BROOKE GLADSTONE: And now, some of your letters. Last week, we read a few of your responses to our question on how Middle East coverage could be improved. All the letters we received charged the media with pro-Palestinian bias. But this week, many of you wrote in with the opposite opinion -- that the media are biased in favor of Israel. For instance, Jean Higgs wrote in to say that she thinks the balance in the past (it has gotten better in the past year) has been (quote) "very pro-Israel. For instance, I have never read that Israelis have over 150 settlements on the West Bank. It is through the BBC I get most of the news I believe."
BOB GARFIELD:And Joel Simpson wrote in from West New York to say he deplores suicide bombings, but also the extra-judicial raids by the Israeli government on Palestinian targets, however heinous those targets are. "Innocent deaths are put down as (quote) 'collateral damage,'" he writes, "and we rarely hear the biographies of these victims the way we do of the Israelis tragically murdered by the suicide bombers. Palestinian suffering and humanity is just not worth as much as Israeli suffering in most of the U.S. press." And finally, this from NPR's Vice President for News and Information Bruce Drake. He writes: "In your letters segment last week on Mid East coverage, listener Percy Dreift said (quote) 'NPR should name the victims of terrorist attacks in Israel.' In fact, NPR has often named the victims of these attacks and did so most recently on September 10th with a profile of two of the victims who had been killed by a bomb the day before. Daniel Stern said NPR should offer historical background because most listeners have no idea what went on the previous five decades. Last year NPR did a seven part series covering a hundred years of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that won an Overseas Press Club Award."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Drake adds that listeners can check these for themselves by going to NPR.org, where Mid East transcripts are posted for free, and while we're on the subject of web sites and free transcripts, keep your letters coming to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.
BOB GARFIELD:We're going to take a short break for some Starbucks coffee, but when we come back on your Sony radio, we'll tell you about the war on product placement on TV. Also, two entertaining frauds, Lazlo Toth and Stephen Glass.