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In his PBS ombudsman column today, Michael Getler posts mailbag letters from Wayne Dyer believers and unbelievers. One skeptic wrote, “I’m seeing a disturbing trend in some of the programs that PBS is airing for the past several years. I’ve noticed a sudden increase in the number of “self-help” programs/characters such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Robert Kiyosaki, Suze Orman and several others that seem to frequent the PBS channel.”

Gelter also posted letters from NewsHour viewers who were unhappy with Judy Woodruff’s segment on the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act bill. Several letters noted that Woodruff seemed uninformed, and her two guests did nothing to illuminate what the new bill actually meant. NewsHour executive producer Linda Winslow respnds to the criticisms: “I think Judy handled the ‘discussion’ well, in keeping with the NewsHour‘s style. …”I do agree that ultimately the segment shed more heat than light on the subject. Unfortunately, that sometimes happens in the course of producing a live television program; you don’t get a ‘do-over’ when things don’t go as planned.” Winslow also responded to questions about why coverage of the Democratic debate in Chicago seemed to leave out Bill Richardson: “I think we erred in not including a clip of what Governor Richardson said. Our production team was trying to capture the flavor of the debate (which I think they did) and that involved focusing primarily on the dynamic of the exchanges between Clinton, Edwards, and Obama.”

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