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On Friday night John Bish, father of Molly, joined us to talk about Molly. Molly Bish vanished in June of 2000 at the age of 17 — her remains were found two years later in a wooded area — murdered and just dumped. The crime is unthinkable. Her killer has never been found. When the segment idea for Friday was pitched to me earlier in the day, I immediately agreed since I remember her disappearance — it may have been one of the first disappearance I ever covered. I had a heightened sense of sadness when I saw John pop up on the screen in front of me... I wish I could help him and it pained me to think that all these years he still does not have answers. It is not right, but the sad story is that some murders just can't be solved no matter how many resources are devoted to them.
At the time of Molly's disappearance I worked at CNN — that's how long ago it was! My four-year anniversary of leaving CNN comes up in one month — time flies. I regret that Molly has not gotten justice... her killer needs to be found. I can only imagine the pain John and his family has endured all these years wondering what happened to her... and why anyone could be so utterly cruel.
People ask why we keep doing these missing stories — most notably Natalee Holloway. Well, I would like to see the story through to the end. I would like to end the coverage and move on to other stories, but the story won't end until we get answers or can no longer get information. As soon as we get answers, we will move on. We don't know what happened to Natalee, but I suspect she is dead and I know she — like Molly — deserves justice. Her family deserves answers. Yes, I wish we could cover every missing child but it is impossible. Yes, I wish we could bring every missing person story to its rightful end — justice. Unfortunately that has not been possible, either.
I get asked all the time why we cover Natalee's disappearance and not others. The answer: It is really random (there are unfortunately thousands others that could have been chosen) and the family has been willing to provide information to us to make reporting possible. (We can't follow up on the missing honeymooner on the cruise ship since no one will talk. I can't just talk to myself on air — I need a guest.) There are so many stories we have covered that I want to follow up on and will as time marches on. I regret that we can't cover every story. Each day I open my e-mail to families asking for help. I try and guide them to the right places since I can't cover them all on the air.
The first night we covered Natalee's disappearance I had no idea that she would not be found quickly and that we would not quickly move on to other stories. If you had asked me to bet that first night we covered her disappearance, I probably would have said Natalee is a two-night story — that night and the next night when she had been found dead or alive. If you look at the hurricane coverage, likewise we have no idea how long we will be covering a particular hurricane since we don't know the future. As the hours led up to Katrina, we expected that it would be the usual few days of hurricane coverage. We had no idea that it would wipe out much of the Gulf States area and demand much of our network's continuing coverage.
When we program our show, we take into account many things — including the fact that our network is 24/7. With 24/7 coverage, many, many, many topics get covered during other others so I don't feel we slight important topics. The extent of our cable news coverage — unlike broadcast TV — allows many of the shows to heavily focus on a topic from time to time. Broadcast TV has only 22 minutes of news (30 minute broadcasts with commercials) so it does not have the luxury we do to focus on a particular story. We have, as noted, 24/7 news... that is a lot. We are lucky to have so much time. We have news cut ins every hour — two during our show — that bring you the latest news on many, many topics so even within any given hour, you get lots of information. I suspect many of you also go to the Internet to get more information on topics that capture your attention from our 24/7 coverage. The enormous amount of resources available to the news junkie should allow you to learn about virtually any topic you want.
Now for some e-mails:
E-mail No. 1 — This next e-mail refers to Friday's blog. I had casually mentioned whether there should be an age cut off for when people fast dance in public... I have heard many teenagers wince when discussing their parents on the dance floor:
My husband and I always loved ballroom dancing, fast dancing in particular. He is 15 years gone now, but I continue fast dancing (Shagging is the state dance of SC) with a friend. He and I are 68/69 years young. One is never too old if they still have that rhythm in their old bones. Besides, it is great exercise. As you can see from my e-mails, I am even still working.... I guess I will retire sometime.
Have a great weekend.
Real Estate Accounting II
E-mail No. 2 — This next e-mail refers to one posted in Friday's blog:
I've done a little research on Mr. Zijlstra's claim that crime rates in the U.S. are "much higher" than in the Netherlands. According to Nationmaster.com, which uses the Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (1998-2000), the total crimes committed in the Netherlands equate to 79.58 crimes per 1000 persons. In the U.S., it equates to 80.06 per 1000 persons. The same source lists the population of the Netherlands at 16,407,000 and the U.S. Population at 295,734,000. This does not sound to me like the U.S. has less of a handle on its crime situation than the Netherlands at all. On the contrary, looking at the differences in population between the two countries and the relative closeness of the crime rates, perhaps Mr. Zijlstra ought to retract his statements.
E-mail No. 3
Punishment of children has become a no-no in modern society because of the bleeding heart liberals who write the child-care manuals. It is a source of irritation to me because I was brought up on a different standard. I am 75 years old and was well-acquainted with corporal punishment as a child. One of my father's favorite sayings was, "I'd rather break your heart while you're a child than have you break my heart when I'm old." I finally figured out what that meant. I am basically well-adjusted and have never had serious psychological problems as result of my firmly-disciplined upbringing.
I raised my four children by my father's yardstick and they are all well-adjusted adults. When they became parents, they were swayed by the "modern" approach to parenting and banished corporal punishment from their homes. As a result, their children are not as well disciplined as they and were far more indulged and pampered than my children.
It's rather sad to see how inappropriately kids act and dress today in public and how little respect they have for their parents, for their elders, and for those in authority. My wife and I just shake our heads when we observe the "modern" scene of child behavior in public. Children demand to be served and they are! What will the next generation be like?
E-mail No. 4 — this e-mail responds to an article posted on Friday's blog:
Greta, that was an interesting article about Beethoven's skull. The article said that they'd like to run a DNA test to find out if the pieces are genuine. Hmm.... I just had a thought, if the skull is real, then someone could make some really big bucks selling ol' Ludwig's noggin on eBay!
E-mail No. 5
I can believe politicians believing Nuclear power is clean. How about all the nuclear waste that needs to be stored from these plants? Plus the slight, but possible, meltdown of one these plants. Bad choice no matter what they say!
E-mail No. 6
My husband and I have been watching your Natalee Holloway reports faithfully since May 30. We want you and the Aruban government to know this — we don't need Beth Twitty to tell us to boycott Aruba! We came to that conclusion on our own about June 10 when we realized how badly they botched this investigation!
Our hearts go out to all of Natalee's family and friends.
This Associated Press article caught my attention. Note, that I am posting only part of it... I did not post the part about plants:
MIAMI (AP) — Examples of plants and animals in Florida on the federal endangered or threatened list that have never been subjected to a required five-year status review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, according to a Pacific Legal Foundation lawsuit.
• American Crocodile: Listed as endangered on Sept. 25, 1975.
• Bald Eagle: Listed as threatened on March 11, 1967.
• Everglade Snail Kite: Listed as endangered on March 11, 1967.
• Florida Scrub Jay: Listed as threatened on June 3, 1987.
• Gray Bat: Listed as endangered on April 28, 1976.
• Green Sea Turtle: Listed as threatened on July 28, 1978.
• Key Largo Cotton Mouse: Listed asn endangered on Aug. 31, 1984.
• Red-Cockaded Woodpecker: Listed as endangered on Oct. 13, 1970.
• Perdido Key Beach Mouse: Listed as endangered on June 6, 1985.
• Squirrel Chimney Cave Shrimp: Listed as threatened on June 21, 1990.
• West Indian Manatee: Listed as endangered on June 2, 1970.
• Wood Stork: Listed as endangered on Feb. 28, 1984.
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