Letters: Rep. Barney Frank Interview Challenged Listeners disagreed over the way an interview was conducted with Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts. Some thought Frank was being berated, while others thought the back and forth was an intelligent and civil exchange of ideas. There were also comments on Somali pirates, and a correction to a story on foreign actors who play Americans on U.S. TV shows.
NPR logo

Letters: Rep. Barney Frank Interview Challenged

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97241689/97241669" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Letters: Rep. Barney Frank Interview Challenged

Letters: Rep. Barney Frank Interview Challenged

Letters: Rep. Barney Frank Interview Challenged

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97241689/97241669" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Listeners disagreed over the way an interview was conducted with Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts. Some thought Frank was being berated, while others thought the back and forth was an intelligent and civil exchange of ideas. There were also comments on Somali pirates, and a correction to a story on foreign actors who play Americans on U.S. TV shows.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And it's time once again to hear some of your comments.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: We got a lot of letters about a lively interview with Representative Barney Frank, who has drafted a plan for an auto industry bailout. "What has become of NPR?" asks Michael Messina(ph) of Des Moines, Iowa. "I woke up to hear Congressman Frank being berated to explain some of the most complex questions facing our country in only a few seconds."

Sue Gardner(ph) of Vashon Island, Washington, asks, "Has respect for your interviewee and what they have to say taken a backseat to one-upmanship and gotcha journalism at NPR?" John Rent(ph) of Peterborough, New Hampshire, felt just the opposite, calling the interview, quote, "brilliant." He writes, "I happen to disagree with Congressman Frank on the GM bailout, but he more than held his own in the back and forth. Challenging, intelligent, and civil exchanges like these are what makes NPR special."

Thank you for all those opinions. We spent several days this week reporting on pirates, like the ones who seized a supertanker off Somalia. Andy Millen(ph) of Plainwell, Michigan, objects to our characterization of piracy as a job. "This is not work," he writes. "The concept that piracy is a heinous and despicable act does not come through. What is coming through is piracy is a legitimate career path. What's next? A bachelor's degree in piracy? The East African pirates career fair? A little perspective please."

And we have this correction now on our story about the many foreign actors playing Americans on U.S. TV shows. We said that Simon Baker of the CBS show "The Mentalist" is British - Australian.

Finally, we've been airing our series "Memo to the President," advice to President-elect Obama on issues like immigration and the skyrocketing cost of college. Phyllis Palmer's(ph) kindergarten class in Essex Junction, Vermont, wrote in with their own memo to the president. And here's the kindergarteners' advice. Be a good listener, make safe choices, organize, use kind words, protect us, be helpful, be nice, be a peacekeeper, be nice to other presidents, and take care of our world. Ms. Palmer's kindergarteners also said they were thinking of Mr. Obama's two young daughters, and they ask Mr. Obama not to forget to read to them, play with them, sing songs to them, hug and kiss them, and bring them to work with you sometimes. We welcome your advice or comments. Just go to npr.org and click on the button that says "Contact Us."

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.