BOB GARFIELD: We're back with On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone with a few of your letters about last week's show which focused on media and democracy. When we discussed the Fairness Doctrine, a rule that once applied to broadcast but never to print, Thomas Wright of Oak Park, Illinois says we ignored the most important issue, quote: "Unlike newspapers, there is a physical limit to the number of radio channels. It would certainly be infringing on the right of the press if each of the four corners of every intersection in the city was licensed to one newspaper with no others allowed. Since the broadcast by one radio station crowds out any nearby frequencies, use of the bandwidth is exploitation of a shared resource by one commercial entity. Perhaps it should be viewed more like national park land."
BOB GARFIELD:Several listeners took umbrage at my characterization of C-Span. Listener Keith Brewer sums it up with this: "It was a great program except for your referring to C-Span as basically a yawn. You mislead listeners who don't watch it into thinking it is little more than a camera on the House and Senate. Come on, don't you watch Book TV on the weekends or the great weekly series on the presidents and also on American authors? This is the most informative station on TV, and you utterly failed to point this out to unknowing listeners who probably will never try it." But-- he loved our song about the FCC.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:As a matter of fact, the song drew a good-natured response. However Douglas Steen of Denver, Colorado wrote: "I'm a big fan of On the Media and I was particularly interested in your story about the Fairness Doctrine. I'd be interested in hearing more about the effects of media deregulation in the '80s and '90s and about the effects of current regulations. Isn't there, for example, some kind of government regulation that requires radio news programs to air a warning to sensitive listeners before the hosts break into song?"
BOB GARFIELD:And listener Bonnie Hill spoke for several when she requested, plaintively, "Please don't sing any more." Well, not for a while, anyway. Keep those reviews coming though to email@example.com. And don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC TAG]