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Yes, we are on a plane again...headed back to the United States. We are going to follow the Natalee Holloway (search) story closely this weekend and there is a chance we may go back to Aruba on Monday. Much depends on our sources and leads which we will be working on all weekend. I will work some leads from D.C., but FOX has about 20 people "on the ground" in Aruba all weekend long. To say we have the story covered is to state the obvious. We would certainly like to be part of finding Natalee — especially finding her alive and well. I used to be so pessimistic about finding people alive and well, but Elizabeth Smart (search) and Jennifer Wilbanks (search) changed my view. I try to be hopeful.
There are so many rumors floating around Aruba about what happened to Natalee. We run every rumor down hoping to find the truth. I should tell you that I think Aruba is safe and that Natalee's disappearance is an aberration. Every tourist I talk to loves the island and feels safe. One of the problems we are finding in checking rumors is that the people who live on the island are terrified that tourism — their main industry — will be hurt by the news of this missing young woman. Thus, we don't get as much information as we would like from the people who live here. I hope that is not the experience of the FBI. I hope they are getting information to the extent that they are part of the investigation.
The pictures posted Friday fall into two categories. The first set are of the area of the home and the home of the Dutch teen held in custody. I had heard how rich and influential his family is and so I wanted to see where he lived. You can see the pictures and you can decide.
The second set of pictures are of the two jails where two of the teens are held. The jails are not luxurious to put it mildly. Of course jails are not supposed to be spas.
Here are some emails from viewers...
E-mail No. 1
I am very upset with your GretaWire Thursday and with the 2 sets of photos posted of your trip to Aruba. You acted as if you were on some sort of holiday with your buddies with your lighthearted and "cute" remarks and the photos reminded me of photos taken on a family vacation. I think you totally lost sight of what you and your crew were in Aruba for and you made a mockery of this tragedy regarding Natalee Holloway. Who cares about seeing photos of a cat, or your producer's pants or that you were greeted by the Head of Protocol. This is not fun and games — a young woman is missing and may potentially have been murdered. Stick to the important facts and not your little jaunt to the Caribbean.
ANSWER: Jade — I am surprised by your note. There is not one person in any news organization who is having fun doing this story. Besides the round the clock work, and being away from families, there is the big point that we face every minute: It is not easy to deal with such anguish, as this family is experiencing. We actually meet the families and see the anguish and we wish very much that we could help them. By broadcasting the news of the missing child, we do help some...if nothing else, it puts pressure on the authorities to keep looking. My regret is that there are so many of these stories and we can't cover them all. We in the media would be euphoric if we could actually help bring this child — and others — home.
The blog is meant to bring you a bit closer to the story and to give you an idea of what we see — it is not meant to diminish the seriousness of our jobs or the importance of finding this child (alive!) We deal with 24/7 doom and gloom in this business — if we can bring a lighter moment to it — e.g. petting a cat sleeping at the airport — we do. If in the midst of the anguish we feel for the family, we can take a second to kid a colleague about his shorts, we do. If we did not, the personal toll it takes on everyone in the media would be greater. Of course, the toll on the family is so much worse than on us — their anguish is immeasurable — and we never forget it.
E-mail No. 2
I watched your interview last night with Beth Holloway (search) and I agree that you came across as slightly harsh and unemotional — but I also think that you're right about the cause: You need to be able to really control your emotions in the face of such legitimate, deep grief and anguish in order to still be able to do your job. You can always explain and apologize to her; but I, for one, am very glad that you are there. I felt a sense of relief when I heard that you were going because I think that your no nonsense attitude, experience and expertise may be able to help and shed light on this whole, terrible situation!
Take care and may God bless your efforts,
E-mail No. 3
Too bad your visit to Aruba cannot be a fun trip. It is baffling what did happen to her. I guess if they could get those 3 to tell the truth that would be the first step, but I do wonder if perhaps she was kidnapped and taken off the island.
I am your age and 3 years ago went to Carlos ‘n Charlies (search) in Cozumel. I even had my parents with me and $100 in my pocket. I was totally ripped when I left and had $3 left! Both of my parents really had a fun time as well. We had already eaten and I bought a souvenir photo for $30, so guess the balance that went for drinks. My parents love the picture and my mom has asked when they “go” the picture is put up at their service. I was wondering though if the bar or chain was taking a hit from the bad publicity.
E-mail No. 4
Thank you for Thursday's blog, which provided a much-needed moment of humor amid the sad and frustrating news out of Aruba. One would hate to start another civil war, but reading that someone in Montgomery, Alabama, of all places, is taking you to task for supposedly mispronouncing something (in this case, the Holloway name) was really funny. My husband and I have worked with some people from Alabama and had serious problems understanding them. Ask NG from Montgomery how he/she pronounces the word "oil." I'll bet he/she says "all" instead of "oyl." The name "Morton"? They will say, "Martin." The word "veal"? They say, "Vill." "Fork"? I'll bet the Alabaman says, "Fark." No big deal, since every region has its own accent, but the absurdness and provincialism in that Montgomery, Alabama email jumped out at a lot of us.
Des Moines, Iowa
P.S. Yes, and in Des Moines where I've lived since college, we drop our Gs too often!
E-mail No. 5
Another great show. I knew you were trying to pronounce Holloway correctly. The Southerners among us that have never been out of the South do not realize how difficult it is for Yankees to speak Southern. I am surprised that you did not have language problems when you were in Savannah, GA.
Legrand Guerry Sample
E-mail No. 6
In your picture, Rick looks like he is on vacation.
Paso Robles, CA
ANSWER: He may look that way, but he is running ragged working around the clock...it is non-stop for him in this heat.
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