BOB GARFIELD:: This is On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:: And I'm Brooke Gladstone with a few of your letters. On our talk with the Associated Press's photo editor on why they use photos snapped by the military, Lanny Carpenter [sp?] of Olympia, Washington, had this to say, quote, "As for myself, I think it would be far more honest to refuse to use any photo provided by the military. The lack of independent photos is the story. Pull out your copies of Requiem by Faas and Page or Larry Burrow's Vietnam and have a look. That was photojournalism. The stuff passed on by military handlers is like Cheetos: lots of fluff, artificially colored and flavored and very little substance.
BOB GARFIELD:: And on our discussion about the lack of coverage of the Pakistan earthquake compared to the tsunami, Donna Wood-Martin of Dallas suggests a reason we didn't mention. "So many tourists," she writes, "were affected by that event, local news outlets all over the world could provide a hometown spin on the coverage. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at things, there were not a lot of tourists in the Himalayas when the earthquake struck. It's not really a matter of America's compassion fatigue as much as it is our seeming inability to relate to impoverished peoples on the other side of the world." We want to hear all your comments. Send them to email@example.com, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:: And now an update on the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, the whistle blower who was fired from the Bureau in 2002. The U.S. Supreme Court decided this week that it will not be hearing her case. To recap, Edmonds charged that she was fired for blowing the whistle on ineptitude and possible espionage at the Bureau. But before a judge could hear her case, the Justice Department declared that a trial would compromise intelligence gathering methods, invoking the so-called State Secrets Privilege. That's the half-century old legal doctrine allowing the federal government to kill any lawsuit in the name of national security. Edmonds unsuccessfully appealed John Ashcroft's invocation of the State Secrets Privilege, but because it was apparently super-double-secret, the DC Court of Appeals barred the public from the courtroom when it heard her appeal. For now, it seems those secrets have the protection of law. Someday perhaps the high court will reexamine the underpinnings of the State Secrets Privilege, regarded by many legal scholars as the product of federal officials trying to avoid embarrassment. Until then, we'll just have to take the government's word for it. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]