BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield. BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone with a couple of your letters – this from Jeremy Bernstein, who wrote in about last week’s interview on Bobby Fischer in which we aired a snippet of his interview with Mike Wallace just prior to his famous match with Boris Spassky in 1972. That year, Bernstein covered the famous match for Playboy. He says he was also playing a lot of chess with Stanley Kubrick at the time. He and Kubrick apparently listened to Fischer’s interview with Mike Wallace together and were fascinated.
Jeremy Bernstein writes, “Kubrick and I could not believe what we heard, and he got the transcript, which I have lost. In fact, no one who has written about Fischer has been able to turn up this interview until you did. Where did you find it?”
The answer, Jeremy, is Andy Lanset, who curates the WNYC Archive. BOB GARFIELD: And we have a letter from Thomas Koppel who knows well the so-called and offensively named Filipino Monkey, the character whose audio was heard coming across maritime channels during the recent U.S.-Iran boat incident in the straight of Hormuz.
Thomas wrote, “I have worked in the Persian Gulf several times in the last three years. From time to time my job required that I stand watch on the bridge, and that is where I first heard the Monkey. The fact that almost all Monkey transmissions are on UHF Channel 16, the emergency channel, that means they cannot be turned off or the volume turned down.
The transmissions tend to occur between 10 P.M. and 4 A.M. so anyone on the bridge at the right time is subject to a truly bizarre experience, hours of nonsense, noises, horrible insults, heckling of other ships’ radio transmissions or insane requests.
This chatter can at times be irritating or worse, but from time to time it is very funny. So, to me, the mere mention of the Monkey on OTM was so unexpected that I completely lost it. I know this reaction is strange, but you have to be a bit strange to work on ships.” BROOKE GLADSTONE: And on radio shows. Thanks for the letters. Keep them coming to Onthemedia@wnyc.org and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.