Letters: 'Weekend Edition Sunday' Listeners responded this week to Daniel Zwerdling's interview of cookbook author Greg Patent. The cybercrime series also brought a number of responses, including thoughts on how hackers are characterized by the media. Finally, listeners had their own thoughts on Pollyanna, a story that was part of NPR's In Character series.
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Letters: 'Weekend Edition Sunday'

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Letters: 'Weekend Edition Sunday'

Letters: 'Weekend Edition Sunday'

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

Time now for your letters. And several of you enjoyed our chat with NPR investigative reporter Daniel Zwerdling, who interviewed the author of a new cookbook about recipes from the old country.

Donna Perry of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was delighted to hear her favorite NPR journalist switch gears and talk about food. I don't cook, but I might get that cookbook now, she wrote. One correction, though. The cookbook author, Greg Patent, lives in Missoula, not Bozeman, Montana.

Our month-long series about cyber-crime brought a number of responses from you, some of them critical. Bruce Potter of Annapolis, Maryland thought we missed a major angle. What are law enforcement and regulatory authorities doing to help Internet users protect themselves? he wrote. The show featured scare talk about hijacked networks and botwars and all of that, but absolutely nothing about what the government or other resources were doing to help us diagnose our own computers to know if they have been violated.

And Scott Murray of Summerville, Massachusetts objected to the way we lumped hackers with criminals. The vast majority of people who self-identify as hackers are law-abiding citizens who are simply interested in finding ways to use technology in unexpected ways, he wrote. I hope NPR will not fall into the pop culture trap of criminalizing many of its intelligent, technically-inclined listeners for the sake of a sweeping generalization.

For many of you, our segment about the always optimistic Pollyanna brought to mind other famous fictional characters. Margaret Phillips of Norman, Oklahoma remembers one of them.

Ms. MARGARET PHILLIPS (Listener): It is ironic that in your in-character segment on Pollyanna, examining how the term Pollyanna acquired a negative meaning, several different commentators stated that Pollyanna was no Goody Two Shoes.

(Soundbite of movie)

Unidentified Woman #1 (Actor): (As character) Here it comes. Miss Goody Two Shoes is going to find something about Sunday to be glad about.

Unidentified Woman #2: I don't quite understand the way that Pollyanna has become this kind of Little Miss Goody Two Shoes awful saccharine image of a person.

Ms. PHILLIPS: I write to defend Goody Two Shoes. I liked the history of Little Goody Two Shoes when I read it as a child. The heroine of this 18th century book, actually name Marjorie, resembles other protagonists of childhood fiction in that she is an orphan who has to survive by her wits and hard work in a largely uncaring world. The child character earns the honorific Goody, short for Good Wife, in recognition of her resourcefulness and maturity in making a living as if she were an adult. Maybe WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY owes Goody Two Shoes an in-character segment of her own.

HANSEN: You can write to us about your favorite character or anything else you hear on our show. Go to our Web page, NPR.org, and click on the Contact Us link.

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