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As we did the show Monday night it occurred to me mid-show that every missing person we covered last night was a woman and there was much suspicion about their husbands or boyfriends.
The truth is that not all missing persons are women and not all women are "missing" because their husbands or boyfriends have done something to them. (The "runaway bride" (search) took off ... it was not her husband — fiancé — who caused her disappearance ... and, of course she came home.) But, after last night, it seemed to me, to be fair and balanced, we need to do some segments on "missing husbands" or "missing boyfriends"—- so, if you know of any, e-mail me the story and we will look into it. Yes, men disappear. Yes, women do kill their husbands. Murder, unfortunately, does not discriminate — women kill, too. As for last night, our intention was not to say that the husband or boyfriend was responsible — but, of course, every good investigator asks hard questions of the last person to see the missing person or the murder victim.
When we put together yesterday's show, we did not do it with a thought "let's do all missing or murdered women." Rather what happens is that we are working on a number of stories and we end up doing whatever story "comes together." That usually means we do a segment on the missing or murdered person where we can get police or family cooperation and some pictures or video. It is disgraceful that we have so many choices — that means there are so many unsolved murders or missing people in this country.
Last night, in addition to the missing/murdered segments, we had General Don Edwards on to talk about the Newsweek (search) controversy and the war. We had hoped that General Bob Scales would also join us — "The Generals" — but I was told late in the day that he was traveling. Generals Edwards and Scales are my favorite — they are candid in their views. Both also bring something else to the table — both saw actual combat and spent time in Vietnam. I think it is obvious when a guest has real experience. They know war — they have not just read about it. (I have the same thought about our legal panel — our legal panel actually tries cases. We don't just book people with law degrees who have never seen the inside of the courtroom.)
We had a "surprise" in the last break of the show before the last segment — the "G Block." Joe Bastardi of Accuweather was supposed to be on camera, but right before the segment I was told "Joe will be a phoner now." I assumed there was some technical/satellite issue but I did not have time to ask. If you are REALLY loyal and stayed until the show ended, you would have seen the end of the show "wide shot" of our set and General Edwards was still sitting with me during the weather segment. You may have wondered why the general was still there. My producer in New York had asked the general to stay one more segment in case we had even more problems with getting Joe Bastardi on the show. I guess if we had had problems, I was supposed to restart the discussion with General Edwards about the war. (That would have been awkward but better than the alternative. Apparently my line producer did not want me sitting there talking to myself like a fool if there were more problems getting Joe Bastardi on the air.)
Finally, after the show I spoke to Laura Ingle. She told me that she had e-mailed more pics from the Michael Jackson (search) trial to post on the blog. I wanted some "behind the scenes" pics to look at myself and to show you. I just looked at Laura's e-mail — expecting to post the pics — only to discover that she sent me a blank. Good thing she is so good at radio and TV since her chances at a job at Microsoft or Apple look slim. I will ask her to try again...
E-mail No. 1
Why is it called “Greta's Poll of the Day” when it stays up for over a week a time?
ANSWER: I write a new poll five days a week! Maybe you should hit "refresh?"
E-mail No. 2 — This e-mail relates to Monday's blog:
You seemed a bit more feisty with your replies to viewer e-mail in the blog today. Is the coffee machine at the D.C. bureau broken?
Ducking for cover,
ANSWER: Maybe I had TOO MUCH coffee ... you think I broke the machine drinking it all!
E-mail No. 3 — from Jim Hammer at the Michael Jackson trial:
Trial Note — May 16, 2005
This trial is really zooming along: Today 10 witnesses hit the stand and the D.A. didn’t even cross-examine some of them. The defense scored points with testimony that the accuser’s mom traveled to an orthodontist and beauty spa while the D.A. alleges they were being held captive. The defense witnesses seemed credible, straightforward and unbiased. The picture that emerges is of the accuser’s mother enjoying the perks of Neverland, coming and going as she pleased — at least much of the time — and of her sons being out of control at the ranch. Frankly, they sound like many 13-year-old boys.
It seemed at points today that things were moving so fast that the defense wasn’t even pre-interviewing their witnesses. At one point, Mesereau (search) announced the name of the next witness, a woman walked in and took the stand. When she said her name out loud it was NOT the one Mesereau had just mentioned. Even he laughed, then grabbed a different binder and moved on.
At other points though, the witnesses seemed to blow up on the defense, something we saw happen to the prosecution in their case. The best example was when the defense called a lead investigator from the 1993 molestation case. He testified on direct that some of the witnesses from back then, who also testified in this case later sued Jackson and talked of selling their stories to tabloids. The jury has already heard some of that evidence. But when D.A. Sneddon got up to cross-examine this detective, Sneddon was able to get in details of the 1993 case from these witnesses’ earlier statements back in 1993. The details are shocking and included a graphic description of Jackson performing oral sex on the 1993 accuser. One juror grimaced when she heard this in court today. I wonder if the defense isn’t sitting down tonight and trimming their witness list.
As Greta says, sometimes less is more for a defense attorney. Maybe the defense should have quit before they started. We’ll all see in just a few weeks.
Santa Maria Courthouse
E-mail No. 4 — From Laura Ingle at the Jackson trial:
Subject: Laura note
Body waxing, boozy milkshakes and braces. Those are just a few things the jurors heard about in the Michael Jackson child molesting trial today.
Week 12 started with a variety of people who saw the teenage accuser and his family outside the gates of Neverland in Feb. 2003. An orthodontist who saw the boy and his brother to remove their braces, said the kids and mom did not act like they were being held against their will. A skin care specialist testified that she gave the mother of the accuser a full body wax. She said she removed hair EVERWHERE... not just the legs as the mother claimed. The mother was adamant about this during her testimony, which now, with the backing of the receipt of services, makes it look like she wasn't telling the truth. Jurors could discount all of her testimony or at least discount it if they think she's a liar. The body waxer also said that the mother had access to a phone, but never asked to use it (to call for help) or acted like she was in need of help.
A Neverland chef's assistant told jurors the accuser's brother demanded that he put tequila in his milkshake and if he didn't he would tell on him and get him fired. The defense also wants this witness to tell jurors that he was dating the accuser's sister when they were at Neverland — and that she told him her "psycho mom" was up to something big and that she was going to "make her do something." The judge ruled that Jackson's defense failed to show foundation to ask him about some of the statements ... but lawyers are still trying to find a way to do that.
We've heard that talk show host Larry King will be called to testify Thursday, which should be interesting to see the "interview chair" turned around.
And then, there is the "Lettuce Girl." A woman wearing a white bikini with lettuce leaves draped over her (ah, ahem) covered up area was handing out veggie burgers to reporters this morning in the rain. I heard her stiletto heels were quite something too. No word on if the burgers were a hit, but some reporters were anxious to find out more about her veggie ways!
E-mail No. 5
As an avid fan of FOX News I listen with great interest when the reporters are speaking and to what they say. For the most part the news is fair and balanced. However, the phrase that is continually used is "you won't believe," etc. Well if we won't believe what your reporters are saying why then should we watch the programs presented? Please discontinue that foolish phrase and just tell us the story. Most of the people will keep tuned 'til the commercial is over. No need for a "teaser."
Thank you for your attention,
Vincent J. Bromley
ANSWER: Vincent: you raise a good point ... I do say that often. But, I guess I am more conversational than formal in my presentation (may be the Midwest in me!) On the positive note, while I say that phrase often, at least I avoid "awesome," "like," etc. I will try and do better — there is always room to get better.
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