Last night was pretty uneventful even though the show was from "on the road" (we were in Miami). Like with airline flights, you want it to be "uneventful."
There were a few "glitches." Here is an example: We were not in our Miami bureau but rather rented facilities and got a freelance crew. Of course the freelance crew does not do this every night and does not know the show drill. One of the jobs of the stage manager is to give me time cues so that I can pace the interview and also end on time for commercial break. He gets his time cues from the control room in NYC. So, what happened?
During one segment, the stage manager held up a sign that said "30 seconds." That seemed pretty routine — I see that sign all the time. After some time passed, he held up a sign again. What did it say? "30 seconds." I got a bit baffled ... how could this be? I just saw a "30," time has passed and again? Was there a timing error in NY? Was the stage manager confused? Or worse, was I confused? I sort of "let it go" and continued the interview. More time passed, and I noticed the stage manager out of the corner of my eye getting out a time card (the stage manager stands next to the camera with time cards and you have to read the card to the side as if you have eyes like a flounder.) He held up another time cue and what did that one say? You are right: "30 seconds."
Because this is live TV, and because I was on camera, I could not ask, "How is it that time is supposed to pass yet is seemingly standing still?" I decided just to "go with the flow" — what choice did I have? — and continued to ask questions. The next thing I know the stage manager, after about another 30 seconds, gives me the signal to end the segment. Needless to say, I was delighted since the segment was beginning to feel like the movie "The Groundhog Day."
When the music stopped, I asked the stage manager what was going on? He said he was not getting time cues from NY so he was having to guess. NY claimed to be giving time cues. Oh well. We got it straightened out and got a good laugh. We also averted a major problem on camera.
By the way, the crew here in Florida does a GREAT job and they make it very easy for us. I have done the show before out of here and they always have food for us and make us feel at home.
Tonight you are in for a huge treat — my colleague Jane Skinner is going to guest host for me. (I am going to bed early!!) Jane is terrific and you will love the show.
Here are some e-mails from last night's show:
email #1 (in reference to the 3 1/2-year-old child found in Baltimore):
Mrs Greta Van Sustren : i watched the father of this little girl.. and something seems fishy?.. the story ?.. when you asked questions, i heard the lady that was with him, whispered to the father to say he charged , but innocent!.. of charges.. I must confess i was channel surfing, after your show, msn was showing the child.. and i heard i believe the Mother's-attorney, saying " that the father had told the little girl, that the Mother, didn't love her.. and he -Attorney - said: that the father- his words" was a drug addict.. i 'm not a legal person, but, it seems like from the Mother's attorney , this little girl was taken from Mother?.. i hope you can get to bottom, of this Mrs Greta .. confused& probably to curious!.. Great show..
What was going on with this guy that claims to be courtney's father? Why was that reporter sitting next to him feeding him answers like she was his attorney? A better question is why did you let them get away with that? Bill would have hammered them both. Get tougher Greta.
MY ANSWER TO GILBERT: Gilbert, wasn't it obvious? Did I need to "hammer" the guest to make the point? It sounds from your note that you were able to decide for yourself and that I did not have to hammer him.
email # 3:
Tonight on the interview with the 'father' of Akasha you allowed the NYpost reporter to whipser him the answer to your questions. One answer in particular was easily audible to myself(and the rest of the Fox news audience). You asked if he was charged with a crime and Alisha Berger whispered to him "I was but I'm innovent". And then, like a parrot, he quipped "I was but I'm innocent".
You have to enforce higher standards on your show. You wished this man 'the best of luck' when it was clear he was not being honest and the answers were being fed to him by an 'unbiased' reported. I'm sorry but that man doesnt deserve the best of luck, the girl deserves the best of luck, it was the girl who was abandoned while her 'father' was in prison.
I emplore who ever reads this to watch a tape of the segment, the whispers and parroted answers on at least two questions are so clear it makes a mockery out of the Greta show I love,
MY ANSWER TO SETH: Seth, because I was "remote" and not with the guests, I could not figure out what that whispering was or if indeed it was whispering. The content was incomprehensible to me via an earpiece but I did hear "something." Plus, I can't see the guests, which often helps figure out what is going on — I look into a black square when I do the show remote. I thought I heard whispering but was unsure. As an aside, let me tell you what I told Gilbert above: Both of you were able to "decide" without any theatrics from me.
Do you have something you'd like to say to Greta? Please write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET