Letters: Duke Lacrosse Case, Inspirational Surfer
SCOTT SIMON, host:
Time now for your letters.
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SIMON: We received many letters about our interview last week with Stuart Taylor about his book "Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices in the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case." Several listeners objected to Mr. Taylor referring to the exonerated Duke students as, quote, "great kids."
Let's remember, writes Rebecca Keller(ph) of Oak Park, Illinois, these young men were underage and did rent a house for the purpose of partying and drinking, they did hire a stripper. Since these facts are not in dispute, it is hard to buy the assertion that these are fine young men. They may not be rapists but certainly this is not behavior one hopes other young people emulate.
Well, we asked Stuart Taylor about this, and he sent us this response. Most of these facts are erroneous, he says. The seniors who rented the home for the purpose of having a place to live were not underage. The underage players who drank were doing what most college students do with regularity. The older players, who hired two strippers, legally, have expressed copious regret.
Two of the indicted students were sophomores, who despite their distaste for strippers, did not want to miss the only team party between rigorous training workouts while other students were at the beach on spring break. Let those who were without such trivial sins cast the first stone. Again, I would be proud to have any of these defendants as a son.
And an update on the story, Mike Nifong, the district attorney who prosecuted the case and was later disbarred, began serving a 24-hour sentence for contempt of court on Friday.
Our interview with Dr. Dorian Paskowitz, the venerable old surfer and physician who hand-delivered surfboards to Palestinians in Gaza, inspired listener Joanne Striley(ph) in Joliet, Illinois, to say what a wonderful reminder of the power each of us has to take action and do good. Surf diplomacy forever.
And in an interview with our ambassador from children's literature Daniel Pinkwater that same week, Andy Palmer(ph) of Philadelphia appears we didn't give fair warning to our listeners about the hazards of the work of Mary Smith. I always like the discussion of books for children but I wish you could have mentioned that peashooters are potentially dangerous.
Forgive us, Mr. Palmer. We asked Daniel Pinkwater for his reaction.
DANIEL PINKWATER: I am a life member of the American Peashooter Association. And while it is true that pea arms must be handled responsibly, they also are a great American tradition and a great source of entertainment for our children. Peashooters do not harm people; peas harm people.
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SIMON: We welcome your comments, your cautions, your suggestions, your corrections. Just come to our Web site npr.org. Click on Contact Us. And remember, please, tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.