BROOKE GLADSTONE: We have heaps of e-mail backed up because our offices in lower Manhattan were evacuated and we only just now regained access to it. We still don't have the technical capacity to respond, so bear with us. We had some mail objecting to our interview last week with Pete Williams, a journalist turned Pentagon spokesman turned journalist again. We spoke to him about the relationship between the Pentagon and the press.
You have to ask yourself, wrote Raimey Grundbaum [sp?] of Seattle whether such revolving door recruitment practices promote independent, energetic reporting. What's next? Mickey Mouse reporting on the theme park business? Charlton Heston covering the NRA?
And we had a lot of letters in response to Bob's closing essay two weeks ago in which he criticized some journalists, Dan Rather among them, for succumbing to jingoism at the expense of objectivity. Bob said journalism's job was to unravel, not to unfurl.
Susan Smart of Pullman, Washington wrote: Let me just say that if you receive flaming e-mail, I will stand by with a firehose. What Mr. Garfield said had to be said. I think it is extremely easy to take Dan Rather's attitude and just ask how high and how far to jump.
But Laura Thompson [sp?] of Thornton, New Hampshire wrote of Dan Rather: Did you ever think that his statement to stand behind President Bush comes from 60-plus years experience as an American and someone who wished to stand up for his country? Most media folk don't let their jobs define them. He hasn't, and America has rallied behind him for it. Unravel this.
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Coming up: ad writers change their tone and a conversation with Ted Koppel.
BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media from National Public Radio.