BOB GARFIELD: Now a few minutes for your letters. Last week we spoke to Canadian journalist John Doyle about the promotional gifts he receives from television and film companies -- a fun, light segment you might think but ever since John unwittingly admitted to never having heard of Itchy and Scratchy, things have turned ugly, and from my perspective rightly so. Richard Thompson wrote: A TV critic not knowing that Itchy and Scratchy are characters in the Simpsons is comparable to a drama critic never having seen Hamlet! But wait, it just gets worse for John. Sean Means, a movie critic for the Salt Lake Tribune suggests that John Doyle's problem is not the mound of graft on his desk. It's the lousy view from his ivory tower.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:And this from Christian LeFer about the interviews we did with parents who accused ABC's John Stossel of misleading them when he asked to interview their children. LeFer writes this piece is just another example of the disgusting double standard in political correctness in media coverage. At least, despite Garfield's axe-grinding -- sorry, Bob -- ethicist Gary Hill gave excellent points regarding the hypocrisy in singling out Stossel and the reasonableness with which ABC and Stossel handled the story in interviews. We also heard from our friends the Modern Humorists who were less than pleased with us -- for good reason. Remember that hilarious piece last week about using dead people's voices to sell stuff -- T.S. Eliot and Toyota? Well, they wrote it. We extend both our apologies and our thanks to the Modern Humorists, and you can check out more of their work at Modern Humorist.com.
BOB GARFIELD:In response to our repeat playing of Rick Davis's piece on the dangers of covering the conflict in the Middle East, Steven Hunt wrote the following. In your synopsis of the July 7th story you used the term "disputed territories." These are "occupied territories." The conditions for occupation are codified in international law. [MUSIC]
BOB GARFIELD:Coming up, more on the semantics of the Middle East. Also why the British tabloids seem eager to kill a Beatle, and an argument over feminist heroes.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: This is On the Media from National Public Radio.