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We are back in Washington, D.C. I had not realized how long we had been gone until I saw the mail stacked on my desk and heard everyone in the bureau tease us about being "new employees." I went back to our green room (guest waiting room) at one point during the day and even our FOX News Channel guests were teasing me about living overseas (Aruba!)
The assignment to Aruba (search) seems, at first glance, to be a great assignment but the truth is that it is not a "party." First, we have to face the daily pain of a family looking for a loved one (and it is horrible to watch people suffer... that is the WORST part of our jobs.) Second, we work from early morning until at least 11 p.m. And third, the heat is brutal (unless you are sitting on the beach with a lemonade — which we were not!) Of course, I can't complain about the assignment — there are much, much worse assignments (Iraq?) And, no matter how hot and tired we can get day after day in Aruba, it does not compare to what Natalee's family endures.
Monday night's show was an audio challenge for me. I could not understand the guests who were coming to us via videophone. I was told during the first commercial break — after I said I could not understand Beth Holloway Twitty (search) — that it was not so bad for you, the viewer, listening via your TV. I hope that is true. Apparently it was much worse for me listening via the earpiece. I could understand about 80 percent of Beth Holloway but I think that is because I now know her so well. Frankly I think I was lucky I could understand that much.
The other two guests who appeared via videophone I am not so familiar with and thus it was harder for me to understand them. My guess is that I understood about 50 percent of what they were saying — the audio was that bad for me. As I asked questions I only hoped you understood at home and that the guest would not say to me, "I just told you that!"
Tuesday night we should have none of those audio problems. We are having some new equipment sent to Aruba... stay tuned.
Here are some random e-mails:
E-mail No. 1 — Pamela's e-mail below is an answer to the first e-mail in Monday's blog:
This is addressed to the idiot (Lewis Saintsing, Captain of Dets./Vice (Retired) [whatever that means] who sent in an e-mail which was supposed to go to Geraldo:
How dare you make those statements towards the Holloway family who have suffered so much? Can you imagine the suffering and pain the other families who have lost their loved ones, i.e., children, spouses, relatives, friends, neighbors. The list could go on and on. How would you like to be a member of a family who is in the headlines right now? I don't think you'd be 'LOL". If you are from the Southern U.S., I'm ashamed of you as I'm a proud Georgian. Your attitude is incomprehensible. I have no other words to describe how I feel about such rubbish.
E-mail No. 2
Thanks for covering the disappearance of Natalee. Such a beautiful girl — have YOU done any checking re: the sex trade in Venezuela (or the Netherlands for that matter)? I just wonder if Joran and his father have something to do with the sex business and sent her somewhere else. I hope and pray that Natalee is still alive — this could be a possible scenario. I am so worried about Beth. She looks thinner and more stressed every time I see her on TV.
Des Moines, IA
ANSWER: Many viewers have written about the sex trade. I have no proof that Joran or his father is involved... or that Natalee got snatched by the trade. Of course, at this point I think it fair to say "anything is possible" ... but no proof or evidence thus far.
E-mail No. 3
I have been living in the Caribbean for 20 years. I saw those islands invaded by drugs; hypocrisy became basic in their culture everywhere, specially in the high class. I am now living in Sint Maarten, I saw problems of missing persons regularly, but they are usually local young girls. They are never seen again and there are rumors of abduction for prostitution or violent videos. Anyway, it is very difficult to solve a case involving personalities. It is usually an automatic cover-up. Last year, the Cadisco case came up here and it took a joint team from France and Netherlands, one year after, to really begin the investigation. Somebody in Europe has been moving politicians for that.
E-mail No. 4
I never liked you before the Natalee Holloway disappearance, but I do respect you more and more. I respect that you see Beth Holloway as a person, not just a story. I think you are doing a great job. Don't you have kids, husband, who miss you? How can you be on the road all this time?
I am very saddened by callous know-it-all jerks — like Capt. Lewis Saintsing — who think Natalee's mom is just showcasing for the media. I wonder how he would feel if this was his daughter missing in a foreign land with a corrupt govt. who seem more interested in protecting its economy and high ranking officials and his son, then in finding a missing human being for whom they are responsible. When are stupid Americans going to learn, they, the other countries don't care about us, only our tourist dollars! They are only too happy to criticize us at every chance, but if we dare say anything, they cry lawsuit. And still clueless and ignorant Americans will continue to go there and send their kids without a care in the world, until it happens to them. Heaven forbid Beth Holloway's daughter is missing and she dares complain about it, when two criminals are set free! Actually three, if you count Joran's father. Personally, I think the buck stops with Joran and Paul van der Sloot. I think Natalee is alive. Has anyone looked into Joran's gambling debt? His gambling habits? Why isn't anyone out there in the media asking these questions instead of tiptoeing around afraid of hurting some feelings in Aruba. I hope their economy continues to plunge until they produce Natalee. I say boycott them completely.
E-mail No. 5 — this e-mail relates to the first e-mail in Monday's blog:
My sentiments exactly! I agree with E-mail No.1 — this woman is totally nuts, and seems to love the limelight to be thinking only of herself. No one else! This is shameful!
ANSWER: Dottie, you are SO wrong... Beth Holloway Twitty is not nuts and does not "love the limelight." She loves her missing daughter and would do anything to find her. Beth is smart, decent and determined. She loves her daughter and won't turn her back on her.
E-mail No. 6 — this next e-mail also relates to the first e-mail from Monday's blog:
In response to the e-mail from Lewis Saintsing — who is obviously nothing like his name — imagine a distraught parent of a missing child that would have been unfortunate enough to have to deal with this man when he was a cop. Beth Holloway is not fortunate in the way that Mr. Groene was in that her daughter is missing in another country — a place who's practices are hard to understand with little to no communication. I am sure that I would do anything I could, if I was in her place, to find my child, to get anyone to hear me and help me. Beth is most amazing — there are not enough wonderful words to describe her. A redneck cop with no heart might describe Det. Saintsing. Mr Saintsing is cold and ignorant. Just the kind of cop I fear the most. (My brother-in-law is an ex-state trooper — there are lots of good ones out there and Saintsing is not one of them.)
Thank you Greta for helping Beth Holloway and her family. Keep up the good work.
E-mail No. 7
I watched what seemed to be cross-examination of Beth Holloway this evening and felt a deep sense of disappointment in Greta's approach to a woman in deep pain. How can such a profound lack of sensitivity and compassion be displayed by Greta? Beth has probably suffered the murder of Natalee and courageously puts up with these endless, shallow interviews. There is question after question of "how was your day" as though she has been on a vacation in the islands. Many questions are at best rhetorical and have no possibility of being answered. When does this stop?
When does Greta learn the distinction between a serious, sensitive report and rude and insensitive hounding of suffering parents? Why not take a look at Lou Dobbs' professionalism... fair, sensitive but tough when necessary, a true reporter on CNN, not consumed with show biz and sensationalism, or there are other first class reporters on FOX who hold to standards of decency. Do ratings dictate how people are treated and not the special circumstances surrounding their unfortunate tragedies?
Boca Raton, FL
ANSWER: I regret that you think I was harsh with Beth Holloway Twitty. Believe me, that is the last thing in the world I want to be with her. I would like to help her get information. It may be that the audio challenges that I faced last night contributed to this view of yours. I do ask questions like, "What was your day like" so that YOU, the viewer, really understand the pain of a parent in a foreign country (or here in the USA) looking for a missing child. I don't ask it to be sadistic. I have been there for hours with Beth Holloway Twitty and I know how hard it is — almost impossible to put into words.
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