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Boycott Aruba?

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After I have posted pictures of our trip to missing teacher Tara Grinstead's home. The images take you inside our road trip to cover her disappearance.

Governor Bob Riley of Alabama has called for a travel boycott of Aruba until Natalee Holloway's family gets more cooperation from the Aruban authorities. I am curious what you think: good idea? Bad idea? Political stunt? Good use of political muscle?

I have struggled with what I think is right in terms of a boycott. The one thing that continues to bother me is that the chief prosecutor, per Beth Holloway Twitty, will not meet with Beth. If she did meet with Beth, or talk to her regularly, Beth and the chief prosecutor would be on the same page and working together. If they were working together there would be no call for a boycott. I assign the blame for not talking to the prosecutor. This is part of the prosecutor's job. If you ignore the family, all hell will break loose... and now it has.

The chief prosecutor could change this: Just pick up the phone — do it daily — and it will take less than five minutes. I don't know if the prosecutor is complaining that she is busy — how many possible murder cases could they have in Aruba? This call for boycott could easily be ended — the chief prosecutor has total power to do it. Hence if the people of Aruba are being penalized, they should look to the chief prosecutor to fix it.

Beth is eager to work with the investigation and not against it. It is the lack of communication that creates problems as it has here. I know Beth can accept the truth — even if it is not good news for her. What she can't stand is to be stonewalled allowing her mind to wander. Like any parent, she needs to have justice pursued aggressively. Keeping Beth out of the loop on information is cruel... and has not created the predictable.

I am not suggesting that information be given Natalee's family that could jeopardize the investigation, but every single day of the year in the USA prosecutors give families information and stay in touch. This could be done in Aruba. If you recall the investigation into the disappearance of Taylor Behl (now a murder case), Taylor's mother was very supportive of the police even before the arrest. Why? Because the police were in constant touch with Taylor's mother. Staying in touch gave Taylor's mother confidence that the police gave a damn about investigating... it did not allow for her mind to wander and think no one was doing anything to find her daughter.

I can understand — after watching Beth and her family suffer — why many Americans would not want to spend tourism dollars to pay law enforcement salaries in Aruba if the law enforcement in Aruba won't extend the decency of meeting with the family... fully and regularly. I know Beth would much prefer information and an aggressive investigation to having to go to the governor of Alabama for help. This was not her first choice by any means.

Now for a little update on our collective "mischief" to persuade Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel that he needs to say he was sorry and that he made a mistake when he held me in a "false light" in a column he wrote. (Also see the article at the end of the blog.) Moore did not apologize on Monday or Tuesday, so many of you thought it might be a good idea to ask his boss, Charlotte Hall to review the matter. As far as I know, she is not facing this issue... yet.

Here is an e-mail Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel sent to a viewer who thought he should apologize to me:

Dear FOX News fan;
Thanks for your note, and for the extra hit to our Web site.
In case you missed it, I was reviewing a book that makes this association, which I find funny/ironic/etc.
Cheers
RM

ANSWER: Moore thinks Hitler association is "funny/ironic/etc"? I don't know what he is smoking... maybe he does not know history.

Now for some randomly selected e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Mr. Moore, I would happily give good money to help fund a lawsuit against you for libelous slander against Greta Van Susteren. Your false characterization of her as a Nazi sympathizer and political fascist was deliberate and irresponsible. You cannot get away with such an irresponsible and libelous characterization. I strongly urge you to apologize publicly in your paper and on the Internet to an equal breadth and visibility that you presumptuously, intentionally, and recklessly defamed Ms. Susteren by casting her is such a reprehensible false light.
I want to thank you for your timely and appropriately repentant response. I don’t want to see any pandering either. You need to fully and freely admit your irresponsible behavior and publish a sincere and heartfelt apology for being so very wrong-headed and lazy in your reporting.
Sincerely,
Jon Brady
Evington, VA

P.S. It is a small wonder that you have to deliver your papers at 50 percent off with such poorly written and researched "reporting" that is really nothing more than extreme left-wing jingoism.

E-mail No. 2

Hello Greta,
I just wanted to let you know how obnoxious Charlotte H. Hall was when I called. Since I read your blog daily and watch your show, I figured that I would give the newspaper a call. She yelled at me and lectured me on how this Moore character is an opinion writer and is entitled to write his own opinions. What a joke it was! I hope you get your apology. Keep up the great work and especially in the Holloway case! My childhood dream was to be a reporter like you!
Thanks for all you hard work and dedication!
Morgan Miller
Miami, FL

ANSWER: Morgan, his cheap shot "opinion" is pretty lousy... false light tort? Thanks for sending me this e-mail and helping to get this simple "I am sorry."

E-mail No. 3

Mr. Moore,
My guess is you didn't think your readers would find your review of the McCarthy book interesting unless you trashed a celebrity of some sorts, i.e. Greta Van Susteren. Yours is a prime example of why I don’t get my news from the printed media any longer… if the television news media want to "trash" someone, I get to here it directly from their lips. I'm pretty sure no one is going to rush out to buy that book because you referenced Greta Van Susteren in your review. You made mention of her just to get your "digs" in, and that's disgusting. You owe Ms. Van Susteren a huge apology, and if you have a shred of decency you'll take out a full-page ad in your newspaper in order to do so.
Dawn Hesalroad
San Marcos, TX

