BROOKE GLADSTONE: Lots of letters in the old electronic mailbag. Tim Steller from Phoenix, Arizona felt we tossed softballs at former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg who made wide use of stringers to report his stories. The most important question Steller would have liked Bragg to answer is this: How can you write your trademark evocative stories while using a stringer to do central pieces of reporting?
BOB GARFIELD:G. McDuff from Concord, California wrote to comment on our review of the tenure of White House Ari Fleischer and the PR genius behind the staging of presidential events. He writes: "The dishonesty, spin and hateful treatment of the media by the White House makes me feel like Alice through the Looking Glass. So many Americans do not seem to notice that something is very wrong. Then I begin to wonder am I crazy?"
BROOKE GLADSTONE:But Sharon Stark, among several other listeners, found our show two weeks ago to be, quote, "especially one-sided. Almost every story contained criticism of the Bush administration." And the, quote, "straw that broke the camel's back" were my remarks about reporter Chris Hedges being booed off the stage during his commencement address at Rockford College. She writes: "I would like to know if you had similar words in the past for students who have heckled conservative speakers. It appears that liberals are all for freedom of speech as long as it supports their cause, but they do not seem to feel that the opposing side deserves the same freedom."
BOB GARFIELD:And this correction. Hedges was not a graduate of Rockford College. On that subject, Howard Thompson wrote in to say he also disagrees with Brooke. "Booing and heckling are reprehensible, but they are also examples of the use of the free speech right." And so we agree. Please send your shouts and whispers to firstname.lastname@example.org, and please don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Coming up, an Italian editor is fired, and the reporters go on strike. Also, broadcast deregulation -- will Congress undo a done deal?
BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media from NPR.