Letters: Blu-ray, Paul Potts

Listeners weigh in on topics ranging from Blu-Ray discs to a British salesman-turned-opera star.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

Back now with DAY TO DAY.

And look who's here, back from his road trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, senior producer Steve Proffitt.

STEVE PROFFITT: Back safely. Thank you very much, Madeleine. To help you read some letters from our listeners, including this one about your interview with Vicky Rideout.

BRAND: Vicky Rideout was one with the authors of study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study asked parents what they thought about their kids' media consumption.

PROFFITT: Well, Rick Evans(ph) of Randolph, Massachusetts was happy that at the end of the interview you asked Ms. Rideout if she was a parent.

BRAND: Well, actually, she's a grandparent.

PROFFITT: Right. And Mr. Evans says he wishes that we would always ask guests if they have personal experiences with the topic that they're here to talk about.

BRAND: For example, he says, he's yet to hear a journalist ask a health care reform advocate who pays for your health care.

PROFFITT: From Seattle, listener and npr.org reader Mike Madison thinks we goofed in our choice of words about another story - at least on our Web site.

BRAND: He's referring to an interview we ran with the head of a citizens group called Grassfire. It's been organizing opposition to any immigration reform bill that includes amnesty.

PROFFITT: Why, asks Mr. Madison, does your lead line on the Web state that Grassfire is an anti-immigration group?

BRAND: He notes that nothing in Grassfire's statement suggests they are against immigration. They just oppose illegal immigration.

PROFFITT: Point taken. Richard Wagner is also disappointed in a MARKETPLACE report we aired about Blockbuster offering a wider selection of those Blu-ray format DVDs.

BRAND: Mr. Wagner listens in Lodi, California. He thinks MARKETPLACE was wrong in claiming Blu-ray has better picture clarity than the competing format, HD-DVD.

PROFFITT: He writes: A simple Google search would have found almost all of the reviews of the two formats rate the picture quality to be virtually identical.

BRAND: Steve?

PROFFITT: Yeah?

BRAND: Let's just not go there. Let's not get into a big format war flame thing.

PROFFITT: Okay. We got some nice letters about the stories of our trip to Tulsa to see the unearthing of that 1957 Plymouth. Frank White from East Hampton, Connecticut, was shocked, shocked, when he heard that we were going to drive an old GM product to the unveiling of an old Chrysler product.

BRAND: Mr. White notes that in the 1950s, when it came to cars, brand loyalty was paramount. I was, he writes, pleased to hear that the auto gods struck down that General Motors Pontiac.

PROFFITT: Yes, the 1961 Pontiac Bonneville - that was a car by buddy Charles Phoenix. Mr. White was even more pleased that our replacement vehicle was a Dodge - as in Chrysler - a Dodge Magnum. As he puts it, mopar or no car.

BRAND: What?

PROFFITT: Well, Madeleine, mopar, it's short for motor parts. That's the term used by Chrysler enthusiasts to describe their brand.

BRAND: Okay. Thank you, Steve, for that little tidbit. Now, what about my favorite character in the past week or so? Paul Potts.

PROFFITT: You mean the infamous butcher of the Cambodian Khmer Rouger?

BRAND: No. No. Not Pol Pot. Paul Potts, the car phone salesman from Wales who won a British TV talent contest show. He captivated audiences with his operatic tenor.

PROFFITT: Oh, of course. Well, you know, I have been on the road, but yes, here's a letter about him. It's from Cathy Consolero(ph) of Sanderson, Florida.

BRAND: Mr. Potts, she notes, was referred to as a lump of coal waiting to turn into a diamond.

PROFFITT: No, says Mrs. Consolero, he's not waiting. He is a diamond. And that's it for letters.

BRAND: Thank you, as always, senior producer Steve Proffitt.

PROFFITT: You're welcome, Madeleine.

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