Bloggers Sound Off On 'Sexting'

A recent conversation about "sexting" inspired listeners to blog about why kids are sending racy and suggestive picture messages with their cell phones. One listener says it has much to do with the scarcity of involved fathers in some communities. Also, a recent conversation about U.S. interrogation tactics prompted listeners to speak out. And a listener from Canada shares his love for the Tell Me More Barbershop.

MICHEL MARTIN, Host:

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

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. Well, this week our moms' weekly parenting segment discussed sexting. That's how some teenagers use their cell-phone cameras to send these racy and sexually suggestive pictures to their peers.

Now, after that discussion, we received several comments from listeners on our Web site. Here's Michael(ph). He's a father of six, five girls, one boy. He says part of the reason kids participate in sexting is a lack of fathers in many homes.

MICHAEL: I once taught middle school and high school, and you could almost put together a distinct profile of girls and boys who suffered from what I call Daddy Deficit Disorder, DDD. If a young lady did not have a father in her life saying, I love you or giving her hugs of affirmation and value, then she would be more likely to submit to the advances or demands of some punk kid who only had one thing in mind.

As fathers empower their daughters, and as fathers model what it is to be a real man to their sons, then and only then will you see a reversal of this type of behavior in our society.

MARTIN: Thanks, Michael, for writing in. Lee, I also understand we received a lot of comments about our discussion yesterday with former CIA officer Michael Scheuer. He used to lead the CIA's Osama bin Laden tracking unit.

Scheuer spoke about the so-called torture memos, recently released by the Obama administration. These documents, of course, are stirring up a lot of debate about whether Bush administration officials should be punished for authorizing harsh interrogation techniques, which many people consider to be torture. Scheuer said he had witnessed the use of these techniques, that they were often necessary and effective.

MICHAEL SCHEUER: I would say that on the very few people that these techniques were used against, it has demonstrated itself to be successful. And none of these techniques are the first to be used with any individual. It's a matter of escalation. These are techniques of last resort.

MARTIN: Lee, as you might imagine, this stirred quite a debate in our online forum. Jordan(ph) writes, Mr. Scheuer was right on. It's plain and simple, waterboard a terrorist and gain information that will save thousands of innocent civilians or not waterboard the terrorist and allow another 9/11, Madrid train, London subway or Mumbai terrorist attack.

HILL: But Michel, I'll read another post here from Matthew(ph). He writes, Mr. Scheuer's views, while refreshingly honest and blunt, highlight the problems. The moral compass which drives him is not the Judeo-Christian ethos of our nation's founding but the utilitarian ideal of getting the job no matter whose soul you damn.

MARTIN: Thank you, Matthew, also for writing in and all those who are writing in. Lee, any updates?

HILL: Yes, there have been several updates to NPR's reporting on the auto industry. For instance, yesterday, Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And also there are many new developments in the swine flu health crisis, which continues to put the world on alert. Listeners can find more on both of these stories on the home page of npr.org.

But last but not least, Michel, yesterday marked two years of TELL ME MORE. After more than 500 programs, what began as a small online experiment is now a full-fledged radio program. Can you believe it? Well, listeners took to our Web site and shared their comments, and I had to share this one. It's from Ron(ph) in Canada.

RON: I'm a 54-year-old white guy, and I just hate it if I miss the Barbershop. I think you hit it note-perfect. Just keep rocking, kids. It's so good, and I have no idea why.

MARTIN: Well thank you, Ron. I'll be sure to pass that along to the guys, and thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel, and happy anniversary.

MARTIN: Happy anniversary to you. And remember with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more about what you think, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. That number again, 202-842-3522. Please remember to leave your name. You can also log onto our Web page, where you'll find even more feedback to our segments. Go to npr.org. Click on TELL ME MORE and blog it out.

The Barbershop guys are next on TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin.

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