thanks for the clarification. The article has been corrected.

We love unsolicited praise

The MoJo Wire

My congratulations.

Only very rarely does one find such an interesting and apparently well-researched publication on the net. I don’t suppose my saying so will make much difference, but keep up the good work anyway.

Johan Prins,
Johannesburg, South Africa