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I have posted many pictures on the Web site Tuesday from our trip to Birmingham, Alabama last Sunday.
The pics show behind the scenes of our interviews at the prayer wall for Natalee Holloway (search). I have also tossed in a few random ones from our trip to Aruba. To get interviews with key people, we had to do many things like wait, wait, and wait in their waiting rooms. I have a few pics of us in the waiting room of Satish Kalpoe's (search) lawyer (you will note that my producers are on their cellphones in the pics... they are non-stop on phones talking to our other staff in the U.S.) You will also see from the pics that getting the video for you is not always an easy job. Two pics show our cameraman and that of NBC standing on car roofs shooting the search of the landfill. The pics give you the behind the scenes of our work.
I am glad to be back in Washington, D.C. for our show. Monday night was restful — I did not have to fight bugs or wild wind with my already unruly hair. Going into the field is great — it enables us to better report since we have firsthand knowledge — but from time to time I appreciate the controlled environment of a studio. My environment in the studio in D.C. is so controlled that I have a heater under my desk if it starts to get too cold (studios are cold!) I simply reach down below and hit the switch until it is so hot that we all smell skin burning... just kidding.
Adding to my recent life of leisure, I just learned that my "road trip" deep into Virginia for Tuesday is off... which means that I won't be in a car for 10 hours today (five hours each way — ugh!) The interview I was going to do is postponed until next week.
Of course everything changes on Wednesday. I’ll be up early (very early) and on a plane to Los Angeles. As soon as I arrive in Los Angeles, I will drop my bags at the hotel and then head to the Los Angeles FOX News Channel bureau. Our show airs 7 p.m. West Coast time so I have to hustle a bit once I land in L.A. It is not simply a matter of showing up — I don't phone it in. I study our segments and our guests in advance of the show so that I can get it right. And if you have ever been to L.A., getting around is almost impossible. The traffic is a nightmare!
If everything goes as planned, we have a special Natalee Holloway show for you on Thursday. The only thing that could abort our planning is some breaking news. In this business it is hard to plan a day ahead... so planning two days ahead is an eternity (and risky!)
Now for some randomly selected e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
The unmitigated gall and hypocrisy of the TV hosts, moderators, and talking heads who night after night attack and demean the Aruban law enforcement and judicial system is almost more than one can stand listening to and watching.
I do not understand how anyone in this country can criticize the law enforcement and judicial systems in any other country when one considers how many unsolved crimes and murders there are in this country and how corrupt and ineffectual our own judicial system has become when it involves murderers and others who have committed horrific crimes.
I believe we in this country would be much better served if TV hosts, moderators, and talking heads would turn the spotlight on our own law enforcement and judicial systems and attempt to reintroduce some real and consistent justice into our own judicial system.
ANSWER: You raise a good point in part (not in total... some of your e-mail is just rant!) Respect for other systems of justice is important but I think an open court system at this pre-charging stage (which we have) is far superior to a closed one. Closed court systems are always suspect to me. I think the people have the right to know what evidence deprives a citizen of liberty — it should not be done secretly where the people must rely on "good will" of the lawyers and a judge.
As for law enforcement, I think it fair to criticize a law enforcement organization — here or abroad — that fails to arrest three white young men and opts for the black guys without evidence (other than the mere accusation of the white guys.) The black men have reason to be angry. I also think it fair to criticize a law enforcement agency — here or abroad — which is so slow to react that it can't do timely searches for forensic evidence.
I guess I do agree that our law enforcement agencies here in America are not perfect and I disagree with you that I have not turned the spotlight on it from time to time. I agree with you that we have many, many, many unsolved crimes here in the United States.
E-mail No. 2
I have been following the Natalee case from the very beginning on your program. The other night Beth Holloway said she thinks there is some kind of conspiracy. I have been wondering what the conspiracy could be and came up with the following. Perhaps the casinos are behind Joran and supplying attorneys. They would not want it to be known that they were letting an underage person gamble. Also it would be a big blow to them if it came out that they had put ecstasy or something in the girl's drink and she died. It would be a big financial loss to them if they lost their license, or the American tourists. I'm beginning to think this case is much bigger and deeper than we can imagine. It certainly looks like everything the Holloways try to do takes a step backward. I'm sure it would have been swept under the rug if you hadn't been there. It seems everyone in charge is trying to cover up something.
We think it is great that you are continuing to covering this case. Keep up the good work and our best to the Holloways.
Verna and George
E-mail No. 3
Doesn’t Greta have anything else to report than Natalee Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba? I can watch “On the Record” every night and feel I have already seen it the night before. I feel really bad for her. She was doing so much better as a legal analyst for CNN.
ANSWER: FOX actually lets our show go to the scene (which is very expensive) and do some investigative reporting. I am grateful that FOX does not "tie me to the desk" and thus impede our ability to do the best work possible for you. Periodically hitting the road for information is what makes our show different... and better. I am grateful to FOX for allowing us to do the best job we can.
E-mail No. 4
I find it quite ironic that the news media and the Holloway family have complained constantly, and fervently, about the way the Aruban authorities have conducted the investigation and how backward, as it has been characterized by both, the legal system is in Aruba. Just think, if the Aruban justice system was like the one in the U.S., Beth Holloway would be in jail and indicted for witness tampering and stalking.
ANSWER: You may not like Beth's active participation in the investigation, but you are wrong that she would be in jail and indicted for witness tampering and stalking. I suggest you go to the law library and study the law. She has every right — whether you like it, or whether it is a good idea or a bad idea — to talk to people in this case.
E-mail No. 5
The phrase Arlene used was “crown witness,” not "crime witness". I forgive you the error as you are used to "the People v. xxx", but in a Monarchy, even a Constitutional one, the formal term for the state is the "crown". I could have been wrong on this, but Arlene used the word "crime" in another sentence and pronounced it quite differently - so it is, as it is in the English system, "crown.”
Jonathan W. Murphy
Your devoted nitpicker
ANSWER: I think you are right... that makes much more sense than “crime witness.” Thanks. We get the audio from the guests right into our ear and you would think it would be clearer but sometimes it is much worse than what you hear at home. I always have trouble hearing guests on the videophone via my earpiece but not when I hear on TV.
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