Time Crunch

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I dreaded opening the show e-mails today — I figured it would be flooded with e-mails complaining about me cutting off guests.

Wednesday night we unexpectedly "took" the vice president's media dinner speech at the annual big media gathering and thus we had to reduce every subsequently planned guest's talking time. That, of course, was a nightmare. It would have been better for time considerations that my producer simply eliminate a segment (and apologize to the eliminated guest) but instead everyone got cut shot a bit. This was not the ideal scene, but the problem is that there is never time to plan when something surprises you like the vice president speaking and taking that live.

The first I learned that we would have a time/planning issue was at 10 p.m. ET when our show was set to start and the vice president was only about three minutes into his speech. I had been part of a meeting earlier in the day in which I overhead the 9 p.m. ET producer discussing the fact that the vice president was supposed to speak at the top of his hour — 9 p.m. — and thus they were planning for it. No one dreamed that he would speak about 9:55 and into the 10 p.m. hour.

Frankly, this administration is always on time — even early. So what happened? My guess: it was not poor planning on the part of the vice president. He is very prompt for all scheduled events. I bet the journalists/media throwing the annual party did not keep to their own schedule and did not start the speaking program, of which the vice president was part, until late.

Incidentally, the dinner is an annual event and usually the president attends. Last night he was in Rome (search) for the pope's funeral so the vice president graciously stepped in to speak to the members of the media.

E-mail No. 1

I couldn't believe that you cut off the author of the book about Richard Dial (search), just when he was getting to the best part, his conversation with Bobbie Parker! I think we all could have went a night without hearing about Michael Jackson. I wanted to hear about what Bobbie Parker said on the phone! That was news!
Diane Kelson

ANSWER: I was not happy about it either. My producer said in panic "hard break" in my ear. I had no choice. We went to break and I made sure the guest was invited back tonight.

E-mail No. 2 — Jim Hammer sent an e-mail yesterday for the blog. One viewer was happy:

Thanks, Jim, for finally commenting in writing. We love you listening to you along with Greta, Laura and the rest of FOX: Fair and Balanced!
Patty Chirico
Gainesville, GA

E-mail No. 3

I can't believe you cut the author of the book about Bobbi Parker and Dial off to report on the boring Michael Jackson case. He was extremely interesting and ready to tell about talking to Bobbi Parker when you cut him off. I am beside myself because I wanted to hear what he had to say which was 1000 times more interesting than Michael Jackson. I'm sick of hearing about that "sick-o" It is one boring report after another about him.
Reading, PA

ANSWER: See my answer to E-mail No. 1 above.

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