Host's Political Commentary Rocks Blogosphere A recent commentary by Tell Me More host Michel Martin on Sen. Barack Obama's relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright stirs lots of emotion in the blogosphere. Hear listeners' responses to the piece. Also, a Detroit resident says she's had enough of outsiders talking bad about her city.
NPR logo

Host's Political Commentary Rocks Blogosphere

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Host's Political Commentary Rocks Blogosphere

Host's Political Commentary Rocks Blogosphere

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Now it's time for Back Talk where we lift the curtain on conversations happening on Tell Me More blog and get a chance to hear from you. Lee Hill, our web producer joins me here in the studio. Hey Lee, welcome back.

LEE HILL: Thanks Michel and thanks to Douglas Hopper for sitting in for me while I was out. Good to be back. And boy what did I step back into? Can I just tell you Michel?

MARTIN: You can.

HILL: Your commentary the other day in response to critics who say Obama should have walked out on the fiery sermons of his former pastor Jeremiah Wright hit a serious nerve out there. For those of you listening who didn't catch Michel's now famous words, here's a clip.

MARTIN: I have had it up to here with members of the commentariat who keep lecturing us about how they would have never tolerated Jeremiah Wright's more incendiary sermons, and they wonder why Barack Obama did. They would have walked on out. Can I just tell you, I don't think so! If the tables have been turned, if it had been their church, their family, their friends, their turf, they would have sat right there.

HILL: OK Michel, are you ready?

MARTIN: It is a little creepy listening to myself, but yeah, I'm ready.

HILL: First, here's Will, who says right on.

WILL (Caller): Michel, thank you for your commentary. I have been writing to the cable networks for about the same thoughts. When the Civil Rights movement was being supported by the black church, do you think that all of the white churches were preaching about Jesus? In fact, some of the racial rhetoric from the white churches was spewed out in the state houses and halls of Congress. What a double standard!

HILL: But we also heard from those who believe we should all take a step back for a minute. Here's Daniel.

DANIEL (Caller): I am a man of color, I am white, I am black, I am Native American and what I see is a bunch of people using the connotation of racism to be racist themselves! Everyone is allowed an opinion. When your opinion hurts others and breaks the Golden Rule is when you draw the line, and you need not be a Christian to agree with that.

MARTIN: Thank you Daniel and Will. I must say that I have gotten quite a lot of feedback about that commentary. I appreciate all of it. To read more of your comments, you can go to our blog Finally, as you have probably heard by now, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was indicted this week on several felony charges, including perjury. The charges follow an investigation as to whether the mayor lied under oath about an extra-marital affair which may have led to the firing of a top police officer in the city and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Our Barbershop Guys have been weighing in on the drama in Detroit and one of our listeners, Angela, a Detroiter, says she has had enough.

ANGELA (Caller): While I agree that our mayor was dead wrong in his actions surrounding the text message scandal, Detroiters are so sick and tired of outsiders sitting back and thinking that they can weigh in on the state of our beloved city. To the men in your so-called Barbershop, show a little less ignorance and a little more class the next time you want to talk about someone's town. Perhaps next time you can reserve your rude, inaccurate, and ungentlemanly comments for discussions about your own hometowns.

MARTIN: OK Dr. Angela, we will try and make sure that the guys in the shop get your message at least one in particular; I'm not going to call any names. Thank you, Lee.

HILL: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: Remember to tell us more about what you think and to read what other listeners are saying, please go to our website at and blog it out.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.