BROOKE GLADSTONE: And now a few of your letters. There was an enthusiastic response to our piece on World Business Review, a business program hosted by Al Haig that airs on many public TV stations. Our investigation exposed the show as little more than a 30 minute infomercial.
BOB GARFIELD:Greg Perverill-Conti of Natick, Massachusetts wrote: "As a PR person I can tell you straight out that we do not view World Business Review as a legitimate outlet. I've been around long enough to know that serious broadcast journalists do not call tech companies or PR people soliciting stories for a fee. World Business Review does. But it is only one of several that make similar paid content. My rule of thumb is that if it is produced in Florida, stay away." Barbara Sloan of Alpharetta, Georgia herself used to work in what she calls the "paid programming scene," but was disheartened to see this type of show on public television. "I know it's just the way all media is going," she writes, "but if you can't believe an incredibly boring show on PBS is based in honesty, what can you watch on TV and really believe?"
BROOKE GLADSTONE:But Nazar Khodorovsky of New York City said he had found the segment quote "...disgusting. Apparently, for you folks, anything on PBS that is pro-business and does not sound like advanced Naderitis is anathema and should be ostracized. Isn't PBS supposed to be an open forum for ideas of all kinds? Why then should corporate views be excluded? General Haig's show gives underprivileged audiences who cannot afford cable the chance to see interviews with CEOs. If that's not public education, then I don't know what is."
BOB GARFIELD:Dan Mulford, also of New York, wrote that he was "shocked to hear" that quote "right after lambasting Al Haig for his deceitful shenanigans and undisclosed relationships, you featured a report on Olympic figure skating coverage. Your commentator was introduced as an expert on figure skating. That may be, but you failed to mention that she is also an assistant to the president of WNYC, the producer of your program. Don't you think that that fact is relevant to a piece airing on WNYC?" No. Not really.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Please send your reactions to email@example.com and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC OUT]