BOB GARFIELD: And now for some of your letters. John Reinsch writes from Seattle suggesting I was too easy on Dave Morey from the Council on Foreign Relations. We were discussing the government's latest effort to win the hearts and minds of the rest of the world. Reinsch writes: "At one point Morey mentions that we are perceived to be without empathy." Well, do we or rather do those who act in our names? Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has repeatedly displayed his indifference to civilian casualties in Afghanistan, and in all the talk about going after Saddam, the question of how many innocent Iraqis would perish never comes up. If people don't perceive any empathy in this attitude, it's because there is none."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:On our story about newspaper accuracy, many of you were quick to point out the irony of an error within the error story. Adrian Dunston of Raleigh, North Carolina particularly enjoyed the piece and wrote this: "I was... delighted that Mr. Solomon chose to drive his point home by including one of the minor errors he was reporting on in is report. Just so you know, the major newspaper here is "The News and Observer," not "The News Observer." Good luck to checking those names and facts in the future."
BOB GARFIELD:Nice catch, Adrian, and everybody else on the OTM-Screw Up Patrol, but tell you what -- you do the listening and noticing -- we'll do the sarcasm, all right?
BROOKE GLADSTONE:[LAUGHS] Turns out our mistakes did not end with our report on errors. Pete Flugstad of Iowa City, Iowa wrote in to tell us that in our Letters segment last week quote, "Your reporter read the phrase 128 kilobytes per second in association with a network speed of digital audio. Network speeds are almost always listed as kilobits or megabits per second."
BOB GARFIELD:We had a lot of positive reaction to our exploration last week of The Thing's Jewish roots. He's one of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four. But we also received another correction. We identified the legendary comic book writer Stan Lee as the creator of The Silver Surfer among other characters. But not so, says Eric Evans. Evans writes there is quite a bit of evidence that Stan Lee created nothing but dialogue for Marvel Comics. Lee himself has told the story on several occasions that when he first saw the Silver Surfer, he had no idea who the character was or what he was doing in Fantastic Four's comic. Kirby created the Silver Surfer out of whole cloth and Lee has admitted as much when pressed. [FILM CLIP RE THE SILVER SURFER PLAYS]
DENZEL WASHINGTON: Brevetti, what's up?
BREVETTI: I'm sorry, sir. It's just a difference of opinion that got out of hand.
DENZEL WASHINGTON: What about?
BREVETTI:Well I said that the Kirby Silver Surfer was the only real Silver Surfer, and that the Mobius Silver Surfer was [BLEEP]. It just got out hand -- I pushed him; he pushed me. I-- This'll never happen again, all right?
DENZEL WASHINGTON:It better not happen again! I see this kind of nonsense, I'm going to write you up! You understand?! You have to set an example even in the face of stupidity! And everybody that reads comic books knows that Kirby's Silver Surfer is the only true Silver Surfer. Now am I right or wrong?
BREVETTI: [LAUGHS] You're right sir.
DENZEL WASHINGTON: All right. Get out of here.
BREVETTI: Yes, sir.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:We enjoy all of your comments and corrections, and we love the arguments, so send the to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC]
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Up next, an unwritten rule of Broadway gets broken; why the government is determined to get a digital TV tuner in your house; and the world's oldest Pentagon reporter.
BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media from NPR.
"Scarlatti Sonata in D"
by Glenn Gould