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I meant to blog yesterday that I had lunch with the Associated Press' Linda Deutsch two days ago in Washington, D.C. She was in D.C. for the annual Gridiron dinner. Linda has covered every major trial in California for years (Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, etc.) My guess is that if you have followed any big California trials in print, you have read Linda's articles.
Linda told me a funny story. Someone in the media recently approached her and accused her of having an agenda. Linda, somewhat taken aback, asked what the agenda is and the journalist replied, "You only care about the evidence." When Linda relayed the story to me, we both laughed. Evidence is another word for facts! I told Linda she should be flattered by the so-called insult and she said she is. Imagine a journalist accusing another journalist of being hung up on the facts as though that is a defect! Go figure. (P.S. I ought to "out" the journalist who is critical of Linda being interested only in the evidence, but I won't. I do wonder, what does this journalist market... rumors? Yikes.)
Here is another "go figure" moment: Larry King was recently criticized publicly about his show and the decline in viewership. Even with some viewer number decline — and we all risk going through those periods from time to time — he still beats every other show at CNN 100 percent of the time. Yes, 100 percent of the time! He has been the No. 1 show at CNN for more than 20 years. He has carried CNN since he arrived at CNN in the '80s and still does. Yes, his ratings are not those of FOX News, but he still is the lead show at CNN. It seems to me if you want to criticize CNN, you should first look at and criticize all the CNN shows that he leaves in the dust! And Larry beats all the other CNN shows despite the millions spent trying to promote those other shows (I don't see promos any more for Larry's show.) The truth is that the other shows at CNN would love to have Larry's ratings. And yes, I like Larry. He was always very good to me. As an aside, many people at FOX, including my boss, Roger Ailes, like and respect Larry King.
Tonight's show airs from New York City and, if all goes as planned, we'll be back in Washington, D.C. on Friday. Incidentally, when I am in New York, I use Bill O'Reilly's studio and his desk/set. Sean and Alan are down the hall in another studio and I only see them for a minute (when we run into each other in the make up room prior to air.) Bill tapes his show at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. (Sean, Alan and I do our shows live) so I don't run into Bill unless it is in the newsroom in the afternoon. I actually prefer doing a live show to a taped show. Live shows are easier for me to do than taped shows. I am more alert on a live show since I know that a mistake can't be corrected.
Now for some randomly selected e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
I am from Panama City and have followed this incident from the beginning. I formed my opinion before I saw the tape. Although our boot camp did "reform" numerous juveniles over the years, this incident disgusted most of the county. Cover-up was my first thought when the medical examiner declared the death was of "natural causes." I think all officers involved should be charged with some form of murder and the nurse should be charged with accessory to murder.
The issue that concerns me the most is the monetary value the parents have assigned to this child's life. I would be calling for justice. Yelling from rooftops and using the media to help me right the wrong. Their attorney stated in the first or second news conference that the family deserved $10 million for Martin's death. They deserve justice more than millions. I do believe the state should pay and pay dearly, but I would like to hear the parents call for justice and mean just justice.
I wish someone would ask the tough questions of the parents like why a 14-year-old child was on probation and violated probation. Look at this child's arrest record. Where were these parents? I have a 13 year old that is home if he is not in school. What was so wrong in this family that Martin Anderson turned to crime? We are going to hand them ten million dollars for not being parents in the first place?
Once again, this was a horrible end to a young man's life and I support prosecution of the guards and nurse as does most of the county. I don't think closing the boot camp is the answer, I think parental responsibility is the answer.
Panama City, FL
E-mail No. 2
It's extremely difficult for me to follow the story regarding young Martin. My heart bleeds for his mother. I have a 14-year-old son and I can't imagine having to go through what his mother must be experiencing. These monsters in Florida should be put away for life and stripped of any chances of getting out of jail. A lot of kids at this age mess up and with lots of love, communication, and strategies specific to their individual needs these kids can overcome and learn from their mistakes. Beating children should never be a strategy of rehabilitation. And how dare the doctor performing the autopsy conveniently mistake that he died of a blood disorder. Shame on him. He should be punished if it's discovered he hid the truth. Kudos to Dr. Baden. You rock, Dr. Baden!
