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Letters: Adoption, Spokane Mayor, Robert Plant

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Letters: Adoption, Spokane Mayor, Robert Plant

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Letters: Adoption, Spokane Mayor, Robert Plant

Letters: Adoption, Spokane Mayor, Robert Plant

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  • Transcript

Robert Siegel and Michele Norris read from listeners' letters on our stories about the adoption process, the mayor of Spokane, Wash., and our interview with Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

It's Thursday and time to read from some of your comments.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

And we got quite a few about our story on Suzanne Plunkett. She's a single white woman in her 40s, and she's adopted a black child.

SIEGEL: `Your program following Suzanne through the adoption process became a driveway moment for me and my daughter.' This is from Claire Ryan in Memphis, Tennessee. She writes, `We were rapt and teary-eyed. Almost 17 years ago, I brought home my beautiful African-American baby girl. While there are definitely societal challenges inherent to transracial adoption, the benefits so far outweigh the difficulties. I'm sure that Suzanne and her daughter will have as wonderful an experience as we have, and I thank you for your coverage of a subject so often portrayed negatively.'

NORRIS: Sara Lee Silberman of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was not so impressed. Ms. Silberman writes, `I'm a devoted mother who loves children, and I'm as sentimental and teary-eyed as the next woman when I hear stories of childless women having the chance to experience the joys of motherhood. But I could not believe that a serious news program would devote at least 20 minutes to the personal details which I found, after the first five minutes, to be both embarrassing and boring of that particular adoption process.'

SIEGEL: We spoke with the editor of the Spokane Spokesman Review about his newspaper's investigation of that city's mayor. The mayor, the paper says, has been accused of sexually abusing young boys in the past. And the paper found that he was seeking out young men on a gay dating Web site. The paper created a false identity to lure him, and did, engaging in a months-long correspondence.

NORRIS: Listener Chris Dietz(ph) was unhappy with our interview. He writes, `The reporter you interviewed seemed to imply that the mayor was going after children. I heard no such proof. The only thing we do have is two consenting adults doing something. I am a conservative and take issue with homosexuality, but I also take issue when people are accused of child molestation when there is no proof.'

SIEGEL: In honor of Mother's Day, I did a story about the decline in use of the terms `mother' and `father' in favor of `mom' and `dad.' `It's true,' writes Jennifer Wood of Phoenix, Arizona, `my friends and I use "mom" to speak about our own moms as well as one another's parent. But the term `mother' still has a place. I equate it with the use of the full name. When I'm trying to get the attention of one of my children, I may use their full name for maximum impact. And when my friends and I are discussing frustrations with our moms, they become "mother" as in "My mother is driving me crazy." "Mother" still has a purpose in our vocabulary, but its connotation may have changed for the worse, I'm afraid.'

NORRIS: Finally, a few comments about our chat with rocker Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame.

SIEGEL: Listener Sandra Bessinet(ph) says, `Thank you so much. Though I'm more inclined these days to seek serenity from public radio shows such as "Echoes" and "Hearts of Space" than I am to listen to classic rock, the sound of his voice still takes my breath away.'

NORRIS: But listener Steven Tanner(ph) writes, `The interview was like an outtake from "Spinal Tap." I think that "Aging icon clings desperately to fame" has become very much a dog-bites-man story, don't you?'

SIEGEL: Well, we'd like to hear from you. Write to us at atc@npr.org. And please, tell us where you live and how to pronounce your name.

(Soundbite of song)

SPINAL TAP: (Singing) Late afternoon in the open air, a human sea made out of mud and hair. Ain't nothing like a festival crowd. There's too many people, so we play too loud. Touch down, the plane's on the ground. Look for the drummer, and he's nowhere around. We're running late, at least an hour. No time to rest. No time to shower. Now we're stinking up the great outdoors. Yeah!

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