On the Road Again

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By the time you get this blog in your e-mail box, or read it on line, we will be back "on the road." It seems like we are taking the show "on the road" more than we are at home. We like to get the show out so that we can get a closer look at the stories we cover so that we can do a better job for you. Friday night's show will be live from Georgia.

By the way, if all goes as planned, next Friday we will be in Ohio for a "road trip" that has been planned for a long time. It is unusual that a road trip is planned so far in advance. (Maybe a "first" for "On the Record"?) Usually road trips have zero notice. We decided Thursday at 5 p.m. to go to Georgia today. Once the decision was made, we all scrambled to get flights, hotels etc. And we did this planning for the road trip to Georgia while we were also putting together last night's live show. Incidentally, at 5 p.m. Thursday night we were planning on our show airing one hour late at 11 p.m. to midnight because of the president's presser. It was expected that the presser would delay our prime-time schedule by one hour. At about 5 p.m., while we were beginning to plan the Georgia trip, we learned that we would be at our usual hour. In short, things are never dull!

If you read this blog, you know that I often post pictures ... but not recently. I have had some computer problems — or perhaps I am the problem. In any event, I can now post pictures again on the blog thanks to Julia Miller at Apple (search) — my new hero! She worked magic on a problem I was having. She unfortunately gave me her phone number so I fear I may be calling her often since I have much to learn on the computer and she sure knows a great deal. She would have been wise not to give me her number. I have posted some random pictures to test to see if this works (so random are the pics that one is of Pat Buchanan who I ran into at the entrance of our building and one is even a cat!) Click on the link in the photo box above. On Monday I hope to post many more from our road trip to Georgia.

Now for the e-mails from the viewers:

E-mail No. 1

Why doesn't someone ask the all important question, "What was Jennifer going jogging at dark without her cell phone?" I live about 10 miles from Duluth and it is dark here around 8:30 pm.
Bruce Rhodes

ANSWER: You raise VERY good issues.

E-mail No. 2 — do you think this next e-mailer likes our show? I can't figure it out since he is so vague ... just kidding!

I view FOX News on all broadcasts but Greta Van Susteren for the following reasons:
1. She spends too much time going over mundane topics.
2. The question asked to the "standard panel" are the same for each topic and simply not of interest.
3. The continuous and daily grind of the M. Jackson case along with the new missing person cases are worthy of a few minutes but not any more. Greta's broadcast will interview the same crowd every day asking "what if" questions. She also interviews the principles that are affected by the missing person cases, and will ask the same line of "what if" questions.
In summary, the only broadcast that had a merit was the one where she flew in an experimental aircraft and interviewed the pilot. Her current shows are one of the worst of the entire FOX News Programs. I have to divert my viewing to CNN while she's on because CNN is the lesser of two evils.
Larry Mason
Tucson, AZ

E-mail No. 3 — from Jim Hammer inside the Michael Jackson (search) courtroom:

Trial Note: April 28, 2005

Most days in trial are nuanced: some points for the prosecution and a few for the defense. Today was a disaster for the prosecution at least so far as Debbie Rowe (search) went. In his opening statement, D.A. Sneddon promised the jury that Debbie Rowe would testify that her entire interview was scripted, that she rehearsed it beforehand. The D.A. also told the jury that Rowe’s lawyer would back this up. Both have now left the stand and neither one of them backed up the D.A.’s claims. Furthermore, the assistant D.A. doing the questioning, Ron Zonen, who is a really great lawyer, never impeached either witness with any prior inconsistent statements, which might have backed up the D.A.’s earlier claims. Bad stuff for a DA to promise something which never materializes. At a minimum, the D.A.’s conspiracy case against Jackson is in big trouble. Everyone here now is wondering how the D.A. will end his case. Time is running out.

At the end of the day, Jackson’s defense used Rowe to distance Jackson from the actions of the other co-conspirators. So what happened? Watching Debbie Rowe on the stand, it seems clear that she still loves
Jackson, whom she has not even spoken to in 4 years and I think she tried all she could to help him at this trial. The question still running through my mind is why the D.A. did not confront her with any prior inconsistent statements, which would have backed up the D.A.’s story. It might be that the D.A. just wanted to cut his losses after she turned on the D.A. The D.A. might now rest his case as early as tomorrow. Stay tuned…
Jim Hammer
Santa Maria Courthouse

P.S. Greta should now really come out to watch the defense case!

E-mail No. 4 — from Laura Ingle at the courthouse:

Subject: Laura note

Did Debbie Rowe "flip" to a witness for the defense? That's what it seemed like by the time the mother of two of Michael Jackson's children finished her time on the stand. She was called by prosecutors to tell jurors about her part in making the rebuttal video. Before she returned to the stand today, Tom Mesereau (search) asked to judge to have her testimony stricken from the record, but by the time she was done talking today, he asked to withdraw his request ... and here's why:

Rowe clearly has affection for Jackson and let it be know today. She choked up when asked to describe Jackson. "He is generous, a great father, and good with kids..." She reached for a tissue and started to cry. When asked if she considered Jackson as a friend, she said, "Yeah, if he'd talk to me." Prosecutor Tom Sneddon told jurors in opening statements that Rowe would testify that she was heavily scripted in the rebuttal video, just like the mother of the current accuser was. She said she did not use a script and did not look at pre-interview questions.

This morning, she lashed out at the D.A. team when defense attorney tom Mesereau asked her if she knew the prosecutors had recorded some of her phone calls. From the witness stand she exclaimed in an incredulous tone, "You did!? You bugged my phone!? You don't share ANYTHING with me! I was in the listening room for this portion. This is where reporters and legal analysts watch on a closed circuit TV (the courtroom was filled to capacity today) everyone yelped when she said that. One legal eagle nearly had his jaw on the floor — it felt like a pretty bad moment for the D.A.

After this, I went into the courtroom at the next break. I was just in front of the Tom Sneddon going through the security check. A bailiff asked him how things were going. He smiled and said "good" in a peppy voice. (?)

At the end of Rowe's testimony she was asked about being re-introduced to her kids if that ever happens. She said that her and Jackson had an agreement that she would be introduced as "a friend of daddy's" because it would be too upsetting to them to say, "Hi kids, I'm your mom, wanna go out and do something." I looked at the women in the jury box for reaction on that. Four had heads down taking notes, four were looking at her.

Rowe's lawyer Iris Finsilver took the stand next. She said she was present the entire time the rebuttal video was made with Jackson's people and her client. The one "bad guy" as painted by prosecutors is Mark Shaffel. She said that when Rowe answered a couple of questions about the kids she heard him say “Oh, Michael will be really pleased about that ... You are really helping him out of a jam ... You'll 'get' to go to Neverland." That actually falls in step with what prosecutors had said. That Rowe was coaxed into making video with the promise of seeing the kids again.

I've heard some reporters spotted Rowe having dinner with Sneddon last night at a restaurant in a nearby town called The Hitching Post. That's one of the restaurants seen in the movie "Sideways" that was shot around here. Don't know what was talked about, but it didn't seem like things went according to plan for the D.A.

And, bailiffs have been getting strict with reporters in the courtroom, especially the ones who sit on the left side. That's the side where the jury box is. Jurors have reportedly either overheard reporters whispering, or have been distracted by the chit-chat. Everyone has been
"put on notice" to knock it off.
Laura Ingle

And finally, an update on the woman who was given a choice: Give up Packer tickets or go to jail for 90 days. Apparently she made up her mind: Click here to read the story.

Send your thoughts and comments to: ontherecord@foxnews.com

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