Nuclear Fallout

Tuesday night as I walked to the set I suddenly got hit with a realization: our scripts were wrong.

The tease into the segment on the lack of security at nuclear weapons sites and the read that started the segment said nuclear power plants -- a huge difference.

The realization was one of those things that just sort of hit me randomly as I walked into the studio. I had read the scripts and studied the segment hours apart so I had not put "two and two" together until almost the show starting.

I immediately went to the phone and called my New York producer and asked her if the scripts said "plants" and not "weapons sites." She said she would check it out. She talked to me minutes later -- by then I was "miked up" and had my earpiece in -- and said there was indeed a mistake. She said she would fix them.

I thought, "That's lucky. That is a stupid mistake I don't want to make -- and certainly not in front of our more than one million plus viewers." (Not that I am incapable of making a mistake in front of a million plus viewers...) But, alas, I was not that clever in catching our mistakes. Read on:

E-mail No. 1

A storage facility for nuclear weapons material is not a nuclear power plant. They aren't even close. Showing pictures of nuclear power plants while discussing nuclear weapons storage facilities (as you did) is like discussing Mad Cow disease and showing footage of a dog show. You are playing on the public's fears and exhibiting extreme ignorance when you do that.

E-mail No. 2

Why did you show Nuclear Power Plants while talking about government nuclear weapons facilities?

As luck would have it, I "caught" the script mistake, but did not know what video would be put to the show. Frankly, since the video decision is done in New York, it did not occur to me to check it. Since I try and be a "quick learner," next time I will.

And if you think my night was "complete" with the video mistake, it was not. During the show and I don't mention this in anyway to minimize the seriousness of the underlying topic, I said something to the effect of "the husband of the hairdryer"… and then immediately corrected my error and said "hairdresser."

I was hoping that no one would notice. I guess if you have a million plus people watching, chances are you will get caught for such a gaffe. I was not fast enough correcting my mistake... my husband (and others) heard it. When I got to my office after the show, the phone rang and my husband was laughing. He said, "This is your hairdryer."

It occurred to me as I drove home that the poll question on our Web page I would like to do today is: Based on the foregoing call from a husband, what is your opinion: (a) Divorce; (b) Get more sleep so you don't make those mistakes late at night; (c) Divorce; (d) Divorce and (e) All of the above.

And, to show you that my husband was not the only one who heard this, check out this e-mail:

E-Mail No. 3

Greta, I heard that... "The husband of a hair-dryer!" ROFLMAO
Shani S.

The great thing about a daily show is that you get to 'get back up on the horse.' I am hoping tonight to do better.

Also, for those of you who listened closely last night and heard me saying good-bye to Dan Senor (search) in Baghdad and mentioning that he was headed back to the U.S. right after the interview, you might wonder how I knew he is en route home today. Here is how I know: He is one of my guests at the White House Correspondents' dinner this weekend. Fox learned yesterday that he was coming back to the U.S. and passed it on to me that no one had invited him to the dinner --  so I did.

Finally, for those of you asking for information about the ongoing jury selection in the Scott Peterson case, here is the daily note from Valerie (a citizen in the courtroom who e mails us daily):

E-mail No. 4:

Aside: Geragos looked like a chipmunk on one side - bad tooth abscess is my guess,

Before court started today, Geragos talked about the last juror who was excused yesterday:

(From yesterday's write up)
Juror No. 29774 - A retired Hispanic woman with shoulder length brown hair was excused when she stated that given the crime, if Peterson was guilty, she could only vote for the death penalty.

This juror's questionnaire stated that she had not formed an opinion and could be fair, but when this juror sat through voir dire, she was dismissed from saying that she would only vote for the death penalty if she found Peterson guilty of the crime of murdering Laci and Connor. However, when the reporters caught up to her leaving the courtroom, she stated on camera (pool video) that Peterson was guilty. This juror's flip to stating opposing opinions from what she wrote on her questionnaire lead Geragos to state to the court for the record that this pool video will be used in his argument for the change of venue.

Juror No. 4650 - This juror was a red-headed, Caucasian, chunky woman in her late 50's, who works at Children's Hospital (she handles the paperwork for surgical authorizations and she works off site), sent up red flags by changing her questionnaire answers during voir dire.

The first sign something was amiss was when she failed to fill in information in question #20, about the loss of child (her sister lost a child as an adult.) This woman stated that she was in the very first jury pool and the questionnaire was overwhelming like an Evelyn Wood test. She stated that she was so appalled by the news coverage of the Peterson case that she cancelled her newspapers. She stated that both penalties (death penalty and LWOP - life without parole) were a waste of taxpayer's money, but backpedaled by saying that prisoners should earn their keep, with the economy the way it is.

As Geragos chipped away at this woman's stance on the "waste of taxpayer's money" statement, the woman tripped up on question 82, the question about rush-to-judgment asking if the juror thought police are likely to quickly arrest someone in a high profile case. This woman changed her answer on the stand, from strongly disagree to strongly agree. When Geragos pressed this woman for her stance on law enforcement, she stated that she was partial to firemen, but that police treated her fairly. In fact, yesterday, she got a traffic ticket, and the cop was adorable. Then this woman slipped up again and said: "I've been a victim, and they (police) helped me.") Geragos was taken aback, and asked the woman if she listed that fact in the questionnaire. Then Geragos asked her to discuss the details about her being a victim. The woman burst into tears and wanted to go into chambers to discuss it. The woman was escorted from chambers after 17 minutes, dabbing her eyes and blowing her nose into a tissue while seated in the jury box.

About 3 minutes later, the prosecution emerged. It was another 2 minutes before the defense emerged with the judge. The judge then stated to the woman: "After discussing (the matter) with counsel, we decided to let you go. Thank you for your time."


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