Hope you saw our surprise at the tail end of “DaySide” today. A U.S. soldier nearly made one of my producers faint when he suddenly appeared in the audience to ask her to marry him!
It all started back in October, when I interviewed Spc. Johnny Perkins, an Army soldier on leave from Iraq. There were some terrible technical glitches with that interview and I asked my producer, Erin Primmer, to call Johnny and 'make it right' by him. He was only home in the U.S. for a few days and I felt terrible that we had inconvenienced him during his precious few days of R&R.
Little did I know that Erin and Johnny became friends as a result of that... and that they began a long-distance romance that blossomed during the rest of his tour of duty in Iraq. Last month, Johnny returned home to the U.S. and surprised the heck out of me by showing up in my studio unannounced; it was then that he and Erin revealed to me that they had fallen in love. Johnny took me aside after the show and told me he planned to ask Erin to marry him, so I asked if he wanted to do it on live television. The fearless soldier that he is, Johnny said, "Sure!"
After that, the staff of “DaySide” and I launched a secret plot to sneak Johnny back into our studio today so that he could surprise Erin with a ring. We cooked up all sorts of smokescreens to keep Erin in the dark about it (you wouldn't believe some of the stuff we told her to throw her off the scent). And thankfully, it worked! Erin had no idea what was going on until I plucked Johnny out of the audience and brought him onto the stage to propose. The poor girl's knees buckled!
If you didn't get to see it live, click here to watch it on the Web! It'll put a smile on your face.
And for those of you who celebrate, have a blessed holiday.
Wednesday, April 7: What's Really Happening in Iraq
Right now many of you are telling me you're having a hard time getting a fix on what's really happening. Is this fighting what the Pentagon warned us about, the stepped-up attacks in the lead up to the June 30 handover of power? Or is it something bigger? To be candid, I don't know -- and neither do many other reporters. The situation is still evolving.
We're continuing to ask the questions of military leaders, as we did Wednesday on “DaySide.” We won't whitewash what we find out. But let me be clear: This is no quagmire, and shame on Senator Ted Kennedy for claiming it is. His effort to peddle that garbage on the airwaves is irresponsible. He's campaigning for John Kerry and he wants to see Pres. Bush defeated. Fine. That's politics. But to go around shouting "quagmire!" is demoralizing to the men and women on the front lines risking their lives. You may not realize that these troops can see the 24-hour news channels and they can hear Sen. Kennedy. He's the last thing they need.
I'm also angry at other news anchors who are echoing Kennedy's gloom and doom. I was watching TV last night and for a moment I switched away from Fox News Channel. I caught a certain anchor on another news network (who shall remain nameless) editorializing like crazy, suggesting the American experiment in Iraq was falling apart and that Iraq was virtually in flames. I sat there thinking, if I were the wife of a soldier, I'd have wanted to reach through that TV screen and throttle that anchor.
Isn't anyone thinking about the soldiers when they shoot off their mouths?
Tuesday, April 6: Calling All Fans...
Both Vanessa and Father Greeley will be on "DaySide" with me Wednesday -- and I'm willing to bet that many of you reading this blog are fans of theirs.
Vanessa is on to talk about her new movie and Father Greeley is on to talk about his new book. So, if you could ask either one of them a question, what would it be? Send me an e-mail at: email@example.com
Also, have you heard about the new Fox reality show called "The Swan"? It's sort of like "Extreme Makeover", only more extreme. The show's creator is set to be on Wednesday's show as well. I'd like to hear what you think about these shows where people volunteer to undergo serious plastic surgery...
Monday, April 5: Operation Vigilant Resolve
One thousand two hundred Marines in a city of nearly three hundred thousand. The determination of the Marines is legendary; how will they rid this city of the thugs who've made it a hellish place?
Just so you know, with Fallujah (search) completely sealed off, Fox News cannot go in there (nor can any other press for that matter). There's a "pool" in place, in which all networks contribute staff. This is a group of reporters traveling with the military, which will feed us footage when the military allows it. Which is probably not such a bad thing in this instance: Fallujah is a lawless, dangerous place.
As for the arrest warrant for radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, don't be fooled by the religious title. He's a thug and completely in cahoots with the radical, tyrannical religious leadership in Iran. My sources say Iran desperately does not want Iraq to succeed -- I wouldn't be at all surprised if they are encouraging al-Sadr to incite riots.
Here's my question for you: How much stomach does the American public have for a ruthless operation in Fallujah? And if necessary, rough treatment of this so-called cleric? I've been hearing from some of you that you think we, on the whole, do not have the steely resolve that the WWII generation has.
Let me know what you think.