Letters: Politics; Taylor Swift And Kanye West

Listeners weigh in on our political coverage in these final days before the midterm election, and on our discussion of the spat between Taylor Swift and Kanye West. NPR's Melissa Block and Michele Norris read from listeners' e-mails.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

We have a couple of moments now for some of your email, and there's been quite a bit about our political coverage in these final days before the midterm election. First, this, from Brendan Wolff of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Your interview with Democratic Senator Robert Menendez on Tuesday surprised and impressed me. Wolff goes on to say: I am very critical of NPR News's coverage due to the ongoing liberal bias, but if NPR consistently held Democrats' and liberals' feet to the fire - like you did with Menendez today - and not just Republicans and conservatives, then I would be happy to donate during pledge drive.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Our interview with the Republican candidate for California governor, Meg Whitman, prompted criticism from Daniel Nahzbish(ph) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

He called it frustratingly biased from the trivial way you belabored her voting history to the negative characterization of Meg investing her own funds in her campaign. Nahzbish adds: I found Ms. Whitman's answers poised and thoughtful despite the gotcha tone by the interviewer.

NORRIS: But Barbara Belorya(ph) of Santa Rosa, California, felt differently.

Thank you, she writes, for being the only interviewer I have heard actually press Meg Whitman for complete answers on why she has not voted for years. And she adds: Thank you for asking the questions in a way I would have liked to myself.

BLOCK: Now, on to some lighter material.

(Soundbite of song, "Mine")

Ms. TAYLOR SWIFT (Singer): (Singing) Do you remember we were sitting there by the water? You put your arm around me...

(Soundbite of song, "Runaway")

Mr. KANYE WEST (Singer): (Singing) She find pictures in my email. I sent this girl a picture of my, hey. I don't know what it is with females.

BLOCK: I realize that the program's mission is to consider all things, but Taylor Swift and Kanye West? That message from David Van(ph) of Pittsburgh echoed sentiments from several listeners.

NORRIS: My interview with Christopher John Farley discussed the well-publicized spat between the pop country singer and the hip-hop star and how it may have boosted both of their careers.

Mr. CHRISTOPHER JOHN FARLEY (Writer, Time Magazine): Certainly, the controversy can get people to listen to it, get people to talk about it. But if you want to have a career over time, the songs had to be worthwhile. And for both these artists, critics generally agree the songs do work.

NORRIS: But David Van didn't think they were worth our air time. He says they're both overproduced nonentities trilling conventional inanities worthy of the 1910 Fruitgum Company or the Andrews Sisters or a hundred score Vaudeville crooners. Isn't there more interesting music we might consider?

BLOCK: We'll work on that. Meanwhile, if you find our inanities too conventional, you can let us know. Send us a note at npr.org. Just click on Contact Us.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Group: (Singing) Goody Goody Gumdrops, my heart is doing flip-flops. Gee, what love can do.

NORRIS: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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