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Our programming has been all about the pope (we had a segment in our two hours last night that was not about the pope), but I assume that tonight we will start covering different topics as well as the pope. We were live for two hours — rather than doing taped repeats — so that we could take you to Rome (search) or Krakow as events happen. For instance, last night during our two hours, the doors to St. Peter's Basilica (search) opened (after a few hours closed) to enable the tens of thousands standing outside to view the pope lying in state. Some of you may not view the re-opening of the doors significant, but to see the thousands waiting to get in shows the immense popularity and reach of this pope.
I have received e-mails from viewers asking why we are not covering the Jackson trial (search) as much as we did the Peterson trial. Besides other news events taking center stage (Terri Schiavo (search) and the pope's death), there is no particular reason. We do have segments on the Jackson trial from time to time (I admit not as much as Peterson) and Laura Ingle has her long note each day in this blog. Laura's note is an insider's inside view! Plus, you can't discount the coverage my colleagues do on the trial, so I have not felt overly compelled to do a great deal of Jackson coverage. I assume, absent some other news event, that we will catch up on the Jackson trial soon ... maybe even tonight. One problem I do see — in a show, even a two hour one — it is a bit hard to go from the pope's death in Rome to the Michael Jackson trial in California.
Now for some e-mails from you:
E-mail No. 1
I have enjoyed the coverage. It may be a lot but it is an historic event, like it or not. The protocol of why things are being done, the chants today were beautiful ... I love history from the Civil War and back to biblical times. Am I biased because I'm Catholic and this man has been pope my whole adult life? Probably =)
The Terri Schiavo story was a little too much though ... I hope she has found the peace she deserves.
E-mail No. 2
Sadly we missed your show on Sunday night, and I did not TiVo it either (my loss). Please convey to the people at FOX News Channel that we did not think that you "overdid" the pope coverage, both before and after his death. To me, it has all been quite interesting and informative. Shep, Greg Palkot, Jamie Colby, David Lee Miller, Leventhal, Kellogg, all of them have been terrific. Kudos to all.
We did not sit in front of the television all weekend long, so it was good that we could catch up whenever we were at home. I doubt that I will ever get to Rome and seeing the inside of the Apostolic Chapel (?) and St. Peter's has been like a beautiful vicarious trip for me. We've been to Vienna, and loved it, but for various reasons, we probably limit our travel to less expensive and closer destinations.
Great work Greta and FOX,
E-mail No. 3
Too much coverage? God, yes. The local Blockbuster is practically sold out — I can hardly get through the aisles to find a movie. If this goes on through Friday, producers from all three all-news networks should be looking for jobs at MacDonald's.
E-mail No. 4
While I watch with sadness, I too am rejoicing in the life and death of our wonderful Holy Father. He is certainly in a better place-however, I cannot help but get a little tired of hearing from the media about the "future of the Catholic Church" and "how things have to change within the Church" and "picking the next pope," etc., etc., etc. It strikes me to find out the people most worried about the future of the Church aren't even practicing Catholics! For centuries, we have been scrutinized, martyred and ostracized and here we are ... thriving! Much of this is indeed due to this wonderful man the world is celebrating. He was truly a pope of the people, but please, enough already ... let the Church and her faithful worry about its future.
E-mail No. 5
I do appreciate FOX News' coverage of the pope's passing and funeral. Since not all of us can go to Rome to pay our respect to and attend the funeral of this beloved pope, I and my family are very grateful for your coverage. Please do not stop covering this very important and historic event. The death of a great man who lived an extraordinarily great life that caused great changes in the world deserves great coverage.
E-mail No. 6
We don't need all this 24 hrs a day. You say it's because of first time viewers that need to get the news. Well, I am sure everyone has heard. Now lets get on with the rest of the news. He was just a man he might have been a good man but still just a man.
E-mail No. 7
I don't care what anybody else is saying about too much focus on the death of the pope or the death of Terri Schiavo. I thought both of these topics were extremely important and I am glad we have that coverage. The world has lost a very important man and an innocent woman was starved to death because she could not ask to be kept alive. FOX is doing a fantastic job with coverage.
Las Vegas, NV
E-mail No. 8
What is the role of the Church? To make money or to spread the word of the Bible and Jesus or is it both? A business makes its decisions based on money, doesn't it? With that in mind it should not be run as a business and if it is then that's wrong. If I recall right Jesus had very little money if any.
David Hanon, Jr.
East Meadow, NY
E-mail No. 9
I wish there was no such thing as a pope! I'm sick and tired of hearing about him. We work out at the local fitness center. Usually everyone has their earplugs on watching several TV sets while using the exercise machines. Guess what, no one had them on today, because there was only coverage of the pope on TV! Our TV is in the off position (we watch FOX all the time) until this guy is buried and we get some new news. Come on, get over the pope. He was just a regular guy.
Young Harris, GA
And for those of you who have asked about the Michael Jackson trial, here is the insider's note: the e-mail from Laura Ingle (and yes, I still am not getting e-mails from Jim Hammer about the trial:
E-mail No. 10
Subject: Laura note
The court week has begun with an unusual sight. At 6 a.m., before the sun rose, over 100 fans gathered at the chain-link fence entrance to the courthouse for a candlelight vigil for the "King of Pop." This was the tail end of several days of fan club events. Fans from all over the world came to this tiny farm town over the weekend to rally, paint signs and coordinate outfits. They showed up wearing white today, to proclaim Jackson's innocence. Those who wore white were given gold armbands to wear to look like Jackson. I stood with them in the public lottery today. Candlelight flickered in the predawn light, as fans from Brazil, Europe and beyond talked to reporters about their devotion to Jackson outside the courthouse. One woman came decked out in full Jackson gear: hair, makeup, sunglasses exactly like his.
Inside court, you couldn't miss them! A sea of white took over the back half of the courtroom. When Jackson walked into court he looked back at all of his fans. He smiled, he waved, he touched his nose. He looks like he got a haircut too. His “flip” hairdo is much bouncier and shorter. He was talking and laughing with his dad, Joe when he took his seat after the morning break. One fan who won a seat in the public lottery was booted by a bailiff. She was sitting in a designated media seat. When he asked her to move and she wouldn't, he ripped her pass off her jacket and escorted her out of the courtroom. I heard she also tried to give Jackson some sort of a religious card: a big no-no. No one can make contact with the defendant or his family members during proceedings.
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