Letters: Prostitution, Madden NFL, Captain Hook

Originally published on April 26, 2011 6:08 pm
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MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

It's time now for your letters and one update to a piece we aired yesterday. That piece was a review of the new album by British punk legend Poly Styrene. We mentioned that she had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, Poly Styrene died last night. She was 53 years old.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And now to your comments. We heard from many of you about the first installment in NPR's series on prostitution in Nashville and efforts there to help women escape the street life. While we did warn listeners about the story's graphic content, Tim Hunt of Raleigh, North Carolina, was still taken aback.

NORRIS: My reaction was to ask myself, why was that necessary? Then I had to ask what is the point of the whole story? Of what value is it? Sure, it's great that people are trying to effect change when change is needed, but how does the distribution of this kind of story, with that sort of graphic verbal pornography, do anything but attempt to titillate a certain population of NPR listener?

NORRIS: Well, Ryan Brennan of Charleston, South Carolina, wrote in to point out something that we did not include in the interview - that Michael Vick has already been on the cover of "Madden" for the 2004 edition. After he was chosen, Vick broke his leg during a game and sat out much of the season.

BLOCK: Finally, we ran a profile of Captain Hook, that's the alias of a Los Angeles street artist. Her specialty, yarn bombing. Instead of spray painting buildings or bridges, Captain Hook stitches cozies on parking meters and outfits statues with sweaters.

W: I was very annoyed to hear graffiti perpetrators called street artists. Anyone who has ever viewed the desecration of the city of Rome by graffiti would call them what they should be called, urban terrorists.

NORRIS: We get it and we apologize. The next time we air a story about a street artist or urban terrorist who crochets caps for animal statues, we will do better.

BLOCK: Please keep those letters coming. You can write to us by visiting NPR.org. And click on Contact Us. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.