April 6, 2002
BROOKE GLADSTONE: And now for a few of your letters. Justin Kenney of Washington, DC was enjoying last week's show until our interview with Reba Shimansky whose hobby is writing angry, pro-Democratic letters to the editor -- hundreds of them. In one letter Shimansky has some very harsh words for Republican Barbara Olson, killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Kenney writes: "What were you thinking of when you invited this hateful person on your program? I was no fan of Ms. Olson either, but to wish such a fate as hers on anyone is beyond comprehension."
BOB GARFIELD:Chris May of Charlotte, North Carolina wrote in to thank us for our interview with Walter Shapiro who offered this reason for media cynicism regarding campaign finance reform: Political reporters rely on campaign consultants as sources. The fees of those consultants are directly tied to money spent on political ads. Hence, Shapiro reported, they feed reporters a bi-partisan disdain for reform. Chris May writes that after reading many articles describing the 'lackluster' effects of the bill, he was (quote) "feeling somewhat despondent now that I know that media consultants' compensation is also affected by the legislation, I feel better than ever about its passage. Thank you."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:But Thad Hill of Washington, DC wrote that he was (quote) "amused that you managed to avoid the truly cynical component to campaign finance reform which is the media's unwillingness to mention the dreaded words 'free air time.' If candidates had free air time they wouldn't have to raise all that money. He notes that the National Association of Broadcasters and their members refused to mention the idea and adds, "I would have assumed that NPR -- supposedly 'public radio' -- would not be under the thumb of the NAB, but I am clearly wrong." No you're not, Thad. Just check the archives.
BOB GARFIELD:Which you can find at onthemedia.org, and you can e-mail us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. By the way, don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC]
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Coming up, French slander, video game pain and a place where there is never any slander or any pain -- C-Span.
BOB GARFIELD: This is the House of Pain -- On the Media from National Public Radio.
by Thelonius Monk