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Friday Feedback for May 11, 2012

Listener Michele wrote earlier this week:

I'm frustrated that [Congressional candidate] Ilario Pantano was given the air time today, as if he had really sat down for a live interview. Of course I heard the disclaimer at the beginning of the piece, but other people with me did not, and assumed he had done the interview live. The manipulation of past interviews through editing is misleading to the listeners, all in the name of "fairness". WHQR is obligated to offer Pantano the same opportunity as other candidates, but WHQR is not required by law to create and make equal air time. I think it should have ended with "Despite multiple requests for interviews, Pantano didn't return our calls." During the last election cycle, there was a lot of friction between Pantano and WHQR, and I don't think we should have catered to his snub.

I wrote to Michele that we had discussed this matter internally last week and decided that we needed to complete the profiles, with or without candidate Pantano's cooperation. As she noted, his lack of participation is part of the story, and the disclaimer reflects that. I realize that not everyone will be aware of the disclaimer. But not running the story, we felt, would have opened up other concerns.

A different listener Michelle wrote:

As an avid listener to WHQR I have been disappointed in the reporting on Amendment One. Clearly, the citizens of this state have taken a stand for the union of one man and one woman. However, the reporting has been very one sided with interviews and news in support of gay marriage. A little balance in reporting…maybe why so many feel that the Biblical view of marriage and following God's law is important in a society who seems to want to do it 'their way'.

The rest of this week’s comments share a common source that’s different from what you’ve heard before on Feedback. Let’s hear a few, then I’ll explain what’s new.

Last week we heard from a listener upset with a couple of the Metropolitan Opera’s early start times, which interfered with Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and This American Life. Penny Schmitt had a response:

I am a big fan of Opera, and found myself surprised every time you ran the 'apologies for the inconvenience' spot last weekend before the broadcast of Die Walkure. LUCKY US to get to hear the magnificence from the Met, and the great story of Eva Marie Westbroek's husband stepping up at the very last minute to sing Siegmund to her Sieglinde. I love that you make sure we hear the entire broadcast!! I am sincerely hoping that there will be some Saturday afternoon opera during the summer, after the Met's last broadcast for the season this week.

In response, Penny’s point is well taken about apologizing for a scheduled show, however much we might wish the Met would stick to a consistent start time. As we did last year, we will be running other classical music choices on Saturday afternoons once the Met season is over after this weekend. It will return in December.

A couple of weeks ago we ran The Golden Years: Aging in our Region, produced by our news department. That prompted listener listener Tricia to write in her story of caring and compassion:

Approximately three years ago, our older sister and I thought we were losing [our sister] Evelyn Ann. She was at her breaking point. It was terrifying for us, because we knew, but Evelyn Ann wouldn't accept she had to institutionalize Danny. With the good Lord's direction, it was soon after we began to get our sister back. Danny's FULLtime care had taken its toll on our sister, and she recognized she had to have assistance for his around-the-clock care. We thank God each and everyday for Danny's caregivers and providers. It is because of their dedication our sister is able to laugh again. Gratefully, Tricia Vredenburg, Ann's "baby" sister.

Finally, Listener Karen wrote:

Thanks for including the Diane Rehm show. Her reporting, topics and guests are balanced and informed; one of the best programs available in the U.S.

Now, not to keep you in suspense, but most of this issue of Feedback came from comments left on our website rather than submitted to Feedback. When you have heard a local story on the air that you enjoy, we encourage you to go to whqr.org, click on that story, and post a comment at the bottom of the page. Most stories have few comments at this point. But we hope to get a genuine interactive dialogue going, so please help us out.

We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback, for your questions and comments, likes and dislikes about any aspect of the station. You can also send us feedback with with an email message. Or call our Feedback Phone: 910-292-WHQR (9477). And thanks for your feedback.