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Your Letters: Hashemi, L.A. Farmers Market
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Your Letters: Hashemi, L.A. Farmers Market

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Your Letters: Hashemi, L.A. Farmers Market

Your Letters: Hashemi, L.A. Farmers Market
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Host Scott Simon reads letters from listeners about his interview with Marzieh Hashemi, a supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and about his visit to the Los Angeles Farmers Market.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typewriter and music)

SIMON: Many listeners said they were disappointed by my interview last week with Marzieh Hashemi of Iran's Press TV, who is a supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Brian Hoffman of Evanston, Illinois thought the interview sounded like a carefully crafted propaganda lecture without a single one of Scott Simon's normally incisive questions. Perhaps Hashemi spoke truth. As the lecture continued without meaningful questions and dialogue, I could only conclude I was hearing a political lie.

Frank Luke of Honolulu wrote: I understood Hashemi to say that each county has its own laws, which I took to mean that Iran can violate human rights and deal with internal matters as they see fit. I wish Scott had pursued this a bit. Maybe she would've come back with our own U.S. failings in this matter.

We thought it was important to finally get the opinion of supporters of the Iranian government into our coverage. We have certainly been covering the opinions of protesters in Iran and all over the world, but there is a longer interview with Marzieh Hashemi on our Web site, NPR.org/Soapbox, where I think you will find more give and take than what was heard.

Many listeners enjoyed our visit to Paul Mazursky's breakfast table of irregular regulars at the Los Angeles Farmers Market, although several listeners objected to the men at the table - and by the way, there was one woman - hooting and calling out women's names as they passed by. I thought the practice was kind of a cultural artifact like something in Rome.

Rebecca Kapinski(ph) of Pendleton, Indiana wrote: My friends and I had our own little table my last semester in college and did very much the same kind of things. We called out to passing students, asking them questions to spur on our conversations. We sat, we ate, we talked. I didn't get very good grades that semester but now six years later I cherish those hours around that table, not the ones spent in the classroom.

And an illustrative mistake, I hope, certainly a mistake. Last week in talking about my sympathy for politicians who are suddenly expected to know the name of the prime minister of Andorra, I misidentified the prime minister of Andorra. He is Jaume Bartumeu, not Albert Pintat. The illustration comes because I got the name Albert Pintat off the BBC Web site that apparently has not been updated since Andorra's elections in June.

So another reminder: journalists should be humble about mocking politicians for any lack of knowledge.

We welcome your letters. Please go to NPR.org and click on Contact Us. When you do, please remember to tell us where you live and how we should pronounce your name. You can also reach me on Twitter at NPRScottSimon - all one word. And you can tweet our editors and producers at NPRWeekend.

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