Thursday roundup: NPR responds to Greenwald; Sex in the Wild charms columnist

By Andrew Lapin

PBS's "Sex in the Wild," a look at animals and their smoking-hot means of survival. (Photo: PBS)

PBS’s Sex in the Wild looks at animals and their smoking-hot means of survival. (Photo: PBS)

• NPR is defending reporter Dina Temple-Raston against criticisms from journalist Glenn Greenwald that a recent story of hers parroted CIA talking points. “The piece was measured and fair,” the network wrote in a statement read on Democracy Now! “It cites research by the two companies that found changes in the methods al-Qaeda-linked groups use to encrypt communications. It also cites their conclusion that these changes were likely a response to the Snowden leaks.” NPR also noted in the statement that it had contacted a computer expert and supporter of Edward Snowden and “gave him substantial space.”

Speaking on Democracy Now!, an unsatisfied Greenwald nevertheless labeled Temple-Raston’s story “a pure and indisputable case of journalistic malpractice and deceit” and said it mislabeled her source as independent rather than as a company with ties to the CIA. Technical difficulties on the show truncated Greenwald’s response.

• PBS’s salacious new nature series Sex in the Wild has gained a fan in central Wisconsin: a Baraboo News Republic columnist. After joking that “Public television has hit rock bottom. PBS has turned to porn,” Ben Bromley conceded the program turned him on . . . to the fascinating world of animal reproduction. Still, he says, “Next time please warn me when I’m about to see the most amazing part of a whale.”

• Podcaster Adam Carolla is refusing to allow Personal Audio, a patent-holding company asserting that it owns the patents to podcasting technology, to drop its lawsuit against him. According to a release from the company, it decided to back away from the legal challenge after determining that Carolla didn’t earn enough from podcasting to make their suit worthwhile. But Carolla tells Mashable that the company wanted him to agree to terms that would have allowed them to file additional lawsuits against other podcasters.

“We didn’t come this far to go, ‘Oh you’re going to let us off the hook, but you can sue Joe Rogan or Marc Maron next week,'” Carolla said. Personal Audio has sent threatening letters to public broadcasters who podcast as part of its legal challenges.

• Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal took the Ice Bucket Challenge Wednesday. The viral stunt, in which celebrities and others dump buckets of ice water on their heads to raise money and awareness for the ALS Association, has raised more than $2 million to date thanks to the participation of Justin Timberlake, Matt Lauer, Ethel Kennedy and others.

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