Listeners weigh in on our stories about prosecuting leakers and the persistence of conspiracies.
BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield with a few of your letters. Last week in a story about two lobbyists who received classified information from a Pentagon analyst and who have since been criminally charged for sharing that information with the press, I referred to AIPAC as the American Israel Political Action Committee. Dave Trevas from Texas wrote in to correct me. "This is completely wrong, he writes, "and is actually a smear against the organization. The actual name is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The name and the organization pre-date the concept of political action committees, also known as PACS." "Since PACS are well known to be involved in political corruption," he goes on to say, "you essentially connect the American Israel Public Affairs Committee with groups as sleazy as Tom DeLay's TRIMPAC and ARMPAC." Ruth Smith had a different gripe with the AIPAC story. She wasn't sure that the implications of the charges were so harrowing. Quote: "Please forgive me if I'm not quaking in my First Amendment boots when I hear that journalists might actually be prosecuted for revealing classified information that may be damaging to the country. If they don't like the restraints on the disclosure of this type of information, they might try to ply their trade in Iran or Saudi Arabia. More than one reader perceived holes in our analysis last week of a Scripps Howard poll which found that 36 percent of Americans believe the government to have been complicit in the 9/11 attacks. Jim Flood from Brooklyn writes that one cause may be the way in which the government has, quote: "manipulated 9/11 imagery and the American people's fear of terrorism to achieve political goals – for example, preventing a post-Democratic convention bounce for John Kerry by announcing an Orange Alert the day after the convention based on old intelligence about a negligible and non-immediate threat." Betsy Beckmann asks, "Did I somehow miss, in your analysis of both issues, the assertion or discussion of one very obvious central cause? The American media has shamefully avoided any truly incisive criticism of Bush administration policies and propaganda from 9/11 on, extending to coverage of Afghanistan, our misadventures in Iraq and any number of sloppy extensions of the, quote, 'war on terror.'" Keep your letters, comments and conspiracy theories coming to onthemedia at wnyc.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC UP AND UNDER]