Letters: Carter Interview, School Bus Memories

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Hosts Renee Montagne and Steve Inskeep read from listener comments, including strong opinions about the interview with President Jimmy Carter about his book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid and memories of a wise school bus driver.


Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: We received many responses after former President Jimmy Carter came on this broadcast. He was explaining his book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which is controversial, starting with the title. We also interviewed a former colleague who says Carter got his facts wrong.


Nancy Ellis wrote in to tell us: I was dismayed at the tone of Steve Inskeep's interview with President Carter. She goes on to ask, why is it that anyone that takes a critical assessment of the situation between the Palestinians and Israelis is automatically opened to a barrage of negative press?

MONTAGNE: Jules Quinlan(ph) in Chicago listened to the same interview and wrote: I've been watching Jimmy Carter being maligned by various media hosts for the last two months. Your questions were fair and to the point, covering both the pros and the cons.

INSKEEP: We also heard responses to an obituary for Molly Ivins, the political columnist from Texas and former commentator for this program.

Ms. MOLLY IVINS (Political Columnist): The main thing about George W. and English is that he often speaks words that resignate only after deep analyzation. For example, he has identified the growing problem that more and more of our imports are from overseas.

MONTAGNE: Ah, Molly Ivins.

Pam Pales(ph) writes from Corpus Christi, Texas: The thought of facing what promises to be one of the most fascinating presidential campaigns in decades without her wit and piercing insight saddens me more than I can say.

INSKEEP: And now a correction. Last week, some of you heard a report from Iraq on the thwarting of potential attacks against Shia Muslims observing the holy day, Ashura.

MONTAGNE: In an early broadcast, we said the holy day commemorates the death of the Prophet Muhammad's son-in-law. In fact, it commemorates the death of Muhammad's grandson, Hussein.

INSKEEP: Finally, NPR's Noah Adams brought us a profile of a small town school bus driver, and that got listener Patty Janasatas(ph) in Houston, Texas thinking about a bus driver from her past.

MONTAGNE: My mother was a school bus driver for decades, Janasatas writes. She would lay down the law and not put up with any shenanigans. Pulling to the side of the road if they got too rowdy, she would pull out a book until they settled down, telling them she had all day. But at year-end, she'd always come home with arms full of gifts from her kids. She and her co-workers patched boo-boos, counseled broken hearts and provided a safe, loving interlude between home and school.

INSKEEP: We are always glad to fuel your memories. To let us know what you think about the stories you hear on this program, just go to npr.org and click Contact Us.

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