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Blogosphere Buzzes About Healthy Eating, Tax Cuts

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Blogosphere Buzzes About Healthy Eating, Tax Cuts

Blogosphere Buzzes About Healthy Eating, Tax Cuts

Blogosphere Buzzes About Healthy Eating, Tax Cuts

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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In the weekly "BackTalk" segment, Tell Me More's "digital media guy" Lee Hill discusses listener feedback and news story updates, with host Michel Martin. This week, listeners react in droves to Martin's commentary tackling criticisms of First Lady Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative. Also, a blog post by Tell Me More contributor and political science professor Lester Spence - on whether President Obama's latest political compromises negatively affect African Americans - sparks responses.


And now it's time for BackTalk, where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere and get to hear from you, our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy, is here with me, as he is most Fridays. Hey Lee, what's up?

Mr. LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. Well, your Monday commentary touched off a firestorm online, as usual. You pushed back against critics of first lady Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative, which targets childhood obesity and unhealthy school lunches. And you called out one critic in particular: former Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. She's among those who suggest that the government should not try to regulate what children eat. This is from your weekly commentary, called "Can I Just Tell You?"

(Soundbite of archived audio)

MARTIN: I think it's worth mentioning that one of the reasons the Obamas - Mrs. Obama, in particular - has taken on healthy eating is that so many Americans are not only overweight, they are obese.

HILL: And aside from all the folks who flooded our site to speak their minds about Sarah Palin - for and against; you know, she seems to have that effect on folks - we did hear from some listeners who had strong thoughts about this nation's obesity problem, particularly among children, and who should be responsible.

Here's a post from J.L.(ph). He writes: So you want the same entity that provides corporate subsidies for large farming companies, in exchange for political support, to regulate your decisions about food choices? While not an admirer of Sarah Palin, I believe it is important to realize the absolute failure of politicians to manage public education and school nutrition. Thanks, J.L.

And we also received this post from Gabe(ph). He writes: Most parents suck. They give in to whatever their kids want because they don't have the patience to listen to them whine. As a result, parents don't bother teaching their kids that they can't eat four bags of Cheetos, and drink a liter of Coke, for lunch. I'm disgusted by how many kids under 12 are fat. It's not their fault; they have neglectful parents.

MARTIN: OK, thanks Gabe. Did Gabe leave his phone number? Because I think he's going to be babysitting for me. Sounds like he's on point.

HILL: And getting some hate mail.

MARTIN: OK. Lee, we've also talked a lot this week about the political fall-out from President Obama's deal with Republicans to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to the richest Americans as well as the middle class. Political science professor and regular Barbershop guest Lester Spence wrote a piece for the TELL ME MORE blog about it. In it, he suggested fellow African-Americans reconsider their loyalty to the president.

Rather than rally behind him because of his historical significance, it might be a good idea for black people to think critically about whether they're any better off now than they were two years ago. And if the answer is no, then we should think about ways to ensure that the next compromise Obama makes isn't with the Republican Party; it's with us.

Quite a few people wanted to respond to Lester's blog, as you can imagine. Here's a note from Colin(ph). He writes: The Obama compromise is good for wealthy whites and wealthy blacks. It's bad for less than wealthy whites and less than wealthy blacks, period. That's Colin. Lee, what else?

HILL: A couple of updates to report. Remember Derrion Albert? He is the 16-year-old Chicago honor student who was beaten to death last year on his way home from school. We reported on his murder. And you'll remember that the entire incident was captured on cell phone video and then posted to YouTube for the world to see. Well, this week, a jury found a 15-year-old boy guilty of first-degree murder in connection with Albert's death.

We should mention that his name is being withheld in the media because he was a juvenile at the time of the September 2009 attack, and he is the first of five charged in the murder to stand trial.

Also, a federal jury on Thursday convicted three current and former New Orleans police officers in the shooting death of a man in the chaotic days following Hurricane Katrina. Former officer David Warren was convicted of manslaughter for shooting 31-year-old Henry Glover on September 2nd in 2005.

And Michel, the jury also convicted officer Greg McCray for burning Glover's corpse in a car. And officer Travis McCabe was found guilty of submitting a false police report on the killing, and lying to federal investigators. Now, two other officers were acquitted of all related charges.

MARTIN: OK. Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: And remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. Please remember to leave your name. You can also find us on Twitter. Just look for TELL ME MORE NPR. Or go to; click on Programs, then on TELL ME MORE - and blog it out.

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