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Dear Viewers,

OK, cut me some slack for Wednesday night's special midnight show. Yes, I made mistakes. And yes, I made several. I am reluctant to count them.

In case you missed them (but with my luck you taped the show so you did not miss the mistakes) here are a few:

No. 1: When I meant North Korea (search), I said North Carolina. Fortunately I caught my own mistake and corrected myself on air. I am sure that is little consolation to our good friends in North Carolina and I may now get barred from the state. There is a HUGE difference between North Carolina and North Korea: North Carolina is not trying to build and sell weapons of mass destruction!

No. 2: When I introduced Sen. Joseph Lieberman (search), I said "former" Senator... and, once again, corrected myself and said "current." He was a good sport about that mistake and laughed with me. I don't even want to think if I made other mistakes... confessing to these two are enough to make my point. This was just one of those shows where I felt jinxed.

As for the show, I hope you liked it (besides my slips.) The show was taped at 3 p.m. ET because getting guests for a special midnight show is impossible (unless all the guests originate from a Hawaii studio and thus with the time change, they are not in bed!) Compounding the problem for the taping is that many of our guests had scheduling issues during the 3 p.m. hour. The 3 p.m. hour was the only hour we could get a free studio for taping.

We also needed to do the show knowing that President Bush would be delivering his State of the Union (search) speech — but not knowing what he would say. We had to program our hour for topics that were relevant to the issues we anticipated the president would talk about, but not discuss anything that might be "dated" by something he said. Hence we did an hour on the global "hot spots." We had a star-studded group of guests last night, so that may have compensated for (obscured?) my mistakes.

Nothing seemed to go right for me, but luckily the staff was on top of their game. The scheduling problems of our guests meant we had to tape the show totally out of order. Here is how we taped the show:

First we taped Segment D (with Gov. Richardson), then Segment C (with Sens. Durbin and Thune), then Segment F (Sen. Lieberman), then Segments A and B (Sen. McCain), then Segment E (with Bill Gertz) and finally Segment G — the only segment in the right place — with Amb. Ginsberg. (Ordinarily we do A-B-C-D-E-F and we are live. That is a million times easier!)

After the taping, someone — not me — had to take all the out of order taped segments and put them in the right order — A through G — for broadcast at midnight.

Taping the segments out of order may not sound too difficult but it is quite chaotic. The interviews MUST end at the right time — there is no flexibility in the times of the segment. Each segment becomes a "hard break." Second, it was confusing to do the interviews "out of order" in that I felt like I was jumping from one country to the next and not in what seemed to me to be the right order of discussion. I am assuming that once we put the show together in the A through G order it all made sense.

What makes me happiest about my job — at least today — is that it starts all over today. So, despite my slips, I am getting "back up on the horse" and preparing for tonight's LIVE show.

As for e-mails, here are a few:

E-mail No. 1

Hey Greta!
Has anyone let you know that we can hear your producer speaking softly to correct you about the boat (dock?) etc. Just want you to know. Okay, You Go Girl!
Thanks,
Nancy

ANSWER: This e-mail relates to Chet Lynch's appearance on our show on Tuesday night. On the show I asked Chet's lawyer about a statement from the detective referring to minor abrasions found on Cindy's body. A newspaper quoted the detective saying the abrasions were assumed to be from hitting the "boat." I went back to the newspaper and it said "boat." AS FOR THE WHISPERING... that was NOT my producer. That was CHET to his lawyer that his microphone picked up. Chet's remark was that it was "dock" and not "boat." At this point — I don't know whether it was "dock" or "boat' — but the newspaper, which could be wrong, said "boat."

E-mail No. 2

Sorry for the off topic, but your e-mail is easy to find. My question is: What is the purpose of those rectangular glass or plastic squares adjacent to the speakers podium we see in various press conferences?
Ben Laible
Nampa, ID

ANSWER: Those are high-tech teleprompters. They were designed so you would NOT see them. Hmm, sounds like the designers need to go back to the drawing board since you obviously note them (or have good eyes!!)

E-mail No. 3

So, using your logic, then a white defendant should demand an all-white jury.
Deanna Burlingame
Eatonville, WA

ANSWER: The above e-mailer is referring to my statement on Tuesday's show that if I were Jackson's defense lawyer, I would object to an all-white jury as not being a jury of his peers. This is basic trial law 101. This e-mailer has STRETCHED my statement to the point of fantasy — I did not say that Jackson should have, or request an all African American jury. That is absurd. The Constitution does not require that.

And this is an important point: a prosecutor should NEVER want a jury that is subject to a strong constitutional challenge. Why? Because when the prosecutor tries the case, spends a fortune of tax payer money in doing so, the prosecutor wants the conviction to "stick." The last thing the prosecutor wants is to win a case, and have it get reversed on appeal requiring a second trial. That is every prosecutor's nightmare. Hence the prosecutor is wiser to err on the side of caution and make sure that the defendant does not have any issues to later challenge the conviction. When a prosecutor "allows" an issue of grave constitutional importance — and this one may not be that — the prosecutor gives a defendant a "free trial." This means that the defendant can roll the dice: if convicted, get it reversed and start all over.

E-mail No. 4

We are so excited about hearing nightly about the Jackson jury pool. Tell us about the jury pool. Tell us about the jury pool and bathroom breaks Jackson takes. Not just the lunch breaks. This is so exciting. Tell us about the jury pool.
I'll bet out of the first 250 folks there is something we should know about the jury pool.
Tell us about the jury pool.
Give us a break
Syd Sprinkle

ANSWER: QUICK! HELP! SOMEONE PLEASE HELP SYD SPRINKLE! CALL 911… OR DO SOMETHING TO HELP HIM. It appears someone is FORCING him to watch a TV show. He needs help because he does not have the willpower to do something else when apparently he does not want to watch the show! We need bumpers stickers that read "Help Syd Sprinkle now!" (As an aside Syd, I am just teasing you.)

E-mail No. 5

Greta,
Last night was ridiculous. Saying you want peers on the jury is such a racist slander to the average thinking person. Is our legal system about truth or is it just about winning? Where are your values? Do you really want to see our legal system lose any integrity it has or do we just need more "O.J." trials? Also, you go on to say isn't it the job of the defense attorney to "trash" the witness? What about truth? Facts? You've really been an attorney too long.
Reg Fennell

ANSWER: Reg, thanks for the insults. But maybe before you send some more, you should take some time and read about the Constitution and I suggest you read the Supreme Court's decisions and thinking about the Constitution and the jury system. A jury of one's peers is not something I came up with. It is not a novel thought, but a basic tenet. Before you fire off another insult, maybe you should know what constitutes a constitutional jury. But that's just my advice. And thanks for writing.

Greta

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