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Monday night it seemed that everything that could go wrong in a show, did go wrong. (It also did not "help" that I am fighting a losing battle with a cold and a fever!) Usually we can do a show without problems — last night we seemed like we could not escape them. We just seemed jinxed. Here are samples of the problems from last night's show:
First, I was supposed to start the show with our FOX News correspondent Julie Banderas reporting from Florida on the Terri Schiavo (search) case. Just as I had opened the show, my producer said in my IFB earpiece, "Julie is not there." That's not a great way to start a show or a good time to learn about a correspondent problem.
I am not sure exactly what happened to Julie, but it was some technical "thing" where Julie was in Florida. As my producer told me that Julie was not there, he quickly put the name of a guest in the teleprompter and I went to that guest — a friend of Terri Schiavo. I was somewhat perplexed why the single name was there since we had intended to interview three of Terri's friends at one time. Where were the other two friends? Moments into interviewing the single friend, suddenly the names of the other two friends went into the prompter and I made the assumption — luckily a correct one — that we also had the other two friends and thus asked them questions as well.
Frankly, I was a bit caught off guard the entire first segment since I was so unsure what was happening and I could not ask the producer since I was on air. I had to "guess" as to what was going on.
Later in the show, we intended to do a segment about the couple who sold their yacht in November and have not been seen since. We had booked as guests a reporter and the couple's son. They were in a remote studio in San Diego. As I was introducing them, my producer said in my ear very quickly, "We lost their studio, go to..."
Unfortunately for me, I did not hear who to go to or was not told. I also needed to explain to you why I had just told you that we were going to the murdered couple story and now we were not. I am not quite sure what I said, but while I explained to you the problem, a script went up with the names of the Deanna Salie and her daughter Chyna. David Salie, Deanna's husband, was killed in Iraq on Valentine's Day. I transitioned to them — but it was not exactly a great transition.
Even the segment with Deanna and Chyna was not ideal since we had expected to show you part of the DVD David Salie made for his wife and children before he left for Iraq, but at 9:30 p.m. — before the show started — my producer had called me and said, "bad news. We can't get the DVD to play." That should have been a clue that we were in for a night of problems!
I am hoping we have now used up our quota of problems for the rest of the month and that there will be clear sailing from here!
Here are some e-mails from you:
E-mail No. 1
Nice show tonight. How do you switch gears so quickly? I'm referring to the segment where you were supposed to cover the missing couple, but had to switch to covering the soldier story (which was heart wrenching by the way.) Your show seems to go so smoothly even when there's glitches.
E-mail No. 2
I have tried to get a question answered all weekend by anyone… maybe you could ask one of the talking heads you have on your program for the answer? Simple question: If someone killed Terri Schiavo with a gun would they be committing a crime and if so what crime? She is being treated as if she is not a living human being. Just looking for some consistency...
E-mail No. 3
Don't dare to pass judgment on Michael Schiavo. He has more class and dignity than you!
E-mail No. 4
I just read the published emails on the Terri Schiavo matter. They point out a very common problem... people with little or no knowledge of the facts, getting aggressively involved, perpetuating and expanding the myths.
Now we have the conspiracy freaks adding to the foray: Allegations of Michael Schiavo causing his wife's condition, rather than the consistent diagnosis of an eating disorder; intimations of Terri's parents that Michael has ulterior motives because of a $1 million malpractice award or that he just wants to kill her to have is affair with another woman legitimized, are preposterous... if you know the facts.
This unfortunately has become a media circus and cause-celeb. The perfect scenario for political rhetoric and media frenzy stimulation.
E-mail No. 5
Well, Congress has tried to save the life of Terri and she's unable to take care of herself, maybe Congress can save the lives of all the unborn children being aborted that can't take care of themselves too. Hmm, sounds like a double standard here.
Southwest City, MO
E-mail No. 6
Enough is enough already. Let Terri die with the least bit of dignity she has left. It is an outrage that her family is trying to hold onto her body — that is all she is. Congress should be passing a bill to legalize human euthanasia for all Americans in these circumstances. We treat our pets better than we treat humans — we do not let them suffer. Who is paying fro this hospice care anyway? As for the husband — he is realistic. He knows after several years, she was not going to get any better. Life is for the living — Terri's heart may be beating, but she is not "living life." He moved on, and so does the family. The mother needs to let her go. She has no quality of life does anybody understand that? Give it up already.
E-mail No. 7
I’m “spitting nails” right now. I can’t believe what the news media are allowing — all the accusations against the husband. The sister of Terri just admitted that Michael tried to help her the first two years even taking her to California for treatment, yet the father and brother actually accuse Michael of killing her. How terrible! Has anybody ever asked the family if she was anorexic? If a person has long-term anorexia do you know what happens? It might be a good question...
E-mail No. 8
Dear Ms. Van Susteren,
I browsed through the e-mails that you displayed on your area of the FOX News Web site. How you thought this display of mostly thoughtless, emotional ranting would contribute to a better understanding of the Schiavo tragedy is beyond me.
This is little more than pandering to ignorant people who are too lazy to educate themselves on the factors in this case with at least some attempt at an open mind. I believe that rational people can come down on different sides of this issue after this process, but these examples were anything but rational — or worth sharing. If the e-mails you posted are representative of your typical viewers, how disappointed you must feel that you’ve attracted such an audience.
Or, is the Murdoch money simply worth it?
E-mail No. 9
Dear President Bush,
I'm so disappointed in you for interfering with the case in Florida. I am wondering what you have up your sleeve next. I in good conscience could never vote for a Bush again. I always thought you were for less government. Apparently I was wrong and my relatives are right. (They all told me so.)
