Sorry for the absence! I live with a 2-year-old germ factory, who generously passes on to me every cold she gets in playschool....
Lots of you have e-mailed in about Tuesday's segments on (alleged) Muslim spies, Internet drugs and Michael Jackson. I'll get to those in a moment.
First, here's what's on tap for Wednesday, starting with Scott Peterson's (search) sentencing. We'll be covering it live. Also, there are new questions being raised about that controversial University of Colorado professor, Ward Churchill (search). Columnist Rich Lowry now openly doubts whether Churchill is truly of American Indian descent — which may cast doubt on his employment. According to a new article in National Review (search), the professor reportedly declared himself "American Indian" on an application to teach Native American studies at CU. If Churchill is telling the truth about his ethnicity, then that should be fairly easy to document, right? If he's not telling the truth, should this cost him his job?
Another segment we're working on is something documented by an award-winning videographer: miraculous events attributed to the hit movie, "The Passion of the Christ" (search). There's a new film out by Jody Eldred (search) called "Miracles of the Passion"; Jody will be on the show with me Wednesday, as well as one of the people in the film.
Okay, now your feedback on today's show. Man, a few of you got madddddddd at me! Even loyal viewer Burt Bhatty took a swing. We'll start with my interview of the author of "Infiltration", which claims there are Muslim spies in our Pentagon and FBI:
Ms. Vester, your anti-Muslim agenda is showing... Mr. Sperry's book is part of the right-wing war against Islam and Muslims...Are there Muslim spies inside our governmental institution? You bet! But so, also, are there Jewish spies inside our governmental institutions. Yet, you do not have the courage to expose them...
—Burt Bhatty, Ridgewood, New Jersey
Burt, you're neglecting a key point here: Israelis didn't attack us in 1993, 1998, 2000 and 2001; Muslim terrorists did. Any spy in our government is a bad thing — but let's remember who we're at war with right now, and keep that in context.
And as for my "anti-Muslim bias", are you kidding me? Hellooooo... Do you know where I studied in grad school? Do you know what I studied? Answer: Egypt and Islamic/Arab history. How many other TV anchors do you know that went to the effort of living and studying in a Muslim country? (And I still like you, despite your snarky e-mail.)
As for teens buying dangerous drugs online and taking them in chat rooms, check this out from a mom of four kids:
I just finished watching the segment… and just yesterday received a telephone call from a company asking for my 13-year-old son. Apparently he inquired about HGH (Human Growth Hormone) on the Internet... I am scared. He is a great kid, does well in school... Thanks for listening.
— Terry C., Cenral Point, Oregon
Terry, I suggest you contact my guest, Parry Aftab, at www.wiredsafety.org — tell her I sent you. She will help counsel you on what to do. Good luck.
Finally, the Michael Jackson segment with our two lawyers and my question about the alleged victim's tendency to act out in school (and whether that affects his veracity vis-a-vis what he told his school dean about MJ):
I take some issue with the assumption that kids will tell. At the age of 14, I was intimidated to have sex with a man in my neighborhood... I was also an out of control teenager at the time. I finally told my mother... However after about a week of ridicule, threats and embarrassment by this man and my very own friends... I went back to my mother and told her that I had made the whole thing up... I for one believe it is entirely possible that this little boy denied it to many people before finally coming out with the truth...
YOU should be ashamed. You mistakenly assume because the accuser in the Michael Jackson case did not tell his dean that he was being abused, that he must not be telling the truth. I was abused when I was 14 years old, and 30 years later I have still not told a soul.... Unless you have lived through this Ms. Vester… I suggest you take into consideration the feelings of your viewers that have experienced this tragedy firsthand...
Diana, in your anger you have misjudged me; and yes, in fact, I have lived through something similar. When I was in thee sixth grade, a pedophile tried to kidnap me. It's a long story, but I was lucky enough to get away. That is nowhere near as terrible as what others lived through, but I was too ashamed and fearful to tell my parents until I was in college. By then it was far too late to search for the pedophile and bring him to justice. So... Diana, next time you're tempted to jump all over me for asking a question on the air, remember that I have more than just a passing experience with this.
See you all tomorrow—
Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET
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