Turning the Tables

Want Greta's blog delivered directly to your e-mail box? Click here to sign up!

Since you usually send me questions, or comments, I thought I would send you some questions to e-mail me your responses back. I am curious what you think. For the most part cable news is a one-way form of communication except for the e-mails I receive from some, I have no idea what you think about different aspects of our work.

1. How many people do you think work on our staff?

2. How do you think we select our daily topics?

3. Why do you think we some times stay on one single topic for a period of time like Natalee Holloway? Or Hurricane Katrina?

4. Do you think the staff prefers to travel to stories or remain back in the studio?

5. How many hours do you think we work a day?

6. Do you think we care about our work (the topics, the people) — or is it just "show biz?"

I look forward to your answers and comments...

I thought I would also put all of you to work today on the blog… so here are your e-mails:

E-mail No. 1 (expletive edited)

Greta, you need to get a real job. Too much of this conservative right wing bull**** is going to drain your little brain… As you know a woman with marginal looks needs a good brain... to get by…
Ed Lopez

E-mail No. 2

Greta— if the missing black assistant principal was white and his name was Donald Trump, the entire police dept and entire state would be looking for him — that's the unfortunate truth—- this poor guy is of no importance.
Palmdale, California

ANSWER: I wish more news organizations were looking for him. Our show has done this topic more than once… we hope to do it more times because we would like to help the family.

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta,
What's up with USA Today doing a tourist destination promotion on Aruba despite the incompetent law officials who are supposed to protect the lives of the tourists who visit their country? The USA Today article is in the life section, Friday, September 30.
Thanks for reading.
Tony Jackson

E-mail No. 4

Greta— There is something I have been wondering about regarding Taylor Behl when she left her dorm room the last time. It is reported that she took her car keys, student ID, credit card and a small amount of cash with her. I find it odd that she didn't take her driver's license. Perhaps she was planning to let someone else drive her car. I have not heard this discussed anywhere and wondered if you might be able to find anything out about it?
Thank you,
Windsor, California

E-mail No. 5

Have the police interviewed the students that attend the school in which the missing assistant principal was employed? Some of them could be involved in his disappearance.

E-mail No. 6

I was wondering what happened in the case of the missing boyfriend of Olivia Newton-John. He was all over the news and then nothing. I am also wondering what happened to the missing girl in Columbus, Ohio. I love your show and find your questions interesting and informative. Keep up the good work!
Palm Springs, California

ANSWER: Thanks for the reminder... I will check on this today.

E-mail No. 7

Greta, I have a question about Valerie Plame. When she was outed — is it then her photo and photos of her and her husband were published — on the cover of magazines? I seen a lot of spy movies — if her life is in danger why didn't she have to go into a secret-protected life?
Patsy R. Atlanta

E-mail No. 8

Please light a larger fire under our government officials to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. These people are suffering and all our government can do is turn them away. I have contact with a FEMA worker in Algiers and for the first three days the Disaster Recovery Center was open only 2 people were approved for aid by the FEMA-computer-void. All these applications go in and all that comes out are denied claims. DENIED!!! Our government is saying no to mothers with children and the elderly. How can this country even claim to be civilized when this is the type of treatment the citizens receive? More than that they have been receiving it for years it was just hidden in the ghettos. One Louisiana resident mentioned to my friend that she thanked God for the Hurricane, because only an act of God could wash away the poverty there. Imagine yourself in their shoes. You have the power!
Sonya Carlson
Portland, Oregon

E-mail No. 9

I've sent this statement to you before and find it interesting you do not print it on your site. I'll try again. Instead of boycotting Aruba, maybe Natalee's family should start putting their energy towards boycotting these insane type of high school trips. Where were these so-called chaperones when underage girls are out drinking in bars in the wee hours with strange boys? Where was the buddy system, curfews, check-ins, etc. I think some of the responsibility for this sad event comes right from her hometown.

ANSWER: For fact checking purposes only, Natalee was not "underaged." She was a legal adult at the time of her disappearance. I do wonder, however, what the chaperones job was... and if they met it.

E-mail No. 10

Would you please not give the Dutch or Arubans the courtesy of printing any of their stupid letters, such as the one written by W.E. van Walbeek? The audacity of the writer to state, “the law will take care of that too”! The world has just witnessed that their laws, along with their judges, are a joke.
Chandler, Arizona

Since so much news is rather distressing, I thought I would post some different kinds of articles today — some that caught my attention. This first AP article (below) caught my attention since we do "podcasting" on www.gretawire.com. (See the GretaCast icon on the right side of the show page.)

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — It seemed like such a great idea: digitally shrink maps of major subway systems and put them online so people can download them to their iPods for free.

Tens of thousands of people have downloaded maps from www.ipodsubwaymaps.com since Web designer and blogger William Bright, 27, created it in early August.

San Francisco and New York City officials were less enthusiastic.

A lawyer for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority sent Bright a terse "cease and desist" letter in mid-September demanding he immediately remove the New York City subway map from his Web site.

Another letter followed on Sept. 21 from the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, instructing Bright to take down his BART system map.

Both agencies said copyrights they held to the maps barred anyone from repackaging and redistributing them without permission.
Bright, who by day works for the online magazine Nerve.Com, quickly complied with both requests but said he was disappointed.

The only money Bright said he received for his efforts came from a few advertisements on his site, which he said generated about $1 most days.

"This was supposed to be for fun," explained Bright, who signs his blog postings Little Bill and also accepts donations via PayPal.

