Wright Strikes Back; Blogs Light Up

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News & Notes Web producer Geoffrey Bennett talks with Farai Chideya about the hot topics on our blog, including reaction to Rev. Jeremiah Wright's reemergence in the press and the acquittals in the Sean Bell shooting case.


This is News & Notes. I'm Farai Chideya. Reverend Wright strikes back. Listeners are firing up our blog with responses to the latest news about Barack Obama's former pastor. Our web producer Geoff Bennett has more. Hey, Geoff.


CHIDEYA: So Barack Obama finally, what some would say, disavowed Reverend Wright following the pastor's recent media blitz. What are folks saying on our blog?

BENNETT: Well everybody has an opinion. Here's a sampling. Bill M. wrote, "I don't fault Reverend Wright for expressing his long-held beliefs and views. What is surprising is how some in the black community are rushing to muzzle him for the sake of political expediency." Another reader named G. Glover wrote, "For me, the Obama campaign needs to learn how to deal with adverse publicity, no matter what the source." And the blogger Audio Dramatist said that "if black votes have an interest in seeing Obama elected," he wrote in our blog, "the current task is to protect him. Not speak for him, not question him and certainly not try to enlighten ourselves at his expense. Let the brother [meaning Obama] do his thing." And we have an installment of "Speak Your Mind." News & Notes' listeners Jarrod Loadholt and Mary C. Curtis share their views on Wright's comments.

CHIDEYA: All right. I'll check that out. Now, also earlier this week we covered the acquittals of the New York police detectives involved in the shooting death of 23-year-old Sean Bell. What are people writing about on that?

BENNETT: Well, they're writing about our coverage of it on Monday's Bloggers' Roundtable segment. Police fired 50 rounds at Bell, and on our show there was some discussion whether the number of shots fired was significant. So here's what one of the bloggers had to say.

Mr. JIM COLLIER (Blogger, Acting White): I mean, if you can get killed by one shot, I mean to me, the first shot is the one that matters. And that's the one that needs to be scrutinized. The other 49, I mean, they're bad marksmanship.

BENNETT: So that was blogger Jim Collier. And in response, a reader named Malik (ph) said that comment was totally off base. He wrote, "There's never any justification to shoot someone 50 times. Not even an animal is shot 50 times." But John Huerta (ph), another reader, wrote "50 rounds or 100 rounds, you shoot until the threat is neutralized, period."

CHIDEYA: All right.

Mr. BENNETT: So there you go.

CHIDEYA: Well, what else has people fired up on the News & Views site?

BENNETT: Well, there's a story that's been bubbling online involving the group Planned Parenthood allegedly targeting minority women for abortions. So we've tried to parse that out on our site. And the state of Florida might allow its drivers to purchase Christian-themed drivers' licenses, or license plates rather. So folks can join in the conversation in news&views.org or check out our Facebook page.

CHIDEYA: All right. Geoffrey, thanks a lot.

BENNETT: Thank you.

CHIDEYA: Geoffrey Bennett if the web producer from News & Notes, and he joined me from our studios at NPR Sest.

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