BOB GARFIELD: We're interested in your thoughts on all this. Sometimes a tabloid story is worthy of all the attention it gets. Sometimes it's merely sensationalism for the sake of grabbing eyeballs. Tell us what makes a tabloid-type story worth your time, and don't ignore the human factor -- the stories that interest us just because they're-- interesting. Visit our web site at onthemedia.org. Look for the heading that says The Big Idea and send in your comments and suggestions. You can also get free transcripts for all our stories and find links related to the stories we cover. And if you think there's something we're not covering, e-mail us with your ideas and story pitches at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:While we're on the subject, let's read a few of your letters. After our interview with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer concerning questions he received about the underage drinking of Jenna Bush, Darren Carter of New York wrote: Ari Fleischer's inability to deal appropriately with questions from the press on this issue concerns me deeply. No one cares what transpires between your daughter and yourself other than your immediate family. However when events that happen to your family have political implications for stances that you take as president, these events are newsworthy. The world is focused on you and your family, and when your family's behaviors are not in line with your political rhetoric we want to know.
BOB GARFIELD:After a media witness to the McVeigh execution told us that she didn't think airing it would make much difference because of its clinical quality, Eric Hamill of Philadelphia was moved to respond. I think it depends on who's being executed and why. McVeigh never denied his crime and accepted the death sentence. On the other hand Shaka Sankofa killed in Texas last summer continued to resist and proclaim his innocence to the end. Seeing that might have had quite an impact on people.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:And this from Virginia Ekman. Mine will not be the only e-mail you receive (She's right; it wasn't.) to correct the error in a listener letter about a multinational production of Don Carlos. The opera was composed, she writes, not by Mozart but by Verdi, and some opera lovers believe it was his greatest. I hope you will give Verdi his due with a correction, especially as this is the Verdi Centennial Year being celebrated all over the world. Virginia I think we can do a little better than that. [TRIUMPHANT MOMENT FROM VERDI OPERA DON CARLOS]
BROOKE GLADSTONE:Coming up, an Hispanic broadcaster says he was done in by politicians. Also a look back on 50 years of color TV and ahead to the end of the BBC's North American broadcasts on short wave.
BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media from National Public Radio.