E-mail No. 4

Dear Greta,
Just read your Monday and Tuesday blogs — very informative. First I would like to say, I was saddened to hear of the loss of your father. My sympathy is with you! I called R. Moore — all I got was voice mail — and left my message of what I thought of him and his need to publicly apologize! I also called Charlotte Hall — who was in a meeting — (I'll give her that!) and left a message with her secretary. I told her that R. Moore's article was "totally unprofessional and trashy." She assured me the message would be delivered.
Have a super great day!
Mrs. Robyn Tovar
Duncan, OK

E-mail No. 5

Good Evening Greta,
I had a thought you might find interesting. It is reported that the crime rate in Aruba is very low, therefore the police staff must be standing around looking for something to do. Why not look for Natalie?
Lonnie Lindsay
Tulsa, OK

E-mail No. 6

Hey Greta,
Dave, the daddy, saw the prosecutor for several hours. In by gone days, more than once, I heard you ask Beth when she was staying in Aruba, "Have you or are going to see the prosecutor?" She always had a reason not or was vague to your question. In fact she never answered several of your questions. Beth wants to keep it going at any cost! She has gone to far. How dose Beth know it is not a missing person case? What happened to the last tape that went to Holland? For what it is worth, Dr. Phil thinks she is still alive?
Joie de Vivre Murphy
Houston, TX

E-mail No. 7

Dear Greta,
Your panel largely misunderstands the purpose of a boycott. In civilized nations we elect or somehow democratically appoint officials to run our government affairs. A boycott is a political slap on the wrist for the voters of a country, district, county, city, whatever sort of municipality as a message that this is your punishment for your decision to put this person in office. I say, "good for the governor of Alabama." Maybe this will make them decide to look at what they are doing and examine the repercussions. If we are such a valuable ally then maybe they should get on the stick.
It occurs to me that what seems like a big concession on the part of Aruban officials is the rule of law here in the USA in regard to judicial transparency. Perhaps they should rethink their policies.
Paul Mandeville
Gainesville, FL

E-mail No. 8

Hi Greta,
So glad to see you continuing this story which deserves an ending for this family. I agree with the boycott and personally think if we had done this long ago — the three boys would have never been let out of jail. You can hear the sheer panic in the Aruban voices tonight as they do know what this boycott can do to their economy, and furthermore the statements that were made about it was only a one time event that the prosecutor would not talk with Beth is simply not true as we know from months of your own coverage. Also I do not know if you know but there is a personal aspect of this for Governor Riley as I am from Alabama and know a little about him. He has lost a daughter to cancer not long before he was elected so I am sure his pain for a grieving mother with no answers is quite fresh and has to play a role in this for him. I am frankly glad that Beth at last has a political official as her advocate, b/c Lord knows she has been the best advocate for her daughter and besides you and other parents who sympathize with her she has had no one and this has been a long time coming. Thanks for your coverage Greta.
Angela Williamson
Gardendale, AL

E-mail No. 9

Dear Greta,
I agree with the boycott. Who would want to send their children to Aruba after what has happened? I would as an adult feel unsafe seeing the way they have handled this tragic situation. Whether this case is settled or not the fact remains it happened and the way the law in Aruba has dealt with this makes a very unsafe atmosphere for anyone.
Carol Canning
Daytona Beach, FL

E-mail No. 10

I'm with Ted all the way. I do not think America should boycott Aruba. I have doubts about what Beth is saying, in other words I don't trust her story.
Thank you
Linda Scraper

E-mail No. 11

Dear Greta,
We are 100 percent behind Beth and the governor of Alabama. It really takes a strong leader to stand up for a citizen of his state. We are going to call for Gov. Sanford of South Carolina to join in the boycott of Aruba. All Americans should boycott because that could be any of our kids.
The government of Aruba has shown that they have no respect for our citizens so why should we support their economy and wellbeing.
Boycott Aruba!
Kristi Cathcart
Easley, SC

E-mail No. 12

Ms. V.,
Good for Beth H. and the governor! I believe that the Arubans have bungled the investigation and were also trying to protect their own, i.e., Joran, et al. The Aruban establishment deserve what they get in terms of lost revenue. Of course, Joe Blow Aruban probably doesn't count for squat to the people are in charge of the island.
As for anything getting done in "The Hague", Milosovic will probably outlive all of us!
Steve B.
Del Mar, CA

E-mail No. 13

Aloha Greta,
Just for your information:
Aloha Governor Lingle! I am a Republican voter in Kona. I am writing to ask you to please support Alabama Governor Bob Riley in calling for a boycott of the island nation of Aruba, due to the Natalee Holloway case.
Please lend your support publicly to this noble effort to find justice for the Holloway and Twitty families.
Thank you Madame Governor
Aloha!
Robert Gowan

It has started...

OK, remember my little mischief with Roger Moore and Charlotte Hall of the Orlando Sentinel? Now I am feeling guilty — but not totally guilty. We need one more round of mischief to get an apology. They will feel better once they do the right thing. Right now I understand from viewers they are a bit testy.

The reason that I now feel sorry for them is that their paper is failing (click here to read the article) — failing badly. I think one more round of calls and e-mails might get them to apologize. Check Monday and Tuesday's blogs for background and phone numbers. You can have some fun with them getting them to do the right thing. Here are the e-mail addresses: rmoore@orlandosentinel.com; charlotte.hall@orlandosentinel.com, or try chall@orlandosentinel.com

By the way, for those of you who still want to contact Roger Moore's boss about getting him to send a simple apology, her name is Charlotte Hall: Charlotte H. Hall, vice president/editor — (407) 420-5195 — editor@orlandosentinel.com.

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