Monday, July 30, 2012

For People with Disabilities, Words Matter

NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg threw herself into the center of a word usage debate in February when she asked the lawyer for a man who had lied about receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor, “So, is your client a nut case?
A paraphrase of the question about Xavier Alvarez also appeared in a text write-up of the story Feb. 22 on NPR’s website.
In online comments about that story, listeners criticized Totenberg for insensitivity. “I almost dropped my teeth” at the question, wrote commenter Amy Gasper on the day the story was published. “Was she asking if Alvarez had a history of mental illness? Was she asking his attorney to diagnose a mental illness?

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