BROOKE GLADSTONE: And now letters. Our interview with Frederick Kaufman, in which he likened The Food Channel to pornography, got a lot of you very steamed up. Frank Baker's view is representative of the nays. "This is the most disgusting report I have ever heard from NPR," he wrote. "In my opinion, Kaufman has a serious sex problem. While I have problems with The Food Channel's format and content, it is certainly not pornographic. I hold NPR responsible for bad programming and content. I expect and demand better." And, standing in for all the yeas, Bob Mitchell from Bear, Delaware, wrote this. "I heard Frederick Kaufman's comparison of the Food Network to pornography today on WHYY FM. It sounded more like Howard Stern than NPR. I loved it. Please keep it up. Pun intended."
BOB GARFIELD: We also got a letter about the interview I did last week with Nick Gillespie from Reason magazine about covering meth, a conversation in which Gillespie took Newsweek to task, among other news organizations, for over hyping drug coverage. Newsweek's editor, Mark Whitaker, complained, properly, that we neglected to verify Gillespie's charge. He writes: "Without bothering to check the story, you let a commentator claim that Newsweek's recent cover on methamphetamines contained no statistics to substantiate our assertion that it's an epidemic. In fact, the fourth paragraph of the story begins as follows, 'More than 12 million Americans have tried methamphetamine and 1.5 million are regular users, according to federal estimates. Meth making operations have been uncovered in all 50 states. Missouri tops the list, with more than 8,000 labs, equipment caches and toxic dumps seized between 2002 and 2004. In a survey of 500 law enforcement agencies in 45 states, released last month by the National Association of Counties, 58 percent said meth is their biggest drug problem.'" Whitaker continues, "If your mission is to monitor the accuracy of what is being reported in the media, shouldn't you take the time to do some reporting on what you allow people to say on your show?"
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Keep your letters coming to firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you edit a magazine we unfairly criticize. And don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]
BOB GARFIELD: Coming up, a mind blowing tale of drugs, terrorists, authors and flax.