Friday on “DaySide” we have a very interesting guest with a personal connection to the Michael Jackson molestation trial. His name is Robert Wegner (search), and he worked security at Neverland Ranch in the 1990s. He recalls incidents with Jordy Chandler (search), (the boy whose family accused Michael of molesting him back then), child actor Macaulay Culkin (search) and other children, which he will describe in detail on the air. To be fair and balanced, I will also interview a lawyer for Jackson's family about Wegner's allegations. Please feel free to send in comments or questions for Wegner and the lawyer; the address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another story we're covering is a new study by Harvard, which has found that when Americans file for personal bankruptcies (search), HALF the time it is because they're drowning in medical bills. Does this surprise you — that 50% of the bankruptcies are due to medical debts?
Also, some pundit types are wondering aloud these days, has Hollywood gone into hiding after Iraq's surprisingly successful election? It seemed like so many showbiz types were pessimistic, if not downright negative, about the vote, but now that Iraqis have pulled it off, where are these showbiz types now?
Now, some follow-up on Thursday's “DaySide:” I'm getting lots of e-mails from you about the lawsuit of Syed Abbas (search), the Pakistani-American factory worker who says he was harassed by supervisors and co-workers after 9/11 (called a "terrorist", etc.), then was fired when he complained to his bosses. In truth, it's hard to get to the bottom of this, because Abbas's former employer, AFI Industries, refused to speak to “DaySide” — representatives wouldn't even refer us to their lawyer. So for the moment, we can only go on what we've been told by Abbas's lawyer. That said, here are some of your comments.
E-mail No. 1:
As an American, this story mortified me, made me angry, and I felt ashamed to be an American! Syed's skin may not be white, but that is no excuse for the humiliation he had to endure.
— Cathy Lee, Fairbury, NE
E-mail No. 2:
The fact that AFI had decided to remain silent in the face of Mr. Abbas' accusations suggest there may be more truth to this story than AFI would care to admit.
— Adam Sieminski, Tucson, AZ
On to the the teenage driver segment — I knew many of you would be mad at me for airing it! But hey, it's provocative research worth discussing. Here's feedback from both sides.
E-mail No. 3:
Teenagers cannot vote or buy cigarettes until they are 18 and they cannot buy alcohol until they are 21. Why should they be allowed behind the wheel of a car at 16? There is no logic to that. By the way, my son will be 16 soon and he doesn't know it yet but he will not get a license at 16.
— Robin Glover, Elizabethtown, KY
(From Linda: Robin, your secret is safe with me, but I hope your son doesn't read this blog!)
E-mail No. 4:
I think your guest is way off base. I drove a truck on our family farm from the time I was 7, and was responsible enough not to crash.
— Mark Carrol, Austin, TX
I also got a few emails like the following:
E-mail No. 5:
We have 17, 18, and 19-year-old teenagers engaged in life and death situations in war zones. Perhaps it is wrong to ask them to sacrifice their lives when they are too mentally immature to handle this situation which, in my humble opinion, requires much more critical thinking than operating an automobile."
— Steve Redstone, New Orleans, LA
Lots more controversy to discuss Friday — see you then.
Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET
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