Fair and Balanced

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You have no idea the hostile (personal attack) e-mail I received after having former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (search) and Reverend Jesse Jackson (search) on Thursday night's show! I received personal attack e-mails about each man — e-mails that I am sure the authors would not want their friends, family and children to know they wrote. Both men were on the show to discuss President Bush's address to the nation. While you know I have no hesitation about posting nasty e-mails about myself, I won't post them about these two men.

I enjoy and appreciate good debate from viewers — but personal attacks on my guests are ignored by me. I am unimpressed with the content to put it lightly. What astonishes me is that some viewers — those who wrote the nasty personal e-mails about either of the guests — apparently only want to hear views consistent with their own. I find that over time to be dull. I like to hear viewpoints that challenge me intellectually, which means I want to hear views that are also inconsistent with my own. I am sometimes persuaded by others' views. I don't know about you, but I am not always right about everything. I am smart enough to know that I am not always right and sometimes I learn that when I hear others explain their views and the reasons for their views. I also know that from time to time I agree with someone with whom I don't usually share the same political beliefs, so I don't automatically refuse to listen to that person (or worse, fire off a nasty personal e-mail or comment about the person rather than the substance of the discussion.)

Perhaps it would be wise for all of us to listen to each other's viewpoints — not necessarily agree — but listen. Knowing and understanding the other guy's view also is helpful in solidifying your own contrary view, which could be the wiser one. But the key is "knowing and understanding." In these personal attack e-mails, I don't get the sense that the e-mailer thinks "knowing and understanding" is important. Instead I just read mean and nasty — and worse — ignorant. Personal attacks are not effective in conveying a viewpoint — even if it is the correct or good one.

Tonight's show is being hosted out of New York for another night. Our guests include Beth Holloway Twitty (search). Since Hurricane Katrina slammed the U.S., we have not had shows on the investigation in Aruba. This does not mean that we have not been following it. We monitor it daily but we devoted our attention to the death and destruction in the Gulf States. As noted in an earlier blog, Beth totally understood this and was heartsick over the destruction and mentioned it in every conversation we had.

Tito Lacle, the investigative reporter for one of the newspapers in Aruba and a frequent guest on our show, is coming to New York in the next few weeks for a vacation. Our staff is going to try and track him down and take him to dinner for all his help to the show. I am hoping to join them as well (I live in D.C. — when not living on an airplane.) Tito has been very helpful and has become a friend to all us. One of the great things about our job is that when we spend a long time on a story, we make many new good friends. Another example is the friendship we made with former KFI Radio reporter, now FOX News correspondent, Laura Ingle.

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

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