What a way to start the week, as Mike said after Monday's show. We always like a motley mix of guests and topics; we got them!
We continue to follow the port story, which seems to be dying just a bit, at least in terms of “e-mail passion.” I'd say the majority of those who've written in have expressed bewilderment — "Why can't U.S. companies do this job? An Arab country that supported the Taliban taking charge of a U.S. port?!?" — more than anger.
In our fair and balanced debate, Ellis and Rich — who continue to resist my calls for them to come to blows on air for some reason — both agreed the issue has not been good for President Bush. (On Tuesday, President Bush's approval rating rang in at 34 percent, a 7-point dip from a few weeks ago, before the port story hit...) Rich, who leans right, says the GOP is starting to rally back 'round the prez, pointing out the fact that vocal critics like Rep. Peter King of New York are settling a bit. The 45-day delay added a little salve to the wound in his opinion. And, Rich corrected me when I said many viewers aren't happy about the prospect "of an Arab country running our ports". He, as well as other viewers, argued that's not quite the case:
“Could you please explain to the news media the difference [between] a port and a terminal? Do they not know that many countries do business in our airports and seaports already? If we do not kick out every other country doing business at these places then we are just being racist. This is racial profiling at its grandest.”
What do you think about Roy’s “racism” comments? Interestingly, I had a debate about this very point with a friend the other night. My friend's point was — a terrorist could (and has) infiltrate(d) our non-Arab allies so in the end, we should be worrying about all foreign countries’ presence in our ports. My point: I think we should be a wee bit more concerned about a country who considered the Taliban a legitimate government just a few short years ago. Your thoughts?
Major Bob Bevelacqua joined us from D.C. He is concerned about any foreign company having such a powerful position in our ports. He has worked on port security, and like many experts, is extremely troubled by the level of container screening. As are you...
“Cargo containers should be inspected overseas. A nuclear device doesn't need to be offloaded in the U.S. to create havoc. You just need to get the ship near the port... we need to work with companies and governments that allow us to inspect cargo over there — not here.”
We lightened things up early on with one of my favorite celeb guests, The Trumpster (Click in the video box above to watch the segment). Love him or hate him, you can always count on Donald Trump to be an entertaining, and often, controversial guest. He was here promoting the latest season of "The Apprentice." And lucky for Mike, he brought along his beautiful, charming and smart daughter Ivanka, as well as his son Donald, Jr., both of whom are joining him on-air for this latest go-round. I know it's old news, but I couldn't resist inciting a rant on his troubles with Martha Stewart. I have been a bit mouthy in the past when it comes to her, and this show was no exception. A few of you took me to task on my comments...
“I enjoy your show, but I thought it was inappropriate and unprofessional for you to let everyone in the world know that you cannot stand Martha Stewart. I don't happen to like her either, but I don't think too many people care for your personal hatred for a specific person.”
OK, OK, I was a little harsh in my comments. I don't “hate” her... I just don't like her attitude. I'm sure she would have quite a few things to say about ME as well. But yes, Steve, thinking about it now, I was over the line. I admit I'm a bit um... opinionated and not always pleasantly so. I've been in the business for 15 years, but every day is a little bit of a lesson. So...gulp…sorry Martha.
“DaySide is an excellent show, however, I do not understand the worshiping of Donald Trump. This is a man who tells others to take responsibility for themselves, yet he gets himself into trouble and files for bankruptcy time after time, with the American taxpayer bailing him out.”
I like Trump. I think he's a hoot, and although at times he seems to be a caricature of himself, he's not afraid to poke fun at himself. He's also been a big supporter of the show, and has been very kind to Mike and me. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a little biased about the guy.
“I have never contacted a news program, but I have been watching ‘Dayside’ and I was truly horrified by the treatment shows to the female host. It was very evident that she has a real phobia to small living parasites such as the leech. I could not believe the even after she stated her phobia of such organisms that the male host put a leech on her gloved hand. Why did he not place the leech in his palm?”
Mike, I'm sure, particularly liked the leech segment (Click in the video box above to watch). Mainly because I hated it so much!!! I am seriously, seriously creeped out by bugs of all types. Leeches, now that I've met a few in person, rank right up there with cockroaches and furry spiders. But don't worry, Barb — I volunteered. I'm OK making a total fool out of myself in front of all of you. I have faced a few fears and phobias “'for the good of the show.” (What a martyr!)
And finally... a few random thoughts from our biggest fans:
“You may count me among those who finds nothing particularly interesting about your attempt to mix news and fluff. I have commented several times to my wife when we occasionally come home for lunch that I’d go stark raving mad trying to find anything interesting or informative in your or any other mid-day pseudo-news program (leaving aside C-span when showing something of interest). I suppose most people who lie around on the couch watching television in the middle of the workday, instead of doing something productive, probably have different tastes than I, and if you've found a niche market for such drivel, God bless you.”
Paul J. Veazey, Jr.
Well, gee Mr. Smartypants Attorney! I guess us stoopid folks who watch FOX News Channel during the day could leern a thing or too from you. Join us in stoodio sometime and teech us how to do a real newz show. Call 1-877-FOX-TKTS.
“Why is it you two must constantly act like immature six-graders? You whisper and giggle while guests are talking. Is there some inside joke we are missing? And today, you have the 'cam shot', making fun of people. Maybe if it's laughs you are looking for, you should look in the mirror.”
San Antonio, TX
Ummmmm...it's actually "sixth-graders."
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Juliet Huddy currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). She joined the network in 1998 as a Miami-based correspondent. Additionally, Huddy is an anchor for WNYW-TV's (FOX 5) Good Day Early Call.