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'I wonder what else they haven't told me over the years?'

To: WAMC Northeast Pirate Network -
 Last year I exchanged e-mail with Dr. Alan Chartock a couple of times. I was new to computers and having fun 'talking back' to the voices on the radio, putting in my 2-cents worth, giving feedback. What was interesting was how willing the Doc was to answer my e-mails.  He is either very considerate, or really, really defensive when questioned. 

I would send the e-mail exchanges if I still had them, but I can summarize. In May or April, I responded to a Me and Mario comment about foreign policy, where Mario Cuomo said it was unseemly for the U.S. to criticize other nations' policies, because we would not like it if they criticized the U.S..  It was about Peru. 

I said 'Let's point out their flaws and they ours, and maybe something will get fixed' or some such, and raised the Lori Berensen case, in a letter that got too long.  Alan read a couple of sentences out of context to Mr. Cuomo on the next show and made me sound like a dummy.  I castigated Alan for that and suggested that entire letters be read or at least provided to Mr. Cuomo beforehand.  I then mailed (by U.S. Mail) the whole exchange to Mr. Cuomo in care of  WAMC.  I cannot tell if there has been any change in how the show is set up.

In September and October, Alan and I exchanged 3 or 4 e-mails about the Green Party and Ralph Nader candidacy, and whether it received adequate coverage in the U.S. media and on WAMC.  He claimed WAMC's coverage was superior, of course, and that Ralph Nader had been on lots of times. 

He had one of his people, the news director I think, list some of the 'times' and, aside from when Nader was in Albany just blocks from WAMC, it was a sad little list:  there was an episode of Alternative Radio, a syndicated hour which has no fixed position in the WAMC schedule;  there was a phone interview on a mid-morning show a full 12 months previous (even Al Gore was not a candidate in October, 1999). 

Dr. Chartock complained that the Nader campaign never answered when the WAMC news department requested interviews, several times.  I asked whether Gush or Bore had granted interviews, or even been asked. 

Finally, I hammered the point that both Bush's and Gore's press releases got coverage, as news, on every newscast, every hour of every day for months, whether they gave a speech or went fishing. Ralph Nader was news only when he was unavoidably nearby, and was covered poorly, his platform nearly ignored . 

When WAMC touts its news department, I recall what I know they refused to cover, and who they answer to, and I wonder what else they haven't told me over the years?

My membership expired today.

B. J. Oliver <asterisk@global2000.net>
Friday, 09 March 2001

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