To the editors:

This letter is in regards to Glenn Garvin’s reply [Letters, August 13] to the FAIR letter about NPR bashing (original “Hate NPR” article of June 25–this whole exchange now bids to rival War and Peace in length).

Let’s first dispose of Garvin’s assertion that FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) is a financial supporter of NPR. You could say that I am a financial supporter of the Chicago Tribune because on occasion I buy a copy–FAIR has once or twice purchased some cassettes from NPR, if NPR chooses to list them as a financial supporter that’s their problem in veracity.

The notion is ridiculous on the face of it. Here is FAIR commissioning an extensive (and expensive) four-month bitingly critical study of NPR, and Garvin calls them “an NPR public-relations” branch! This, of course, is the same study that Garvin twisted to his own ideological purposes so that he could conveniently paint NPR as some kind of liberal “politically correct” platform, instead of the willing mouthpiece of the establishment, both Democratic and Republican, that it has become.

And again, in his reply, Garvin offers only one bit of anecdotal evidence, alleging an NPR bias in favor of the Democrats. Again I must refer to FAIR’s NPR study, comprised of four months of 2,296 monitored stories identified from 5,507 sources of government and basically conservative think tanks. We at Chicago Media Watch/FAIR, however, are grateful to perceptive members of the Reader audience who wrote or called in for free copies of the study (still available at 312-792-6436 or P.O. Box 10656, zip 60610).

Bill Sheldon