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Friday Feedback

Friday Feedback for September 11, 2015


"I was trapped in there like a worm in a jar!" -- Wyatt's driveway moment

Isabelle Shepherd’s story on North Carolina hog farmers and state subsidies for methane production drew some comments on our website. Chris Weaver characterized subsidies for methane and solar, calling them

Rube Goldberg scheme[s] … by which State legislators craft law to spend our treasure to receive payback blessing from the lobbyists across the street.

We usually deal with local matters on Feedback, but I do want to refer you to a phenomenon that has affected some stations around the country. They have received protests to a story NPR had by its senior political reporter Mara Liasson which stated, in part, that Hillary Clinton was

basically running against herself.

Some listeners took Liasson, and NPR, to task, stating that this statement ignored the substantial numbers that Sen. Bernie Sanders has achieved in several polls.

NPR’s official response was that the statement

was intended to mean that [Clinton’s] campaign is being buffeted in large part by issues related to things she’s done – including using a private email server – rather than by attacks from other campaigns. We understand and apologize that the inference was not clear to some listeners. We did not intend to suggest that Clinton is not facing competition from Sen. Sanders. We also agree that a mention of the challenge posed by the Sanders campaign would have been appropriate and helpful to include. Sen. Sanders’ campaign, meanwhile, has been the subject of substantial coverage on [NPR] and our website.

I haven’t heard any feedback about this locally, but I thought listeners would be interested in what other stations may have experienced.

In a somewhat similar vein, you may have noticed that each story on our website, both local and from NPR, has a space for comments at the bottom. We’ve found that comments are relatively rare, but recently three have come to my attention for similar reasons.

All three are comments on national NPR stories, not local, and my suspicion is that none is from this area. One contained a vulgarism, one an ethnic slur, and the 3rd was simply rude and disrespectful. The sender of that last one was also flagged as “low reputation” by the software that provides a moderation panel here at the station.

We take seriously our Mission Statement’s charge to “promote civil discourse”, and these examples of internet trolling – and that is what they are --did not meet my understanding of that term. Listeners may disagree, and if you do I encourage you to let me know at feedback@whqr.org.

Kelly Marquis posted this on her Facebook page:

"I was trapped in there like a worm in a jar!" - [that was from my son] Wyatt, after I parked the car in the driveway, but kept it running because I wanted to hear Rob Lowe on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback. You can always leave a message via email to feedback@WHQR.org. Our Feedback Phone is 910-292-9477. And thanks for your feedback.