Roethlisberger Booted As Team Captain, Infamous Flight Attendant Fired

Tell Me More host Michel Martin and Producer Lee Hill, the program's "digital media guy," offer important news updates to conversations heard on the program. Hear developments in the controversies surrounding NFL player Ben Roethlisberger and JetBlue flight attendant-turned-folk hero Steven Slater.

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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 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, we've been reporting of the troubles of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Now, the NFL star was accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student back in March. He was never charged in that case, but did get what was originally a six-game suspension for his bad boy behavior.

Now, since then, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has cut him some slack and reduced his time off the field to only four games. But, Michel, looks like his Pittsburgh teammates voted him out as team captain. Roethlisberger had held the post for the past two seasons.

MARTIN: Also, Lee, back in March, TELL ME MORE caught up with legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones about his work on the Broadway musical "FELA!" This week, Jones was named the recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center honors. He will be in good company: media mogul Oprah Winfrey and music legends Paul McCartney and Merle Haggard are also being honored. You think we brought him good luck?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HILL: Maybe.

MARTIN: And, Lee, I'm sure many people remember the name Steven Slater. He's the New York flight attendant who, fed up with his job, apparently, inflated the emergency slide and went bye-bye - not, however, before grabbing a couple of beers from the carts.

HILL: Well, now, Michel, Steven Slater is known as unemployed. He was recently let go by carrier JetBlue and is undergoing psychological evaluation. He has been charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

MARTIN: But on a happier employment note, Lee, many people, I hope, remember TELL ME MORE listener Bobby Brinegar. We've been following her and her quest to find a job at the age of 55 amid the recession. Occasionally, we've been checking in with her to see how her search was going. Here she is back in December.

Mr. BOBBY BRINEGAR: Well, I found part-time work at the Kennedy Center, which has been wonderful, but no appropriate full-time opportunities yet.

MARTIN: Lee, I am very happy to report that Bobby reached out to me this week with very good news. She has landed a full-time job. She is the new executive director of the Voice of Midlife and Older Women, a women's advocacy organization based here in D.C. It's called OWL. And if I may be the first to say: You go, girl.

HILL: And that is very good news. Now, Michel, we also have a few Web features for listeners to check out. Yesterday, you spoke to designer Carmen Wu about her fashion philosophy. Listeners can go to our blog and read a post by TELL ME MORE producer Amy Ta, which explains every more of Carmen Wu's fashion sense. There, you can also find one of Carmen's fashion sketches.

MARTIN: And, Lee, a quick look ahead - all through September, we will be talking about education: what's outstanding, what's not working and what's incomplete in the quest to offer children from all backgrounds the best education possible. We are also serving up interviews with some of today's big thinkers and dreamers. We are inviting listeners to participate in the conversation. Please tell us more about what you think are the pressing education issues of the day.

Thanks, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: And, remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. You can call our comment line at 202-842-3522. Please remember to leave your name. You can also log onto our Web site. Go to npr.org, click on Programs, then on TELL ME MORE and blog it out.

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