Friday Feedback for August 16, 2013

Aug 16, 2013

Madonna and child by Raffaello, 16th century

Last week I played, without comment, a phone call from a listener who said that WHQR favors Christianity and feels that we should stop doing so. It prompted this response:

This is directed to the man who called about WHQR using Christian overtones in this broadcast. Sir, if you don't like it you can change the station. Also remember where you live, in the heart of the Bible Belt. That's all I have to say to you about that. Bless you, sir.

I usually prefer to let comments stand on their own, but these two are so fraught with troublesome implications that a response is called for. Both callers make the mistake of assuming that we are trying to inculcate a sectarian message. One objects, the other applauds. But neither is correct. Of course in our music we are not going to neglect works springing from religious traditions any more than an art museum is going to stop showing Renaissance masterpieces. And the concepts of faith are an integral part of cultures all over the world, and thus appropriate subjects for news and discussions. But WHQR has no religious agenda to push. Thank you both for calling.

Listener Linden Matthews-Boone wrote:

[A]fter listening for several weeks I am still very lukewarm on Here and Now. I find it to be a Lite version of Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and who needs three shows like that? And of course, its worse weakness is that it is not Talk of the Nation. I know that was NPR's decision to cancel, not WHQR's, but I feel it was a huge mistake. …
Other than that … I am very happy with my local public radio station.  I especially enjoy the rapport that the staff exhibits on the air.  I don't even mind the pledge challenges (too much) when it is manned by people who really seem to enjoy their jobs and each other.
I also want to compliment Gwenyfar Rohler on her commentary, Rediscovering George Orwell. I have sent a link to that commentary to many people and appreciate her articulating what should be making many of us uncomfortable in the wake of recent revelations about the collection of personal information by both our government and big corporations.
Thanks for all you do to contribute to the quality of life in Southeastern North Carolina!

Listener Ken Holland called to correct a report that aired on Tuesday of this week, concerning a protest by teachers:

“… the reporter stated that the members of the teacher's union had gathered to protest the cuts to education made by the Republican legislature and Governor …. The error is this: we do not have a teachers union. If we had a union, we would have collective bargaining.

There’s more in Ken’s comment of a political nature, but the caller is right that we erred to call the association a union. It slipped through both our reporting and editing processes, so thanks to this sharp-eared listener we were able to correct it while All Things Considered was still in progress.