Listeners weigh in on our interview with marketing consultant and amateur political advisor Clotaire Rapaille, and our report on the longevity of Godzilla. Also, we update the story of the Bush administration’s attempt to package its Medicare message as real news.
BROOKE GLADSTONE: And now for a few of your letters. A few weeks ago, we spoke with medical anthropologist and marketing consultant Clotaire Rapaille who said presidential candidates need to tap into their reptilian brain to win. Listener Thomas Eccardt wonders whether Rapaille, quote, "was sent here by the French as a means of vengeance for Freedom Fries. The philosophy of following your gut feelings is finally coming home to roost in the war in Iraq. The U.S. doesn't need yet another dose of this poison, unless we want to follow the fate of that fabulously successful group of reptiles known as the dinosaurs."
BOB GARFIELD:A correction from several listeners including Robert Anderson of Brooklyn, New York. "In your story about the Godzilla movies," he writes, "you mention that Dodgers Pitcher Hideo Nomo had the nickname 'Godzilla.' Au contraire, Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui is Godzilla." And Richard Brouillette of New York City adds "Great story, but one thing struck me about the gender aspect of Godzilla. Everyone in the story referred to Godzilla as "he," but wasn't he a "she" who later became a mother of Godzookie? Perhaps the only thing Godzilla can't break is the glass ceiling."
BROOKE GLADSTONE:And an update -- in March we told you about a controversial series of TV news reports touting the benefits of the new Medicare law -- controversial because the spots were written and produced by the Department of Health and Human Services. They aired on over 40 local news programs with no hint that they were produced by the government. Democrats in Congress claimed that HHS money was being used illegally for a political public relations campaign, and the General Accounting Office, a non-partisan arm of Congress, agreed to investigate.
BOB GARFIELD:On Wednesday, the GAO announced that the Bush administration had, in fact, violated the law by using taxpayer money to fund covert propaganda. The GAO has no law enforcement authority, but Democrats in Congress are working on a bill that would require the Bush-Cheney campaign to reimburse the money.
BROOKE GLADSTONE:There's a link to the full text of the GAO report at onthemedia.org, and keep your letters coming to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and please don't forget to tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.
BOB GARFIELD:Up next, the Brazilian media are mad at the American media, and the Indian media are mad at the Indian media. Plus, the Army's latest recruitment tool is only a game.