Inskeep’s not so tough Thanks for covering radio — especially public radio (Culture Vulture, “Carmel Native Hosts ‘Morning Edition,’” Sept. 22-29). It’s a gem. I am a loyal listener of NPR in general and Morning Edition in particular. Steve [Inskeep] was correct when he said that axing Bob Edwards was a very controversial decision; NPR received (as of April) over 35,000 letters in protest.

Steve also said that people have thanked him for making this transition so easy. This I find hard to believe. I cringe at Steve’s questions. I am embarrassed at the things he asks and often turn the radio off to avoid his uncomfortable interviews and reporting. I cringe at how he and Renee interrupt the folks they are interviewing to sputter out a clarification. I especially cringe at the claim that they are tougher interviewers than their predecessor.

In your interview, Steve said, “I think there’s always a chance to be tougher or more insightful in the questioning of people you interview,” then cited his interview with John Kerry and John Edwards in which “we’re asking him hard questions.” I heard this interview broadcast and did not hear difficult questions asked. What I heard were inappropriate interruptions, soft questions and missed opportunities for logical follow-up questions.

The same criticism of the new Morning Edition has come from NPR’s ombudsman, Jeffrey Dvorkin. He wrote a report in early September about NPR’s coverage in Iraq this summer. He cited two shows (Tavis Smiley and Fresh Air) as having broadcast the best war coverage, balanced between respectful yet pointed questions to interviewees representing different sides of an issue and showing a “healthy skepticism of both sides.” He singled out Morning Edition as having the weakest reporting, saying, “Overall, the interviews conducted on that program seemed soft. Opportunities for tougher follow-up questions were available but rarely seized.” Exactly. Steve seems overeager to impress and be viewed as tough. He (and Renee) could learn a lot from Tavis Smiley and Terry Gross (the hosts of the aforementioned shows), who conduct tough interviews based on their pursuit of the truth, not on how many times they interrupt the person they are interviewing. Bob Edwards shares this gift.

I am passionate about public radio and used to think that the public radio stations actually cared about what its public thought. I have tolerated the new format of the show — mostly because there isn’t a better option in the morning — but to read NUVO and Steve’s utterly inconsistent account of the higher quality and seamless transition on NPR as a result of Renee and Steve’s qualifications was a little too far-fetched without sending a response. Personally, I am counting down the days until Oct. 4, when Bob Edwards debuts his new morning show on XM satellite radio; the cost of the subscription is what I’ll deduct from my annual pledge to public radio.

Alison Schumacher


WWJD? I recently read the article entitled “Christian and Gay” in the Sept. 22 issue (Cover). I agree that Jesus loves people and accepts them regardless of their backgrounds. Jesus died for all humanity. The point of His sacrifice was to make it possible that we may obtain not only forgiveness of sin but also overcome sin.

The church is a place to be spiritually renewed and revived. We all have sin in our lives we must overcome through the power of God. Christian and liar, Christian and adulterer, Christian and illegal drug use, whatever follows your coordinating conjunction is irrelevant. The question Jesus asks is “do you want to be made whole?”

The church is not a group of perfect people but rather a group of people that realize their sin and seek help. The church is a hospital where the sin sick may be encouraged and become better through the power of God. My church is a place of refuge for all people. I’m tired of the political football of homosexuality. A lot of people out here have hate toward gays.

The question is “WWJD”: what would Jesus do? Jesus would love homosexuals and degrade them but rather in love show them His plan for their lives. Jesus in Revelation 1:21 states, “To Him that overcometh I will grant to sit with me in my throne even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

Pastor Miner, let’s not have a church for gays, liars, adulterers, fornicators, gamblers, prostitutes, but rather let us have a church of overcomers. Jesus died “so that we may have life and have it more abundantly.”

Jerry D. Lee III


Disgraced Ullmann This is the most disgusting shit NUVO has ever printed (Cover, “Flunk’d: A Slackers Guide to Back-to-School,” Sept. 1-8). I’m into partying myself, but how can you promote that kind of total rejection of education in a country that worships IGNORANCE?? (e.g. George W. Bush) Not to mention drowning in a bottle of cheap vodka? You need to apologize to all of us who respect the value of education. You have disgraced Harrison Ullmann, who is turning over in his grave ... SHAME!

Richard Harnar


Trouble at Monument Circle I read with interest Becky Oberg’s article “Eyes Wide Open” that appeared in the Sept. 15 issue of NUVO. I attended the so-called “pro-war” rally on the south side of Monument Circle on Sept. 11. Judging by her article, I wonder if Oberg even attended this rally.

Oberg claims that the crowd supporting the troops started the clash with the anti-war protesters who attended the pro-troop rally. Nothing could be further from the truth. I witnessed the event that started the ruckus. During the middle of the pro-troops rally, four anti-war demonstrators came from the north side of the Monument and stood about 20 feet from the right of the speaker, who was a chaplain. One of the demonstrators disrupted the chaplain’s speech by walking in front of the chaplain and placing the “How Many More?” sign mentioned in Oberg’s article at the base of the podium. Understandably, the crowd reacted negatively to the disruption of the speech. After placing the sign in front of the podium, the demonstrator turned around, faced the crow, and gave the crowd the finger! Why did Oberg fail to report that the anti-war protesters were the individuals who started the disturbance, not the supporters of the troops. The First Amendment does not give anyone the right to disrupt a peaceful rally. The supporters of the war effort did not disrupt the anti-war demonstration.

Oberg claims that the mainstream media calls pro-war demonstrators “pro-freedom.” I have never heard the mainstream media apply this “pro-freedom” label to any group. Would Oberg please list the news organizations that have used this label, along with the dates the label was used, and the appropriate quotations? If she has never seen or heard the “pro-freedom” label applied to supporters of the war effort, Oberg should save her ranting for the op-ed page. I guess it is too much to expect objective reporting from NUVO.

Roger Smith


Clarification In last week’s review of Enrico’s by Terry Kirts (Cuisine, “The Italian You Almost Forgot,” Sept. 29-Oct. 4), it was stated that an adjacent diner fired up a cigarette during the course of the meal. Enrico’s wishes to inform you that it is now a smoke-free environment.

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