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Your Letters: Auto Show Models, Figure Skating


Now, to your letters.

Last week, NPR's Sonari Glinton filed a report about the attractive young women who show off the latest car models at auto shows. Rebecca Linland, an analyst with IHS Automotive, explained that they're called product specialists because:

Ms. REBECCA LINDLAND (Analyst, IHS Global Automotive): They are charged with knowing the vehicle from, you know, front to back, upside down, sideways -everything that a consumer may ask.

HANSEN: Peter Witkoff(ph) of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania writes: I imagine the product specialists got a kick out of zinging the men who think they are just eye candy, with their detailed knowledge of the mechanical specs of their products. Thank you for that bit of amusement.

Dr. George Gitlets(ph) of Sarasota, Florida, disagrees. I'm amazed that NPR extols even good-naturedly a practice which is the poster child of sexism in advertising. In this day and age, no one has to explain that beautiful girls can be smart, too, but brains are not what they're using to sell these cars.

Last week, I discussed the World Figure Skating Championships with USA Today columnist Christine Brennan. She pointed out that the 2010 Olympic gold medal winner Yu-Na Kim took a year off before this year's Worlds to quote, cash in, unquote.

An impassioned Alex Hamilton of Seattle wrote: This is entirely incorrect. Yu-Na already made $10 million per year before her Olympic gold medal in Vancouver, and she already starred in countless commercials before her Olympic gold medal. The idea that she took a year off to cash in is disingenuous to Yu-Na's character off the ice.

As a coda, Yu-Na Kim won the women's silver medal at this year's Worlds. Japan's Miki Ando won gold.

My conversation with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli about Easter in St. Peter's Square began with a little music from the pope's Easter Mass.

(Soundbite of choir singing)

HANSEN: Marlene Kosan(ph) of Columbus, Ohio, wrote to say we had clearly made an error. The liturgical music which opened this piece was from the Russian Orthodox Easter liturgy in the Old Church Slavonic - not the Catholic Mass. We asked Sylvia if we had somehow received the wrong clip from Rome. We didn't. Here's Sylvia's explanation: It is an Orthodox liturgy performed by Orthodox clergy, and it was included in the Easter Mass at the Vatican precisely because this year, the Catholic and Orthodox Easters fall on the same day. I interpret it as a sign of an improved climate in Catholic-Orthodox relations. In fact, one of Pope Benedict's biggest aspirations is promoting Christian unity through greater rapprochement between Christian churches.

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This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.