Letters: Chavez, Hezbollah TV, Restaurant Names

We read letters from some of our listeners about Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, the arrest of a man in New York for broadcasting the Hezbollah television channel, and unusual restaurant names.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

A number of letters came in after Julie McCarthy's story last week about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, including this one from Frank Hankins(ph) of Redding, California.

Chavez symbolizes Latin America's love-hate relationship with the USA. Castro has always symbolized the charismatic Latin American leader who's willing to get up in the face of the U.S. Both Castro and Chavez are, in the first instance, Latin America cadios(ph) - leaders focused on power, authoritarianism, and the development of their own personality cult.

Current U.S. antagonism against Chavez merely throws the spotlight on Chavez, and serves to bring the man to center stage. The problem is, this approach only serves to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Latin America. How I wish the U.S. policymakers could move from an aloof, antagonistic role in Latin America to one of dialogue and goodwill. It is as if we never joined the hemisphere.

Adam Davidson's report last week on a man charged with aiding a terrorist organization by broadcasting programming from the Hezbollah television channel al-Manar drew an interesting response from Gary Rosenberger of New York City.

I am a Jew and a supporter of Israel, and I support the right of U.S. citizens to hear Hezbollah propaganda spewed on cable TV and to make our own determination of the legitimacy of its ideas, no matter how offensive or bigoted. We are currently embroiled in a war in Iraq because we, as Americans, were inundated with false information. Let's hear what Hezbollah has to say. Let them ring their clarion call and let us Americans decide whether we want to live our lives under their terms.

Our conversation with Matt Rausch of TV Guide brought this letter from Catherine Kerns of Apex, North Carolina. I really appreciated the story about the confusion over the new Emmy nomination rules. The Academy has a long record of not even giving consideration to television shows aired outside the Big Four Networks and HBO. Many of the most entertaining and innovative programming to be found on television these days are on cable channels, and the quality of that programming this year has far surpassed that of some of the shows that have been honored.

Her favorite show that was snubbed by the Emmy Awards? Battlestar Galactica.

Finally, many of you enjoyed Bonnie Wolf's essay on restaurant with odd names. John Kotecki(ph) of Cincinnati, Ohio thought we would be interested in what he calls the most distasteful, but certainly not nondescript, restaurant name, Sam Monella's(ph).

And Marco Del Rosario of Santa Monica, California sent in a long list of unusual business names. Our favorite, the 24-hour diner called Doris Day and Night.

Write to us with your comments, complaints or kudos. Just go to our Web site, npr.org., and click on the Contact Us link.

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