E-mail No. 3 — If you read yesterday's blog, you will know that I solicited some new screen names for "Jody" who uses "hunter of serenity" as her screen name. The next few e-mails are suggested new screen names. I hope Jody has a sense of humor!
New screen name for Jody: "hunterofattention"
E-mail No. 4
I was reading that e-mail that Jody person sent you. After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I thought of a nickname for her/him. "haveissueswillsendnastyemails." Just a thought. I am so glad that you don't let morons determine how you report the news to those of us that like unbiased reporting. I am still trying to get your blog sent to my e-mail. One of these days I'll figure it out! Ha ha!
E-mail No. 5
Greta: In lieu of stooping to her level, I've come up with: www.himynameisjodyandIneedhelpNOW.com
E-mail No. 6
I would add a little to the screen name she has now: "headhunterofserenity." I would also like to know what she thinks Beth Twitty has lied about. That’s a puzzle to me!
E-mail No. 7
Re. Jody "HunterofSerenity" — maybe she forgot to take her meds. If not, she needs to be on some! She is definitely hostile for no reason towards Beth T.! I would like to know if Jody has any children. I wonder how she would feel if she were in Beth's shoes!
Ponte Vedra, FL
P.S. Keep up the good work, Greta!
E-mail No. 8
"Jody" and "sense of humor" on the same line? You have got to be joking, Greta!
Jody’s screen name would be better suited to read: "victimofaseriouslackofselfesteem
whilestrivingtogainjusticeforhermissingdaughter" or just shorten it to "pitiful."
Love your show, love your blog, see ya tonight Greta!
E-mail No. 9
E-mail No. 10
I must say Greta, when I read your e-mail and reply with Jody, I wanted to change my screen name to "laughingmyassofflikeabarrelofmonkeys"! Thanks for the pick me up, 'cause I really needed that today. Oh yeah, and if you get the chance, tell Jody my cousin broke his leg and had pins put in it and he didn't have a cast at all, he crushed almost all of the bones. These days they don't always take a cast — we have advanced technology!
E-mail No. 11
I'm pretty sure Jody doesn't have a sense of humor and will take offense at the funny things you said. She is a very angry person and very quick to judge. She isn't interested in Beth finding her daughter; she's interested in criticizing anything and everything. How dare her say Beth is a liar and wants donations! Beth is desperate to find her daughter and it's obvious Jody doesn't have children! I can't believe anybody would criticize Beth for any reason. Those that have criticized her will at some point in their lives have reason to feel the pain she has been put through with the loss of her daughter. What goes around comes back around! Jody's screen name should be: "imalouseandwanttoseemynameinprintalotongretavansusternsblog"
E-mail No. 12
E-mail No. 13
I have a friend that works for Court TV. She told me they pay people to write you hostile e-mails as feedback in order to push your buttons. The idea being you will respond unprofessionally and represent the kind of employee for FOX that has no people skills and cannot get along with others. Your managers will write you up for your conduct and eventually they will cancel your show. It sounded interesting. Do you think they really do that? Does FOX write up their anchors for unacceptable conduct? I thought you all had contracts and no one can fire you and you can write your rules and break them all you want. Am I misinformed?
I bet Jody works for Court TV. I give her the screenname: "nancyspet."
ANSWER: Court TV does not do that.
E-mail No. 14
Great show. However, how about not having the guys starting out at a "happy hour" before the show. "Jeff Brown what have you been drinking tonight?" Come on, we both know that my brother isn't a big drinker. He definitely smoothed his way out of his comments tonight.
It appears there's a little cheating going before the show where the guys are talking. Time to crack the whip!
Wim Brown (The Good Side) as opposed to Jeff Brown on the "Dark Side"
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Greta Van Susteren joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in January 2002 as the host of the prime-time news and interview program, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (7-8 p.m. ET/PT Mondays through Fridays), which launched in February 2002. On the Record is the highest rated cable news program in the 7 p.m. timeslot.