I cannot complain about studio technical problems last night — not with my colleagues on the ground in Mobile, New Orleans, Pensacola, etc. fighting Hurricane Ivan (search) to get you the facts of that dangerous storm.
Those reporters are tough! I am amazed that we were able to go to these reporters on the ground in these dangerous places with few technical issues.
When Joe Bastardi of Accuweather said on the show how dangerous it was for our reporters, I got worried. Maybe it was time for them to hang it up and get out of where they were.
Reporters are always so willing to do so much — but sometimes the story just isn't worth it!! As it turned out, all was well for our reporters. They brought you the story from the "inside" and they are fine.
By the way, we rely on them to make good judgments as to how long to stay and when to leave a dangerous environment. Bottom line: our reporters are smart and work hard.
Safe inside our studio in Washington we had a visitor. A local senior in high school had e-mailed me that he would like to watch the show and he picked last night. I think he was surprised at how 'chaotic' a hurricane show can be even safely inside a studio.
I had no guests in the studio (except for Eileen O'Connor on Russia and Ted Williams for a short update on Scott Peterson) — so it may have appeared that for the entire two hours I was there alone talking to myself (when I was speaking remotely to our reporters in the midst of the hurricane.)
During the commercial breaks he listened me ask my N.Y. producer "Who do we go to next? Where is he or she? How much time do we have with that reporter? What if we lose that reporter, who do I go to? etc." Breaking news does not have the appearance of order, but rather great uncertainty.
Here are some randomly selected e-mails about the two hours last night....
E-mail No. 1:
There is nothing else to criticize about you or your show (I rarely miss your program). However, having lived in the South most of my life, I think it would be helpful for you to know how to pronounce Southern Cities!
Panama (PAN-A-MAW') City, not PAN-A-MUH....
I think you have Mobile down pat now.....MO BEEL, not MOBIL !!
Hope this helps.....and keep up the great work.......
BTW.....Love that Peterson Team.....Jeff, Bernie, Jim, Laura and the Former Detective/Lawyer...who always smiles!
Former Georgia Peach, now survivor of Hurricane Frances,
ANSWER: Shelda - if my biggest mistakes were how I pronounced the cities, I am delighted. I am capable of much bigger mistakes!! Thanks for writing!
E-mail No. 2
Why do you not have anyone in Mobile, even though it has been the predicted landfall spot for hours? You'll show us a little town like Punta Gorda, but not a city the size of Mobile?
ANSWER: Mel - not sure what show you were watching....Jonathan Serrie was in Mobile!
E-mail No. 3
It's mo-BEEL', not MO'-beel.
genteel, unreal, congeal, Mobile
ANSWER: see above.
E-mail No. 4
I remember watching Rick when he covered this last bout with the Iragis, and never thought about this. But, as I've watched him cover the hurricanes and his assignments, the best news for those in Florida, or wherever, is to have Rick assigned to cover them. Time after time, he's dodged the bullet. The hurricane always going elsewhere. I first noticed this with the first hurricane that hit Florida, then again with FRANCES. And now, he's in New Orleans. Which by my calculations, will miss the brunt of IVAN.
Why, 'cause Rick is there, LOL. I don't wish ill upon anyone, especially those who have to suffer the loss that a hurricane leaves in its wake. So my advice to anyone is check out which FOX correspondent is assigned to cover your area, if it's Rick, it'll be okay. If it's anyone else, might be best to evacuate and come back when it's safe.
Just a friendly observation. And continued good fortune to Rick.
ANSWER: I wondered last night if New Orleans and the edge of the storm seemed "tame" to him compared to his embed during the war.
E-mail No. 5
Just heard the latest on Fox concerning Ivan. Fox has the dire responsibility to get the newsmen out of the storms and get them into safe places. It will take time to get the satellite down and move the truck, equipment, etc., and this is a very DANGEROUS situation at this time. Let's get the work done and get the newsmen inside!
E-mail No. 6
The FOX News coverage of the hurricane has been tremendous, but I think that at this point the network is endangering its employees. Why are they allowing the reporters to be near water surges and possible downed power lines?
Get these employees to safer locations, and just use the weather experts not these endangered employees. The Accuweather expert said it best on your show tonight—these employees need to fear for their lives.
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Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET