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Tuesday night we had Alan Alda on the show to talk about his new book. In case you are wondering, yes, he is as nice in person as he appears to be on TV and in the movies — maybe nicer, if possible. I did not get to spend much time with him (he arrived during the show and left after his segment), but I got the "report" from the newsroom after the show. They loved him. He graciously posed for pictures with staff members and was generally a "hit" with everyone. His book, "Never Have Your Dog Stuffed," is a good read. (You can get on www.amazon.com.) You might be surprised to learn that his childhood was not a happy one — his mother was a big problem (paranoid) and he had polio. He has also been married for 48 years and tried to live an "ordinary" life — not one in the limelight — despite his job.
A few months ago I was told that the Internet was full of chatter that my husband and Beth's husband Jug were involved in some land deal in Virginia and hence my interest in Natalee Holloway's disappearance. The theme was that I only wanted to pursue this disappearance because of this fictional side business deal. As time marched on, I was told that the rumor on the Internet grew and the land deal suddenly became a very big one and eventually grew to include others from other countries. Since joking privately with my husband about the Internet rumor, I have endured endless teasing from him ("I am thinking of getting a new wife and cashing in on that big land deal I have with Jug... and spending the money on a new wife.") As you might have guessed, my husband has never met — or spoken to — Jug. In short: it's pure fiction.
Now I am told a new twist has emerged: I heard yesterday that Deepak Kalpoe may have told Jamie Skeeters (the polygrapher hired by Dr. Phil to go to Aruba) that I offered him money ($500,000) to do a movie deal with me. We are expecting to get a copy of the tape to see for ourselves what he said. We will keep you updated... keep checking the blog and the show. I am curious how Deepak thought I would pull that off... make the movie on my handycam? And exactly how was I going to hide this from my employer, FOX News Channel? I need to hide it from FOX News since under my contract I work exclusively for them. Any suggestions?
And what about getting others — key players — to sign legal releases so that we could do this movie using their names and likenesses? Would Joran sign off? I don't know... he won't talk to me and now he is in Holland! Beth Holloway Twitty? Jug Twitty? Dave Holloway? Former Aruba spokesperson Reuben Trapenburg? Tim Miller of Equi-search? The many other searchers whose names I don't know and now will have to track down? The chief prosecutor? The judges? The first three men arrested in early June and released? The prime minister? Investigative reporter Tito Lacle? Paul van der Sloot? Editor Jossy Mansur? Attorney Arlene Ellis Schippers? Satish Kalpoe? Satish's lawyer? Deepak's lawyer? Joran's several lawyers? Would they all sign releases or would each of these also demand $500,000? Yikes! This is getting expensive!
I confess I find Deepak's remark curious... why did he feel it necessary to lie about a movie deal with me? Mad at me? Nervous? Got me confused with someone else? While it is certainly NOT proof beyond a reasonable doubt of any guilt, and people lie for all sorts of reasons and even innocent people lie... it does strike me as odd that he felt the need to do it.
By the way, I often get asked if people who appear on news shows get paid. Unless that person is a contributor to the network (like a military analyst, etc.) the answer is no — no here at FOX News Channel and no while I was at CNN (and I would be stunned if that had changed.) News organizations do provide transportation, food and lodging if the guest must travel. For example I am confidant that when we did the audience show in New York City about 10 days ago we provided transportation and lodging to all our guests but frankly I did not handle the arrangements. It was done by someone else.
Here is a curious fact: I get some regular e-mailers who are extremely hostile and critical and then they wonder why I don't e-mail them back. I actually get e-mails from them complaining that I won't answer them. Of course some of us get mad occasionally and fire off an angry e-mail (and I am fine with that and even engage them in debate from time to time) but some people seem to have one speed — anger. And, since I read e-mails daily, I know their names and simply ignore their e-mails. I don't have a rule of thumb, but if one is a chronic ranter without a good faith debate or disagreement, the e-mails get deleted. I recognize the screen names and simply delete them.
Now your e-mails — randomly selected:
E-mail No. 1
I was so disappointed to see your interview with Catherine Wood's father. I just could not believe that you did not ask any questions (aside from where he was and the timeline of his absence) about Ms. Wood's boyfriend! I was just waiting for you to question the victim's father about what his opinion was of his daughter's boyfriend and more relevant questions, but not a one! What gives? Were you prepped by your producer ahead of time to not ask questions about the boyfriend? I can only imagine that he must be the number one "person of interest" at least at this stage in the game...
A fan in Frederick,
E-mail No. 2
I don't care how much the father wanted to do the interview or how cathartic it might have been for him. If I were in your shoes, I would've had to go right home after that was over, scrub myself clean in a long hot shower, read the Bible, pray, and reevaluate what I was doing with my life. I'm not saying you were wrong. I'm just saying that, for me, personally, interviewing a man on national TV just hours after he has learned his daughter was murdered, for the primary purpose of creating content for my television show, is something I would not have been able to do. And as a viewer, I refused to watch it. I decided to watch the National Geographic Channel instead.
