Letters: Kucinich, Gates

Listeners respond to the interview with Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich and the debate over the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Madeleine Brand and Robert Siegel read from listeners' e-mails.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Now, your letters and a correction. Last week, we discussed the decision by Israel's education minister to remove the word nakba from Arabic-language Israeli textbooks. Nakba means the catastrophe in Arabic. And it's used by Palestinians to describe the creation of the state of Israel. In that discussion, we said millions of Palestinians became refugees in 1948 after the war that led to Israel's independence. That's not exactly true. While there are now about 4.5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendents, in 1948, they numbered roughly 750,000, not millions.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

And now this clarification: Last Friday, in a story about struggling Latino high school students, we said Boston English High School, founded in 1821, is the oldest public high school in the country. A couple of listeners pointed out that Boston Latin School is the oldest. It's been around since 1635. For the definitive word, we turned to Boston Public Schools. They say Boston Latin is the oldest public school in America while Boston English is, indeed, the oldest public high school.

SIEGEL: Our story on a single payer health-care system included one of the idea's strongest supporters, Ohio congressman and former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Steve Seeberg(ph) of Atlanta, Georgia, took issue with how we described Kucinich's presidential campaign. The word we used was: quixotic. Seeberg writes, yes, of course, quixotic is only an innocent turn of a phrase, however, such a comparison is unfortunately in line with a general American media policy to belittle those who seem without power and money in the accepted political terms.

BRAND: And on Friday, we devoted a good deal of time to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest by Cambridge Police and the national cultural debate that followed. Too much time, says Seth Fox(ph) of Omaha, Nebraska. He writes, your show effectively beat a dead horse on Friday. He goes on to say, just when I thought you were moving onto something else, I got sucker punched with more of the same. If I wanted sensationalist journalism, I certainly wouldn't listen to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. However, I'm beginning to think our honeymoon is ending.

SIEGEL: Well, whatever you think, we'd like to hear from you. Just go to npr.org, and click on Contact Us.

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