Ms. Darla Jean Fietsch
A new Democrat!
E-mail No. 10
Re: Terry S. Case
Did her husband not abdicate his authority over Terry's life when he took a common law wife and accepted legal responsibility of the two children he sired with her?
If I understand correctly he is Catholic and does not believe in divorce. If that is the case, how can he justify another life with another woman and children?
E-mail No. 11
Terri Schiavo's case demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of Bush administration medical policies. On the one hand, Bush laments Schiavo's pitiful case and seeks to interfere with a family matter. On the other side, Bush has no compunction about denying medical marijuana to sick and dying patients under threat of criminal prosecution.
Bush has asked the Supreme Court to reject Angel Raich's plea to be allowed to use the marijuana that has kept her alive for the past ten years.
The Bush administration has no compassion for those needing marijuana to relieve pain and suffering. That is hypocrisy pure and simple.
San Francisco, CA
E-mail No. 12
What does Bush gain by creating and signing a bill for one woman, why are Republicans trampling on states' rights.
This issue has been through the court system in Florida and set to the Supreme Court and denied. I feel the executive and legislative branches of government are trying to pull a codetta on the judicial branch. Who is going to stop these out-of-control politicians? I want the media to stand up for once to the Bush administration and Congress.
This is outrageous.
E-mail No. 13
I think Terri Shiavo's husband relinquished his rights when he abandoned her, breaking his wedding vows, and committed adultery and had two children by another woman. He doesn't appear to care a rip about Terri. Is it possible he doesn't want her to regain her speech for some reason?
There are thousands of people in nursing homes who aren't going to get better, but we don't take away their food and water.
E-mail No. 14
I have supported the Republicans for many years but I am not sure I will ever be able to vote for them again. Let Terri Schiavo die! I have read e-mails comparing her to a dog and letting it starve. She is not a dog, but she is a brain-damaged woman who cannot talk, think or even eat. My father suffered brain damage 17 years ago form a fall off his roof. He too was not brain dead but the cognitive part of his brain was permanently destroyed. How could anyone want to be trapped in a body as Terri has been for over 16 years? Her parents are sick. They want their daughter to live no matter what the quality of her life.
Fortunately my father only lived for 6 weeks in his condition. I always wondered what or where his spirit was during that long 6 weeks.
E-mail No. 15
If Janet Reno can send in Special Forces to "rescue" Elian Gonzales and send him back to his dad in Cuba (even though his mother wanted him in the U.S.), why can't Jeb Bush send Special Ops to "rescue" Terri Schiavo and give her back to her dad? I'd risk going to jail myself if I knew how to rescue her. If I was Terri Schiavo, I would want a divorce and then to let my parents and siblings decide what I need.
E-mail No. 16
Since Michael Schiavo has remained faithful to Terri through all of this, his wishes most certainly should be the only ones that count on whether she lives or dies.
Answer: What do you mean by "faithful?" Faithful in that he has been steadfast in stating Terri's position about medical care? Or faithful in a marital sense — because he has not been faithful in a marital sense.
E-mail No. 17
Please help, Greta. What has become of our family values? Michael Schiavo abandoned his wife 12 years ago. That is his choice. He has a new life. That is his choice. He was paid over $1 million. Did he use it to rehabilitate Terri? That was his choice. He apparently made the wrong one. Why will he not allow her loving family to care for her?
I have attempted many times to give my opinion and cannot find where the poll is? Many people that I have talked to have really not followed the case but based on their opinion her 'husband' should say if she lives or dies? Thank God our government will not stand by for this abuse. As a parent of six grown children my heart goes out to Terri and her family. I cannot believe it is love that drives Michael Schiavo. God is his judge.
Thank you for allowing me to give my opinion.
Helen Grace Quimby
And now for e-mails from Laura Ingle from inside the Michael Jackson (search) courtroom:
What's wrong with M.J. now? No one seems to know why he arrived moving slow again... this time with the assistance of a man in blue scrubs.
Camera crews just pounced into position moments ago when an ambulance pulled up to the front of the courthouse where Jackson's SUV posse is hanging. EMT crew got out, talked with deputies, then went back to sitting in ambulance. No word if this is M.J. related, but it sure looks like it is.
The judge resumed testimony with no word of Jackson's illness, or tardiness.
Laura followed up with another e-mail later:
At the first morning break, Michael Jackson's main bodyguard hustled out to the SUV line up, and returned with a bottle of water for the King of Pop. After reporters and public were seated, all eyes were on the courtroom door to see if M.J. was feeling better than when he showed up with the scrub wearing doctor escort.
Jackson was led into the courtroom with his sharp dressed body guard on one side, his dad Joe got up out of his seat to grab the other arm to help walk him in. Jackson looked like a timid bride being walked down the aisle. He looked just awful! Cheeks all sucked in, big dark sunglasses on, and his hair is matted like the day he showed up in his P.J.s. His long white fingers look so frail it looks like they would all break off if you gave him a firm handshake. He shuffled to his seat, with the E.R. doctor wearing scrubs and now a Letterman jacket over them, watching his every move. The doc has taken a seat in the front row of the courtroom. Jurors watched all of this, seeming to soak every moment in. Most had the look of... "What's wrong with him NOW?" on their faces...
I could not resist posting this 3rd e-mail from Laura. She types her notes with her thumbs on her Blackberry and it is easy to make mistakes:
Can you just spell check those notes before you put them out? I see an error or two... Again, I type them while I'm walking :)
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