E-mail No. 3
Debra Lafave's punishment does fit her crime of consensual sex with her student because there is no victim. Her 14-year-old student lived the near universal fantasy of all teenage boys: sex with your smoking hot teacher. I guarantee that he is also seen as a hero by his friends, and girls that age just love a bad boy who can please an older woman. I was 14 once not too long ago, and I know that kid was no victim; he was just plain lucky. Most TV personalities won't express this common sense view because they don't want to be seen as soft on sex crimes, but it is true nonetheless.
E-mail No. 4
Yes there is something worse than being told that your child has been murdered. That is being told that the person responsible for the death of that child will not be charged with a crime.
E-mail No. 5
I watched your interview with Alan Alda and have an answer for you concerning your height. You said that you are 5' 3", and I do consider that to be short for a female, as I myself am 5' 3 1/2". I get my height from my paternal grandmothers who raised me. On was about 5' 2" and the other was about 4' 11". However, both my daughter-in-law and my mother are 5" 7" and my maternal mother was nearly 6'. I consider them to be tall, as most women that I come across seem to be about 5' 5".
By the way, TV makes you seem much taller than 5' 3".
Now some Associated Press articles that caught my attention:
Article No. 1 — This article shows justice moves very slowly in this country... I am not suggesting what should be the end result in this matter (I have not followed it closely in years... frankly, I am now confused about it) but do think it pretty bad that it has been an ongoing matter since 1977. It should not take that long to have this resolved:
Key dates in the case of John Demjanjuk:
Aug. 25, 1977 — Justice Department seeks to revoke U.S. citizenship, alleging Demjanjuk hid past as Nazi death camp guard "Ivan the Terrible."
June 23, 1981 — Citizenship revoked.
Feb. 27, 1986 — Demjanjuk extradited to Israel.
April 25, 1988 — Demjanjuk sentenced to death after being found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
June 30, 1988 — Demjanjuk appeals.
June 30, 1993 — A U.S. district judge finds "substantial doubt" that Demjanjuk was "Ivan" but upholds extradition.
July 29, 1993 — Israel's Supreme Court rules 5-0 that Demjanjuk was not "Ivan the Terrible."
Aug. 11, 1993 — Israeli attorney general recommends Demjanjuk be deported rather than tried for other Nazi war crimes.
Sept. 22, 1993 — Demjanjuk returns to United States.
Nov. 17, 1993 — Appeals court rules government withheld evidence; reverses order that authorized extradition in 1986.
Feb. 20, 1998 — U.S. District Judge Paul R. Matia overturns decision stripping Demjanjuk of his citizenship.
May 19, 1999 — Justice Department moves to revoke Demjanjuk's restored citizenship, alleging he was a guard at Nazi death and forced labor camps.
Feb. 21, 2002 — Matia revokes citizenship.
Dec. 10, 2003 — 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears Demjanjuk's appeal.
April 30, 2004 — Appeals court rules Demjanjuk was Nazi guard, upholds decision to revoke citizenship.
June 20, 2005 — Chief Immigration Judge Michael J. Creppy rules that Demjanjuk can be removed from the United States.
Article No. 2 — This article gives you an update on the Demjanjuk case above. As noted, it is still ongoing:
By M.R. KROPKO
Associated Press Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Returning an Ohio man accused of being a Nazi death camp guard to his native Ukraine would be like throwing him in a "shark tank," his attorney said during a court hearing on Tuesday.
But the Justice Department said John Demjanjuk has not shown he would be mistreated and that the Eastern European nation has made progress on human rights since it emerged from control of the Soviet Union.
Demjanjuk declined an opportunity to speak during the hearing to determine whether an order last June that he can be removed from the country be deferred. Chief U.S. Immigration Judge Michael Creppy said he expects to issue a written decision within 30 days.
After the hearing, Demjanjuk was quickly taken out of Cleveland's federal court building without commenting.
Demjanjuk lost his citizenship based on a Justice Department case that he was a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II.
Demjanjuk was cleared in 1993 in Israel of being Ivan the Terrible, a sadistic guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He had faced a death sentence in Israel until new evidence emerged that someone else was the notorious Ivan.
But the U.S. government never sufficiently disavowed its previous claim that Demjanjuk was Ivan, and Demjanjuk fears he would be tortured if he returns to the Ukraine, his attorney, John Broadley said.
"We have a situation the U.S. government created, and now he still carries a blood scent of Ivan the Terrible and this would be like throwing him with that blood scent into a shark tank," Broadley said.
Demjanjuk is a former Ford Motor Co. auto worker, but Broadly said he is now frail and any physical abuse could be considered torture. He argued that there has been a history of abuses in Ukrainian prisons.
Broadley said after the hearing that no matter what the judge rules, Demjanjuk will ask the Board of Immigration Appeals to review Creppy's ruling five months ago that Demjanjuk can be deported.
Stephen Paskey, from the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which prosecutes suspected Nazi war criminals, argued that Demjanjuk has not proven that he would be mistreated in Ukraine.
He also asked the judge not to draw any assumptions about Demjanjuk's health based on his age and appearance in a wheelchair.
