No one at NBC has, to my knowledge, said anything flattering about Alabama or Mississippi, but Mr. [Tom] Brokaw’s low-intellect suggestion reminds me of a funny incident on the “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC a few years ago. I remember because I’m an opera fan and the Metropolitan had a new general manager who was really screwing up the Met and trying to attract people by putting a mega screen in the plaza at Lincoln Center.

One weeknight they presented “Aida,” one of the three most popular operas in the world. The next morning, one of the wispy intellectual female reporters from NBC told how she got caught up in the crowd at Lincoln Center over some show on the screen.

Joe Scarborough, the show’s host and an Alabama alum, tried to question her about what she had seen and heard. She had no idea so he explained it, but his parting shot at her was, “My God, you’re a graduate of Williams College and know nothing about the most famous opera in the world, and a lowly Alabama grad has to explain it to you. Incredible.”

Dan Benton,