There are two problems with having your programme attacked by Martin Bell.
One is that he's a distinguished former BBC foreign correspondent, so the defence of muttering "what would he know about news programmes anyway" is unavailable.
The other is that he is a pre-eminent prose stylist whose polemics are laced with cutting phrases - in this case describing the Six O'clock News as a "parody of something between Down Your Way and Nationwide".
His ire had been raised by our decision to send Natasha Kaplinsky out for a week to places ranging from Dorset to Glasgow to present a series of segments on social change under the banner "The Changing Face of Britain" - you can watch some of the reports by clicking here.
He took up his pen after watching the first, in which we went to Christchurch in Dorset, the town with the most elderly population in Britain, to report on what might be the future for many other parts of the country. The segment contained a report from Richard Bilton, a piece by Natasha looking at what the town was like decades ago and an interview with the 71 year old Mayor of the town about what it was like to live there.
Now I would be the first to admit that this wasn't the strongest of the five stories we covered in Six on Tour - and if I'm honest the interview with the Mayor was a bit too local in content - but there is a more general point that Martin Bell was making. Should we be out in this way - sending a presenter to cover the growing elderly population (or the exodus of young people from Wales, Polish immigrants doing the jobs Asians used to do in the Midlands, town dwellers moving to the country, and Glasgow's record in dealing with asylum seekers as we did on the other days) in this way, when there are people dying in Afghanistan, Iraq and, on Monday, a British tourist shot in Jordan.
Of course we did cover events in the Middle East well ahead of Six on Tour. But his question remains valid - why did we devote eight minutes a night to being on the road like this? There are a number of answers I would give. Principal among them I would say that the issues we covered were important and that they sometimes get lost in among the more urgent daily stories.
But we did have a wider purpose than that - to get our programme out among some of the audiences we serve to report on things that were happening locally, but had some greater national resonance. Our reporters and Natasha also appeared in the local newspapers and on local media, providing more potential viewers with a reminder of the service we offer. And our overnight research showed that our report on the elderly was the programme item people most wanted to know more about.
As a man with a full BBC career behind him, who looks set to continue using his talents for many years to come, I might have hoped Martin Bell himself would have agreed with that.