Letters: Federal Reserve; Obesity, Sexual Health

Michele Norris and Melissa Block read comments from listeners. Thursday, we hear criticism of a story about Federal Reserve bashing — and both criticism and praise for our piece about obesity's impact on sexual health.

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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

It's time now to hear your comments on yesterday's program. And first, criticism for something we did not say in our story on the history of Federal Reserve bashing.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Our story did include the voices of several Republican presidential candidates and even a song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "END THE FED")

STEVE DORE: (Singing) The Fed Reserve must cease to be. Must end the Fed Reserve...

BLOCK: But we did not include any mention of Ron Paul.

NORRIS: Cut the cheesy intro music. That's from Nathan Kayhan of Chico, California.

NORRIS: I waited with rapt attention for a mention of the leader of the End the Fed Movement, Ron Paul. It never came. It was disappointing to know that NPR, the news source I grew up with, felt comfortable featuring other GOP presidential candidates' comments on the Fed, but no words from the man whose signature issue is ending the Fed. In fact, he wrote the bestselling book, "End the Fed."

BLOCK: One other story yesterday inspired both criticism and praise. We reported on how obesity can affect sexual health. In our story, one formerly obese woman, Dana Engelhardt, spoke about the effects on her sex life with her husband.

DANA ENGELHARDT: I just felt kind of hideous. And I didn't like it when he would touch me, 'cause it just reminded me of all the bulk there. And then I just kind of avoided sex for a long time.

NORRIS: Well, this story made some of you uncomfortable. And it disappointed Kelly Lenza of Saint Charles, Illinois.

BLOCK: She writes this: I didn't hear a story about how obesity affected sexual health. I heard a story about how people with low body image and self-esteem had a poor sex life. There was only a small mention of how obesity actually affected sexual health when they briefly said men reported poor performance.

And Ms. Lenza adds: Also, I'm a sexually satisfied obese person.

NORRIS: We got a different response from Angela Ward. She offered this comment at NPR.org: Listening to this story on my drive home tonight nearly brought me to tears because of how much I could relate to the feelings expressed by these couples. This story was not only a reminder that I am not alone, it was also an opportunity to hear other husbands talk about how they love their wives regardless of their weight - something that's hard to believe sometimes when I hear it from my own husband. Perhaps he really does mean it.

BLOCK: Thank you for all of your comments. You can write us at NPR.org. Click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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