Reaction to Cheapskate Stories, Jackson-Obama Flap

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Hear comments and conversations happening on the Tell Me More blog. This week, listeners react to stories about so-called staycations, buying food on a budget, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson's comments about Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

And now it's time for BackTalk where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the Tell Me More blogosphere and get a chance to hear from you our listeners. Lee Hill, our digital media guy is here with me as always. Hey, Lee.

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. It's Cheapskate Week and we helped folks get their cheapskate on with a series of conversations that showed them how to wise up and cut costs during this tough economy. Now, we talked about everything from staycations to eating healthy on the cheap. And Adrianne wanted to share with us her staycation experience.

ADRIANNE (Caller): July 14th, finally returning to work from a week-long staycation. Everyday, my husband and I dropped our daughter off at a day camp. And from 8 AM to 5 PM, we went snorkeling in the Gulf of Mexico, visited a local lake we didn't know existed, jumped off a tower into an ice-cold spring, got suntanned at one of the most beautiful beaches in America - all within an hour and a half of our house. It was the best vacation we'd ever been on. The cost? Less than a hundred dollars. I foresee the staycation is here to stay.

MARTIN: Thanks, Adrianne. Hey, I'm kind of jealous. Lee, what else have you got?

HILL: Well, furor over crude remarks by Reverend Jesse Jackson about Barack Obama continue. And just this week, it was revealed that Jackson had more things to say about Obama while waiting to be interviewed by Fox News. He wrongly assumed his microphone was off and reports now say that Jackson also used the "N" word during his rant. Now I know the Barbershop guys are going to talk about this in just a minute but not before Jerri(ph) has her say.

JERRI (Caller): Here's what bugs me about all this. If a white man had said he wanted to cut off Obama's privates, Jackson would have been the first to decry it as a lynching metaphor. The apology would justifiably be labeled meaningless dismissed by saying, whether he knew the mic was hot or not is irrelevant. He just got caught in the act of saying what he was thinking and that's what he's apologizing for, getting caught. I never thought I'd live to see such interesting and confusing times.

MARTIN: Thanks, Jerri.

HILL: And as an added note, there's another hot topic brewing on our blog, or maybe boiling might be a better way to describe it, about the Obamas on the latest cover of the New Yorker Magazine. Now, one blogger, Savannah, said, I'm an African-American who defines herself as a good-race woman and I absolutely love the New Yorker cover. It's clear that the real subjects of the cartoon are not the Obamas but the crazoids who have, in their own little minds, morphed this mainstream, upper middle class family, into ugly racial and religious stereotypes. And it seems to me that the cover is an indictment of how ridiculous such views are. I thought it was hilarious and I plan to pick up a copy.

MARTIN: But many listeners did not appreciate the cover. Here's what Marilyn had to say. I'm furious that the New Yorker put such a stupid and totally offensive cartoon on the cover. The timing of this could not be worse. In the midst of a campaign where just such ugly rumors persist and all too many people are willing to believe them. I find it disingenuous and self-serving that the editor and cartoonist dismissed those who are offended as elitists who don't give anyone outside of New York credit for understanding satire. This cartoon crossed the race, gender and religious line. That was Marilyn. You can see the actual cover and the exchange happening among bloggers on our website. There you can also tell us your thoughts. You can call our comment line. That number is 202-842-3522. Again, that number is 202-842-3522 or you can go to the Tell Me More page at npr.org and blog it out. Thanks, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michele.

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