The Justice Department has suggested the judge consider sending him to Ukraine, Poland or Germany, but Broadley said there is no indication another country would be willing to accept him. Paskey, after the hearing, would not say whether any arrangements have been made with any other country to take him
Demjanjuk walked into the Cleveland federal court building with the assistance of his former son-in-law Ed Nishnic and grandson Ed Nishnic Jr., who both held the 85-year-old's arms. Demjanjuk's wife, Vera, and son John Demjanjuk Jr. were also present. Demjanjuk moaned several times in pain after the hearing started.
The judge told Demjanjuk if he needed a break to ask. About 35 minutes into the hearing, a court-appointed Ukrainian interpreter said, "Mr. Demjanjuk feels he needs to walk around a little bit."
Demjanjuk has a chronic back problem, and Nishnic said Demjanjuk was having spasms. As he was wheeled out of the courtroom after the hearing, Demjanjuk rubbed his right knee and said, "I have gout."
Demjanjuk came to the United States a few years after the war as a displaced person. He lives a secluded life in the Cleveland suburb Seven Hills.
The U.S. government wants Demjanjuk deported because he was stripped of his citizenship for a second time in 2002. A trial judge ruled then that documents from World War II prove he was a Nazi guard at various Nazi death or forced labor camps. He made a private sworn statement for his citizenship case in 2000 and denied Nazi involvement.
Article No. 3 — Pilots Complain About Cheney's Airspace
The Federal Aviation Administration has imposed flight restrictions over Dick Cheney's new Maryland home, angering private pilots who say they can't fly overhead even when the vice president isn't around. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association spokesman Chris Dancy said Tuesday the FAA only imposes restrictions at Cheney's Jackson Hole, Wyo., home when he's there. He questioned the need to have the restrictions in place at all times over a home in Maryland, which has much more air traffic.
Cheney's new home is on the Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels, Md., about 30 miles east of Washington. The restricted airspace has a radius of one nautical mile and was established Nov. 22.
The vice president's official residence is on the grounds of the Naval Observatory in Northwest Washington, part of the region covered by airspace restrictions that were put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks.
FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the St. Michaels' restriction is classified as temporary, though she acknowledged there is no date for it to be lifted.
Airspace restrictions are an inconvenience for private pilots. If they stray into restricted space, they could have their pilot's license taken away, be escorted away by fighter jets or, in a worst-case scenario, be shot down.
Flight restrictions over President Bush's house in Crawford, Texas, stay in place even when he isn't there.
Article No. 4
A 40-foot motor home was converted into a strip club on wheels, offering alcohol and lap dances to football fans outside the stadium before kickoff of Sunday's Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, police said.
Six women performed lap dances inside the motor home, charging $20 to $40 depending on whether they danced topless or totally nude, police said Tuesday. The vehicle, adorned with a sign for strip club Deja Vu, was parked across the street from Raymond James Stadium.
Patrons paid a $20 cover charge and were served alcohol, said Tampa police Sgt. Bill Todd. Officers also caught a male patron smoking marijuana in the back of the vehicle.
"We determined this was the fourth game this season where they had done this," Todd said. "I don't understand what justification they think they had, bringing this to a family environment like a Bucs game."
Police charged all six dancers with being nude where alcohol is served, and with being nude in a commercial establishment, misdemeanor violations of city ordinances. Two of the strippers who police said engaged in a sex as part of the show each were charged with a misdemeanor count each of performing an unnatural and lascivious act.
Three men connected to the club were charged with selling alcohol without a license and conspiring to violate beverage laws. One of them owned the motor home and was also charged with renting space for lewdness. All are misdemeanors.
Undercover officers raided the bus after seeing people hand out fliers advertising the party onboard, Todd said.
An attorney for the club, Luke Lirot, said he doesn't think the alleged city ordinance violations will stand up in court.
"The fact that this doesn't take place at a specific business location would render those charges inapplicable," Lirot said, likening the bus to a tailgate party where people share beverages.
He said Deja Vu managers parked the "party bus" across from the stadium to advertise their club's permanent location.
Lirot said the business should not be punished for promoting exotic dance, which he called a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. As long as partygoers exercise discretion and do not violate state statutes, "what goes on in the bus should stay on the bus," he said.
Article No. 5
Jerry Garcia's dishwasher, toilets and other home appliances will be auctioned by a nonprofit group hoping to raise more than $100,000.
The items, which also include stereo cabinets, cupboards and a freezer, will be available for bidding on the online auction site eBay from Dec. 18 through Dec. 24.
Revenue will benefit the Sophia Foundation, a San Francisco Bay area nonprofit that aids children and families during marital separations and divorces, said the group's chairman, Henry Koltys.
Koltys bought the Nicasio, Calif. home of Garcia, the lead singer and guitarist of the Grateful Dead, in 1997, two years after Garcia died of a heart attack.
An appraiser has valued the items at about $75,000, but Koltys said he expects people will end up spending more.
"There's a lot of Deadheads out there with money, and they want a piece of Jerry somehow."
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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