Dear Viewers,

Do you want to have some fun?

Then read below, watch the video (a must ) ... and then send an e-mail to shoupt@globeandmail.ca.

Here is the story: On September 4, Simon Houpt of the Globe and Mail (one of Canada's biggest papers if not the biggest) wrote a column about the coverage of the Republican National Convention.

He was critical of FNC's coverage and said this about me: "FOX News, on the other hand, showed [John Kerry's speech] for only one minute and 42 seconds, then cut back to a SMIRKING Greta Van Susteren, who continued her scheduled program of interviews with Republicans from the convention floor." (Note: I added the caps to "smirking" to point it out to you.) 

Before writing this column, Simon Houpt neither contacted me nor asked for a copy of the video to check out what he was saying.

1. Since I find this election to be the most important in MY lifetime, I would not smirk about either candidate. This is far too important. Please e-mail Simon and give him your analysis of whether I smirked or not — in other words whether he was fair to me or not.

 2. If you review the video, and I hope you will, we did not continue with our scheduled program of "interviews with Republicans from the convention floor." We went to break.

3. After the commercial break - not before - I went to my panel. My so-called "Republicans from the convention floor" included Susan Estrich (this is a first that she is called a Republican!) and Ceci Connolly (journalist from the Washington Post.) It also includes Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry - both conservatives and Republicans.

4. I know he thinks it was some grand conspiracy to show only one minute and 42 seconds (not sure his timing is right) but we did not show any Bush speech at the conclusion of the DNC (there was none.)  We were actually trying to do mirror image coverage and be fair to both candidates. If he had watched the end of our DNC coverage he actually might expect that Republicans would complain since we re-aired the video about Senator Kerry that was showed at the DNC. 

Bottom line - we cannot do exactly the same coverage — we can only try.

After reading the "smirking" comment and thinking that perhaps he does not understand the seriousness of the election to those of us south of his country, I wrote a long note to the paper.

They have a word limit and only printed part, essentially just my denial. They have not admitted "oops, we made a mistake." They did not set forth all the points above — nor did I get a simple "I am sorry, I was wrong" from Simon Houpt.

This is where you come in ... please review the video, and if you want to have some fun, e-mail Simon asking him when he will be writing the note apologizing. It is Monday and I thought it would be good to start the week with a bit of fun ...

Incidentally, I have offered to over night the video to the paper so that they can re-examine for a smirk ... they have not yet asked for it ... but now they can go "on line" to see it.

Greta

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