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Letters: Chinese factories, diaper debate

Kai Ryssdal: We're going to go back to last Friday to start letters off, and the story our Shanghai correspondent Rob Schmitz did about Apple, Mike Daisey and This American Life. Daisey's dramatic story of his visit to one of Apple's main suppliers in China, FoxConn, turned out to be largely fabricated.

Bob Loza from Burbank, Calif., wanted to make sure we all see the bigger picture.

Bob Loza: If you have a legitimate beef against Chinese factory conditions, make sure you include all manufacturers, not just the evil Apple. If not, I can only assume that you have already thrown your iPad and iPhone into the trash, never to be used again.

Mr. Loza recorded that by himself -- on his iPhone, as it turns out.

Elizabeth Wynne Johnson's story about a Washington, D.C., Diaper Bank lit up our in box this past week. The bank had gotten a $20 million donation of disposable Huggies to hand out to poor families.

But before you could say "blowout," the listener conversation turned into the great American diaper debate, including this from Amy Martindale of Sand Springs, Okla.

Amy Martindale: I so wish you had mentioned that cloth diapers are a very viable alternative. Not those old-school diapers with pins and plastic pants, but new, cute reuseable diapers in fantastic colors with snaps and Velcro.

We went to Las Vegas Wednesday for a sit-down with President Obama. We talked energy and the economy at a solar facility out in the Nevada desert.

No interview's ever perfect, but Shel Anderson from Durham, N.C., wasn't happy with my manners.

Shel Anderson: I'm not one of those folks who take umbrage at everything, but I thought you were less polite talking to our president than when you do those Corner Office interviews with the big bosses. Just sayin'.

Talk to us -- rudely, politely, let your conscience be your guide.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Was very surprised to hear that some people though Kai was being impolite during the Obama interview. While Kai did ask some tough questions, he did so in about as polite and respectful a manner as one could ask.

Sometimes a tough question is merely an opportunity to give a really fantastic answer. When Kai asked the hard questions, he was giving Obama chances to knock 'em out of the park, and thus really educate the listeners about the issues under discussion.

When you get down to it, asking hardball questions in a friendly manner (as Kai did) really is the way ALL journalism should be conducted.

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