Friday Feedback for September 9, 2016

Sep 9, 2016

Car Talk, after a long week . . . makes my day, and my week. - Steven

Listener Jimmy wrote:

I was a bit taken aback by a story aired in WHQR that informed us that “A conservative limited-government group is actively campaigning against Democratic nominee Deborah Ross in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race”. The story went on to outline their objection to Ms. Ross’ policies, accusing her of “raising taxes and supporting reckless government spending.", buzz words worthy of Roger Ailes.
I found that story, virtually verbatim, in the News and Observer, and discovered that your reporting left out the next paragraph, which revealed that this particular limited government group is funded by the Koch brothers. They, like most superrich, find government spending anathema to their quest to personally acquire the largest share of the nations’ wealth. After all, he who dies with the most cookies wins.

While I am somewhat concerned that your reporter never credited the N & O for the story, I’m much more upset that you failed to include that next paragraph, which pointed out the Koch brothers’ involvement and contained a rebuttal by Ms. Ross’s campaign manager.
I understand that you want to include stories from both sides of the political aisle, but I find it troubling that you would help spread the Koch propaganda without at least acknowledging their involvement. After all, the hundreds of millions of dollars they are spending on Senate and House campaigns get them more than enough coverage, without public radio giving them free, anonymous publicity.
I would appreciate it if you would read that next paragraph, reproduced below. "The Koch Brothers and Richard Burr are exactly what North Carolinians hate about Washington, and that's why they're ready for a change," Ross spokesman Cole Leiter said in an email. Ross, meanwhile, has a record of helping working families keep more of what they've earned, Leiter added.

I wrote to Jimmy that we did not get that story from the News & Observer. We got it from the Associated Press, which feeds newspapers and broadcast organizations. The story received by broadcasters did not have the paragraph you quote, but as you note it did refer to a “conservative limited-government group” as being behind the campaign.

[AUDIO CLIP #1]
Hi, this is Katherine, and I'm a member. And it's Saturday evening, and I just finished listening to about an hour of just wonderful bluegrass, and Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead -- just all kinds of really wonderful music. And I don't know what the name of the show is, but I just wanted to say "Thank you so much!" It was wonderful!

Listener Paula of Virginia Beach wrote:

I recently spent four weeks on the middle of Oak Island. 91.3 came in clearly; 92.7 did not. Gracious, NPR is terribly repetitive! Never realized it 'til now. Hopefully my next visit I'll have a better radio or you'll be broadcasting 92.7 with a stronger signal. Can't say I enjoyed your choices of talk.

[AUDIO CLIP #2]
Yes, good afternoon. My name is Steven. I'm a long-time Wilmingtonian -- generations here -- and I love WHQR, and I'm a member. And I've heard several commentators, maybe a few people, complain about Car Talk. Well Car Talk, after a long week, on Saturday morning, makes my day, and my week. And if I miss it on Saturday morning I try my best to catch the encore on Sunday afternoon. But I love the program, and I love RadioLab, and so many of your programs, so I just want to say "Thank you so much. Have a nice week." Bye-bye.

We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback. You can always leave a message via email to feedback@WHQR.org. Our Feedback Phone is 910-292-9477. And thanks for your feedback.