RE: Underscoring the importance of objective review sources, especially in defense against terrorism

Chip Taylor (
Mon, 20 May 2002 08:08:07 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Videolibbers,
Recently I read what I describe as a slanderous review of a program I
distribute, "Pakistan Frontline: Staring Into the Nuclear Abyss" from the "War on Terrorism
Series." I immediately wrote a two-page letter to the editor explaining in
detail how I felt the reviewer had made a serious error in judgment about
the program and requested his magazine either print a retraction or include
(a portion of) my letter, as many fine magazines such as "Smithsonian" and
"National Geographic" do, stating my disagreement with this particular
review. He refused my request, stating “their (the reviewers) call is their
call” and asked me to look the other way by adding glibly “I understand that
you're upset, and I sincerely hope that when all the sturm and drang
subsides you will continue to submit programs for review.” I explained to
the editor that I felt the reviewer had crossed the line with this review
and since the editor felt he had to support his reviewer and would give me
no opportunity for retraction, I could no longer support his magazine by
submitting programs for review. For me, the subject matter was too important
for educators and librarians not to know there was a differing opinion, and
principle had to rule.

Ironically, the next day I received the following review of the same program
from "Booklist": “This eye-opening program looks at the long-standing feud
between Pakistan and India. Thanks to a fearless reporter and fellow
cameraperson, this program offers a firsthand view of life along border
areas. The growing threat of nuclear war seems to hang like a mythical sword
over these two beleaguered nations."

As a liaison for a team of investigative reporters who literally risk their
lives to obtain these objective news stories for Americans, I take my
responsibility to get these programs distributed very seriously; and I feel
our schools and libraries are a vital place for these types of programs to
be made available to the public. Many educators and librarians depend on
objective review sources such as "Booklist," "Educational Media Review
Online," "The Library Journal" and "School Library Journal"; so I write this
letter not to promote my efforts or this program, but to thank each of these
vital review sources that continue to give documentaries that are a vital
resource to our citizens a chance to be seen. I wish to underscore my
sincerity in this communication, and faith in this program, by offering any
educator or librarian a FREE VHS copy of this program simply by emailing me

Although there has not been another serious attack on America since 911 that
does not mean that America or Americans are not at risk. There has been
death and destruction in many parts of the world, and I for one cannot allow
heroes such as Daniel Pearl to be forgotten. Our nation and people need
objective and informative sources of information and, beyond the reporters
that I represent, I salute the educators, librarians and review sources that
continue to support similar values – without you the efforts for peace could
only be more difficult to achieve.

I sincerely thank you.

Chip Taylor, President
Chip Taylor Communications
2 East View Drive
Derry, NH 03038
V: 603.434.9262
F: 603.432.2723