< Letters


Friday, November 18, 2005

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And now, letters. Bob's interview with former New York Times reporter Judith Miller inspired comment by the bagload. On the whole, you were pleased, like Gretchen from Keene, New Hampshire. Quote, "What a terrific interview. Garfield's the first reporter I've heard who's asked obvious follow-up questions to the lines Ms. Miller has been repeating unchallenged on one news show after another. What a cool cat he is, utterly unflappable in the face of her shocking hostility. Thank you, especially for challenging Miller's insistence that her flawed reporting on WMD be considered only in terms of the entire body of her work, as if she can only view her errors in personal terms and has no perspective on the preemptive war they helped to justify."

BOB GARFIELD:: Okay. Enough self-aggrandizing. Several listeners, including Ian in New York City, objected to my tone and the way I posed my questions. Quote, "

BOB GARFIELD:'s talk about principles and the use of words like 'played for a chump,' 'did you start seeing yourself as a spook?' all in a snide and slightly nasty tone, made him sound like he was gleefully saying, 'gotcha' to a reporter who might have shown bad judgment in a relatively small number of articles. "Listening to such a nasty interview made me question his journalistic professionalism as much as Judy Miller's."

BROOKE GLADSTONE: My interview with Lawrence Weschler about the use of ostensibly anti-war films to juice the troops inspired this letter from Brian Cortez, a graduate student at the New School in New York. He wrote, "I found it surprising that films like Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter were used to prepare soldiers for war. I admit when I was an Air Force cadet, we watched war films like Crimson Tide and Glory to learn basic military strategy, principles and good examples of leadership, but they never showed us films that portrayed such fictional acts of violence that Lawrence Weschler said would get our, quote, 'rocks off.' I guess it is a much different world being a Marine or a soldier in the Army."

BOB GARFIELD:: And this from Kim Hunter in Detroit. Quote, "The ironic story of the Army using anti-war movies to motivate troops toward battle was very well done. However, you should have mentioned the anti-war movie, Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got his Gun. Like Jarhead, it will not, cannot be used to promote battle."

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Thanks for all the comment, good and bad. Keep them coming to onthemedia@wnyc.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]

BOB GARFIELD:: Coming up, the networks get the broadcast monkey up their backs, and Hollywood writers protest product-laden plot lines.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: This is On the Media from NPR.

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