BROOKE GLADSTONE: This week we received a boatload of letters protesting our report by Philip Martin on the conflict between NPR and pro-Israel groups. The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, or Camera, listed a number of objections to our piece on its website, Camera.org, and urged its members to write, and many did. And so did many others.
BOB GARFIELD:For instance Joshua Hurwitt of Oswego, New York notes that "Mr. Martin failed to mention Camera's numerous in-depth studies of NPR as the basis for its charges of pro-Palestinian bias. This," he writes, "leaves listeners with the impression that Camera criticizes the individual story and doesn't examine the sweep of coverage over a long period of time. This is patently false." Jonathan Reich of Lakeland Florida also made that point adding that quote "Bias is frequently not perceived by the perpetrator. The people who produced NPR's Middle Eastern news are well-known supporters of the Arab position and thus it is hardly surprising that the bias is there."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:And Larry Pollak from Columbus, Ohio says similarly that he was not at all surprised to hear the NPR distortions about Camera. "Among my friends," he writes, "NPR has come to stand for The National Palestinian Radio Network."
BOB GARFIELD: Oy vay iz mir.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Oy gevalt! John Klemme from Carouge, Switzerland finds it disconcerting that so many financially important NPR supporters have such a visceral attachment to their own perception of a single issue. "They undermine their cause," he writes, "by giving credence to (quote) 'the belief that Jewish interests are working behind the scenes to coordinate punishment on those who dare question Israel's moral high ground.'"
BOB GARFIELD:On our piece about using dead celebrities as posthumous pitchmen, Christopher Cole of Charlotte, North Carolina objects to what he sees as our suggestion that there's something disreputable about commerce. "It gives a whole new purpose to men and women who have departed from society," he writes. "They're dead, moldering in their graves. I think it honors them to bring their memories to new generations, especially in their primes. What about kids who see Louis Armstrong in a Coke commercial and ask their parents about him? They may be inspired to learn more."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:We prefer to hear from living, breathing listeners, so e-mail us with your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. Coming up -- the fog of war, on the big screen - and the worship of ferrets, on the newsstands.
BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media from National Public Radio.