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Letters: Candidate Edwards, and Joshua Redman

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Letters: Candidate Edwards, and Joshua Redman

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Letters: Candidate Edwards, and Joshua Redman

Letters: Candidate Edwards, and Joshua Redman

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We read emails from listeners. Among the items: criticism for NPR's Juan Williams for pointing out that Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is a rich man. And also, a clarification on our conversation with jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman.

(Soundbite of typewriter)

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

Time now for your mail.

Many of you wrote in this week to criticize NPR's Juan Williams for pointing out that Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is a rich man. We spoke with Juan last Saturday about the week's news.

Lisa Baines(ph) of Atlanta, Georgia, wrote, yes, he - John Edwards - is wealthy. He hasn't always been and maybe that gives him a different perspective on the status of poor people. But he's running for president, not for the role of Mother Teresa. Is Williams somehow implying that a poor person's vote would be better spent on another of the wealthy candidates most of whom have always been wealthy? Edwards has not taken a vow of poverty. He is willing to address the issue of poverty. Those are two different things.

Phyllis Kelvin(ph) of New York City added, the sideswipe at John Edwards was small-minded and off the mark. If Edwards, a wealthy man who earned every penny of his fortune, wishes to spend it in an effort to lessen the income gap in this country and in so doing, gets a $400 haircut, so what? And if someone is willing to give him $55,000 or a half million to hear him say the rich are too rich at the expense of the poor, he would be a fool not to take the money and spend it spreading his message.

And a quick clarification on our conversation with jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. John Mingle(ph) of Berkeley, California wrote, Mr. Ydstie said that Mr. Redman would play a tune by Oscar Hammerstein when in fact we heard Richard Rodgers' music to "Surrey With The Fringe On Top". Also, at the beginning of his interview, Mr. Ydstie mentioned the tune, "I'm an Old Cowhand", but never reminded us that Johnny Mercer wrote the music.

And fina1lly, a fan letter for Mr. Redman from Bill Farrell(ph) of San Carlos, California, like many jazz musicians, Joshua Redman expressed unease, even dread, that his audience might find his work accessible. Having heard the music from his CD, let me reassure him he has nothing to worry about.

(Soundbite of music)

YDSTIE: We welcome your comments and your corrections, just go to our Web site, npr.org and click on Contact Us. And please tell us where you live and how to say your name.

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