Letters: Covering Ohio, and Cry-Free Onions

Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read listener comments on yesterday's program, including responses to our coverage of the presidential race in Ohio and to our story on genetically altered onions that don't cause people to cry.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Time now for some of your comments on yesterday's program.

Howard Mitchell writes from Cincinnati about our interview yesterday with Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz, who described the political landscape in Ohio.

Mr. Mitchell writes: It is southwest Ohio, home of Cincinnati and particularly its surrounding counties, not southeast Ohio that put George Bush over the top in Ohio in 2004. He drew more than 50,000 people to a rally in Butler County. Southeastern Ohio is poor, rural, hilly, beautiful and Appalachian and doesn't have the population base to make a difference.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Stephen Orion(ph) of Portland, Oregon, had this response after hearing our In Character story about Sinclair Lewis' fictional hypocritical preacher Elmer Gantry.

When I was growing up in the suburbs of Kansas City in the mid-1960s, Mr. Orion writes, local libraries still reflected a ban on the novel "Elmer Gantry." I guess the subject ruffled too many feathers for public tastes in the Bible Belt, even from a Nobel Prize-winning author.

SIEGEL: Rafael Boguslav(ph) of New Port, Rhode Island, heard our description of the program for the New York Philharmonic's appearance in North Korea.

Timid and tepid, he writes, suitable for a grade school. If you're sending a major orchestra abroad, let them shine.

BLOCK: Many of you were concerned by our report on a genetically modified, tearless onion, including Martha Hyde(ph) of Canyon, Texas.

The story was great, she writes, but what was missing was the onion's perspective. Clearly, it had evolved the mechanism for storing sulfur compounds and an enzyme that combines with them as a method for self-preservation.

SIEGEL: If you break for onions or if you have a comment on anything that you hear, go to npr.org and choose Contact Us from the top of the page. And don't forget to tell us where you are and how to pronounce your name.

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