BROOKE GLADSTONE: We have several weeks of letters to catch up on and not a lot of time, so let's begin with this. Peter Bertocci of Ann Arbor, Michigan says he appreciated our story on the coverage of what was called the Jenin massacre, but -quote - "It occurs to me that in some ways the media's overplay of the reports have been a godsend for uncritical supporters of Israel's policies. It distracted media from the emphasis on the real story of Jenin and other West Bank incursions by the Israeli military; the extensive and often plainly punitive destruction of Palestinian property and infrastructure."
BOB GARFIELD:Also on that story, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, wrote in with a correction. He says On the Media was wide off the mark when it accused Human Rights Watch of "speculating about the widespread death and destruction in the Jenin Refugee Camp." Roth writes "Human Rights Watch kept quiet until our investigators arrived on the scene and interviewed scores of eyewitnesses. Only then did we release our 50 page report which showed conclusively that no massacre of the size alleged by some had occurred, but the Israeli Army had committed serious violations of the laws of war." We apologize to Mr. Roth and Human Rights Watch for the error.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:And another correction. A reporter in our piece about the Independent Media Center asserted that quote "A few reporters" were killed by the Israeli military. Actually there have been two. The Committee to Protect Journalists says that since the start of the second Intifada in September 2000 an Italian photographer was killed by gunfire and a Palestinian reporter in an Israeli mortar attack.
BOB GARFIELD:We had a discussion last week about TiVO and REPLAY -- two digital devices that record and store selected TV programs, skipping commercials. We quoted Turner Broadcasting Chief Jamie Kellner's assertion that "skipping ads is akin to stealing," prompting this from Ralph Casillas of Los Angeles: "I am one of those early adopters who has come to embrace TiVO and have severe heartburn with the whole notion that somehow I am breaking a divine covenant between me and the broadcast cabal by zapping through commercials. But I understand that in a climate where people feel the internet is free -- it is not -- and that people have the right to rip off songs from the net via MP3 and other software, media conglomerates might make asinine statements like that."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:We welcome all your statements, asinine or otherwise, so send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.