Bright said it had taken him just 20 minutes of tinkering to chop up an online version of the MTA's subway map and shrink it into parts that could be read more easily on the screen of newer iPod models.

Word about ipodsubwaymaps.com spread quickly after Bright launched it. Before long, 50,000 people had downloaded the New York subway map. The site offers maps for nearly two dozen subway systems including Berlin, Boston, Paris, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Washington D.C.

Might the MTA have overreacted, depriving commuters of something useful?

"That's the side that everybody loves to take, that big government is going after the little guy," bristled MTA spokesman Tom Kelly. "But that's not the case. This isn't us singling out one person and one entity."

There is a chance, Kelly added, that Bright will ultimately receive permission to put the map back online.

An MTA lawyer sent Bright an e-mail Thursday offering him a one-year license to distribute the maps for free, as long as he promises to update them regularly. The catch: The MTA wants a licensing fee of $500.

That worried Bright.

"What if everyone wants $500?" he asked.

Bright has temporarily taken the Chicago transit map offline while he asks permission to use it.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said the agency is working on coming up with its own downloadable version of subway maps for on iPods and other portable devices.

He said BART's chief complaint with Bright's maps was that they didn't reflect changes made to the transit system's route alignment earlier this month.

"We don't want to confuse our customers," Johnson said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

If you like animals... read this next article from the AP:

Jake the Cat Gives Gov. Richardson Fits
By The Associated Press
Thursday, September 29

Gov. Bill Richardson may love cats but he and his 20-pound neutered tabby aren't big on posing for photos together.

The 11-year-old cat named Jake appears to be trying to escape from a slightly perturbed Richardson in a photograph for the 2006 calendar of the Four Corners Animal League of Taos.

The governor and first lady, along with Jake and the couple's other cat, Squeaky, are featured on the calendar, which the league produces each year to raise money for spaying, neutering and pet education programs.

"We were posing out in the backyard in two chairs stuck in the middle of the lawn," Barbara Richardson said. "It was just awkward. ... They did repeated shots and (Jake) started getting antsy. I think my husband got as antsy as he did."

The caption on the Richardsons' photograph says: "The governor runs New Mexico, but Jake runs the governor."

Here is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle dated September 28 that caught my eye:

Eviction Escape: Man Flees, Pig Attacks

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Boulder Creek, Calif. (AP)

A man and his pet wild pig facing eviction from their Boulder Creek home have eluded authorities - the man by running into the woods, and the pig by attacking deputies.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies have tried numerous times to evict Christian Canabou from his home, but he always flees when they arrive, authorities said.

Canabou has now been ordered by animal control officials to evict the pig - a 200-pounder named Kate. He was given until 10 p.m. Thursday to remove the animal from the property, where neighbors have complained it has become a nuisance.

But getting Canabou and the pig to leave hasn't been an easy task.

"The pig, and I don't know her name, is aggressive," sheriff's Sgt. Fred Plageman said. "It seems to be a domesticated pig, and on past occasions it has chased deputies around and chewed up part of a patrol car."

Deputies tried again to evict Canabou on Tuesday but found only the pig. They posted eviction notices and left the property.

"The rumor is that every time we go up there, the owner runs into the woods," said Mike McFarland, general manager of Santa Cruz County Animal Services. "To be boldly honest, we don't really want to take custody of a 200-pound pig."

Any bets on how much Johnny Carson's desk is worth? See below...

Carson's desk from 'Tonight' up for sale
Associated Press
Sept. 29, 2005

DALLAS - The rosewood desk Johnny Carson sat behind for countless celebrity interviews is among several "Tonight Show" items headed for the auction block.

"If the microphone was his pen and sword, the desk was his field of battle," said Doug Norwine, director of Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers' music and entertainment memorabilia. "This is a desk with a story."

In April, Heritage Galleries sold Carson's on-air microphone at auction for $50,787.

Among the unique features of the gold-colored, inlaid top desk: a hidden, sliding ashtray holder Carson used to conceal his lit cigarettes; a trash bin; and a lining of orange shag carpet with a burn mark from the time Carson set fire to his index cards after his jokes kept tanking.

Carson, who hosted "The Tonight Show" from 1962 to 1992, used the desk between 1974 and 1981. He died in January at age 79.

The auction will be held on Oct. 8. A minimum reserve won't be announced until seven days before the auction.

Other memorabilia up for grabs: a studio clock, a 3-foot-square section of flooring Carson stood on to deliver his monologue from August 1985 to May 1992, and audio recordings he made in 1949 at the University of Nebraska for his senior thesis, "How to Write Comedy for Radio."

Norwine said the items were consigned by "someone connected to the entertainment industry" who wants to remain anonymous.

And this final article shows we Americans don't have the market on stupid criminals. This is from Sweden…

Unfortunate robber dumps getaway car near police dog training ground
Associated Press

(9/29/05 - STOCKHOLM, Sweden) - A bank robber on the run in southwestern Sweden did himself no favor by dumping his getaway car next to a training ground for police dogs.

Police said the 42-year-old man, who was not identified, had robbed a bank Tuesday and made off with a small amount of cash. He abandoned the car in the nearby town of Jonsered and took off running, apparently unaware that he had parked near the police dog compound.

As soon as police found the stolen car, they released a canine unit that quickly tracked down the suspect.

"He definitely picked the wrong place" to leave the car, police spokesman Jan Strannegard said.
There were about 70 dogs in the training ground at the time, police said. It was not known how many of them were used in the hunt.

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

Watch "On the Record" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET