Hillary's 'Mistake' Lighting Up the Blogosphere

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Hillary Clinton's recollection of a 1996 trip to Bosnia is the latest topic burning up the blogoshpere. She said she made a mistake when she recalled landing in the country amid sniper fire. News & Notes Web producer Geoffrey Bennett talks about how it's reverberating online.


This is NEWS AND NOTES. I'm Farai Chideya. She says she made a mistake, but critics say she lied. Whatever the case, Hillary Clinton's recollection of a 1996 trip to Bosnia is the latest topic burning up the blogosphere. NEWS AND NOTES Web producer Geoffrey Bennett joins me now to talk about it. Hey.

Mr. GEOFFREY BENNETT (Web Producer): What's up, Farai.

CHIDEYA: So what's up is Hillary. She said she landed amid sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia as first lady back in the '90s. Now she says she made a mistake when she told the story. What's been the response online?

Mr. BENNETT: Well reaction from some of our regular bloggers has not been in Clinton's favor. The blog Field Negro wrote about it under the headline, "Maybe the Sniper Used a Silencer." And over at Jack and Jill Politics is the headline, "Clinton's Misspoke Is A Lie." On our own blog a reader named Randy wrote: How can you misspeak about an event that did not even come close to taking place? And Mogie Odorende(ph) summed it up this way. She wrote: In the age of the Web, candidates cannot afford such major slip-ups.

This topic is huge online. According to Nielsen's Blog Post, the number of posts about Hillary Clinton more than doubled since this news broke, spiking above that of Barack Obama for the first time in about two weeks.

CHIDEYA: Hmm. Now, another big topic, LeBron James makes history as the first black man on the cover of Vogue. But it isn't all peaches and cream, is it?

Mr. BENNETT: Not at all. Yes, some say the photo of LeBron and Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen plays on racial stereotypes. It's an Annie Leibovitz photo, which is on our blog, by the way, and it shows LeBron clutching Gisele's waist. He's sort of hunched over. He's baring his teeth, and some have compared it to King Kong clutching a damsel in distress.

So we asked the question, is the photo racially insensitive or are people just being oversensitive in their response? So on our blog Bill M. wrote: Why must African-Americans exist in a self-imposed creative box? I am sure people wouldn't care if it was a white athlete. Get over yourselves, people. It's just a picture. And Raul wrote, LeBron James is a young, wealthy, famous man. He has press agents, managers and stylists, but most importantly he has agency. We should be careful not to divest him of the ability to consent.

CHIDEYA: Now, there is another installment of Speak Your Mind, our series that gives people the microphone. Tell us what's going on there.

Mr. BENNETT: Yeah, well this one is from novelist ZZ Packer, and it's actually taken from NPR's Get My Vote. Get My Vote is an NPR-wide initiative that gives voice to people who want to have a say in the political process, and there's more about how people can upload their own commentaries on our blog, NPR News and Views.

CHIDEYA: All right Geoff, thanks.

Mr. BENNETT: Thank you.

CHIDEYA: Oh, there's also that weird picture from The New Republic of...

Mr. BENNETT: There is.

Mr. CHARLES: If Clinton and Obama were put in a blender, you've just got to pop over to the blog to see that.

Mr. BENNETT: Hillary and Barack equals Hillarock, apparently.

CHIDEYA: Yeah, a little scary. Anyway, thanks, Geoff.

Mr. BENNETT: No problem.

CHIDEYA: Geoffrey Bennett is the Web producer for NEWS AND NOTES, and he joined me from our studios at NPR West.

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