Oprah/Obama Rally Tickets Hawked on eBay News & Notes Web producer Geoffrey Bennett talks to Farai Chideya about the stories making the rounds on our blog, "News & Views," as well as the online demand for tickets to this weekend's Barack Obama campaign rally featuring Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah/Obama Rally Tickets Hawked on eBay

Oprah/Obama Rally Tickets Hawked on eBay

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News & Notes Web producer Geoffrey Bennett talks to Farai Chideya about the stories making the rounds on our blog, "News & Views," as well as the online demand for tickets to this weekend's Barack Obama campaign rally featuring Oprah Winfrey.


If you wanted to go meet Barack Obama at the rally that Oprah Winfrey is hosting in South Carolina, you are probably out of luck. The free tickets have all been snatched up, but you may have one last chance.

Here to explain - NEWS & NOTES Web producer Geoffrey Bennett. Hey, how are you doing?

GEOFFREY BENNETT: Hello, Farai. How are you doing?

CHIDEYA: I'm doing great.

So, what about these tickets?

BENNETT: Well, yeah, as you said, Oprah and Obama will be appearing at campaign rallies in South Carolina and Iowa this weekend. All the free tickets in South Carolina are gone, the organizers are only taking names for a waiting list, Obama's campaign even posted photos on their Web site of people waiting at a line around the block of their South Carolina headquarters, but somebody who was able to get two of those free tickets is now auctioning them off on eBay. Right now, the top bid is a little over $100, and the auction ends tomorrow for anyone who wants to get in on that.

CHIDEYA: Is that cheating? Can you sell a free ticket?

BENNETT: Apparently, you can. Obama's campaign hasn't stopped in - stepped in to try to stop it, so we'll see what happens there.

CHIDEYA: All right. Well, Obama is edging out Hillary on Yahoo's top 10 search terms of 2007. How important is that?

BENNETT: Well, there hasn't - I haven't been able to find out what the precedent is there, but right now, Obama is edging out Hillary Clinton this year on this list of top 10 searched news terms on yahoo.com. He came in sixth; Hillary Clinton was seventh. Now, also on this list: the San Diego fires at number eight, President Bush at number four, and the issue of Iran at number two.

CHIDEYA: Well, what's number one?

BENNETT: Saddam Hussein was number one as people searched online for that heinous cell phone video last year of his death by hanging.

CHIDEYA: Now, what are folks searching about on our blog?

BENNETT: Well, on News & Views, people are talking about that recent Republican CNN/YouTube debate. The question was posed to Republicans about how to address innner city crime. Mitt Romney said the problem was due, in part, to the breakdown of two-parent homes and invoked Bill Cosby's remarks on that same topic.

Now, some people were offended by that. One of our readers, Tambay Obenson wrote on our blog, what real solutions do we expect these politicians to provide when their core motivations and interests do not include any concerns specific to the black community especially those in the working class?

And we're also talking about illegal immigration on our blog. A study released last week found that English fluency increases across generations of Latino immigrants. Now, that runs counter to the notion that immigrants don't care about assimilating and pose a threat to the English language. Jenna Kent jumped in on that conversation and wrote, immigration is just the latest wedge issue -first welfare, then gay marriage, now Mexican immigrants are the newest political cannon fodder.

CHIDEYA: We've also got something a little bit more on the entertainment side.


CHIDEYA: Whitney Houston's comeback - what have we got there?

BENNETT: Yeah. Whitney is making her slow but steady return. She performed some of her hits for a crowd in Malaysia last weekend. We posted some video of it, and one of our Candy Foster(ph) of Nashville saw it and wrote, I heard a few stray notes, but here's hoping Whitney gets the kinks out overseas and comes back stateside to blow us away.

CHIDEYA: Well, thanks, Geoff.

BENNETT: Thank you.

CHIDEYA: Geoffrey Bennett is the Web producer for NEWS & NOTES. And he joined me in our studios at NPR West.

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