Readers weigh in on our retrospective of Bush administration secrecy, as well as our story on the dirtiest word in the English language.
BOB GARFIELD: This is On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone with a few of your letters. We had a lot of appreciative mail last week in response to our look back at freedom of information during the president's first term. Most of them simply said thanks. Some were more effusive, but modesty forbids. There were, however, some people who took issue with our story on the "C" word --verboten slang for part of a woman's anatomy. Our piece concerned an incident at the Chicago Tribune where a story about the word gave editors cold feet, causing staffers to pull the offending section from that day's paper by hand.
BOB GARFIELD: Listener Thomas O'Harran of Silver Spring, Maryland wrote: "Last night I listened with admiration and gratitude to On the Media's terrific items on the election, government secrecy and Iraqi casualties, and then came a big letdown with the silly piece on the C word. What was the point? I couldn't discern one. This piece epitomized the blue state/red state divide. Perhaps only a few New Yorkers were offended, but I'm sure that thousands of their red state fellow citizens were puzzled and disappointed, if not infuriated."
BROOKE GLADSTONE: And on our discussion of exit polls last week, Thomas Talbott from New York City had this to say: "Your story, handled with care, reports that in 2000 and 2004, exit polls got the results wrong. In 2000, they got it right. Exit polls measure voters' intentions. They do not measure whether voters were confused by butterfly ballots or whether they were inept at punching out chads of paper from voting cards. In 2000, a majority of Florida voters intended to vote for Gore. The exit polls reflected this reality. The vote count, as a result of the many foul-ups reported at the time, did not."
BOB GARFIELD: Robert Funnicello from Mamaroneck, New York writes in with a comment on our piece about newspaper endorsements. He writes: "As a person who has been interested in electoral politics since Ike roared past me down Mamaroneck Avenue in a convertible in 1952, I enjoyed your piece on the role of newspaper endorsements in presidential elections. But I think you missed a key point -- that editorial endorsements are important not because they change votes, but because they accurately reflect voter opinion. Indeed, it may well be that editorial endorsements have never really influenced elections, but have been misinterpreted as doing so, because they so accurately predicted the outcome."
BROOKE GLADSTONE: Send your predictions and interpretations to onthemedia@WNYC.org, and don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name. [MUSIC]