Growing Pains

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Wednesday's show felt a bit chaotic to me — I hope you did not notice.

We planned for a full hour of programming as usual, knowing that Vice President Cheney would be speaking at the media dinner in Washington and knowing that FOX News wanted to take the speech live. However, it was expected that he would speak during the "Hannity & Colmes" hour, so we did not think it would have an impact on us or our programming. I had the discussion with my senior producer earlier in the day — she warned me that there could be a scheduling glitch and that the vice president might speak during our hour. I confidently (foolishly?) said it would not since the Bush/Cheney administration is unusually prompt. They really stick to a schedule. Of course what I did not account for was the fact that the vice president was at the mercy of the media's schedule. The media were hosting the dinner, with speakers etc., and the VP had to wait his turn. As it turned out, he got his turn at the top of our hour and we immediately took the speech.

While he was speaking, the producers in New York were madly scrambling trying to figure out hot to restack our show — what to cut from our planned hour, etc. And of course while doing so, they had no idea how long the VP would speak. Of course this IS live TV and we deal with all sorts of surprises all the time — usually called technical problems or breaking news.

Thursday night's show airs from our New York headquarters. As you know, from time to time (now it seems almost weekly), I go to NYC. Our usual studio is, as you know, in Washington, D.C. The New York studio is getting very comfortable for me, since I am there so often and the people are very good to me. But there's no place like home. The D.C. studio is home.

Yesterday, FOX News' Adam Housley stopped in to see me (he also stopped in the day before.) Adam was in D.C. for the big media dinner. Adam is assigned to our Los Angeles bureau and thus I don't see him often, although we have become close friends. Adam and I are both gadget nuts, so he brought his newest addition to my office to show me. He has some fancy new (and big) Nikon camera. It looks like he should have a license to operate it. I showed him my newest camera — a small Sony, which I love. Adam also brought me a bottle of wine from his family's vineyard. In prior blogs I have posted the family's wine Web site. If you missed going to it, and you want to check it out, here it is:

The vineyard has great wine. (Incidentally, I like to learn that my colleagues have other hobbies or skills. I think I have told you before that Adam played professional baseball. He was a pitcher.)

We do have news in our D.C. bureau for the show. Two nights ago I was shown the mock-up of our new desk on the D.C. set. We are changing the shape and enlarging the desktop so that from time to time we can have a third guest on the set with us. Currently, if we have three guests in D.C., we have to put one "out to pasture" in another studio. It might seem a simple task to add a third guest but believe it or not, it is not. It requires not only a new desk, new camera shots and angles, but also a re-lighting of the show. The desktop is not cheap either. I am told that we might get the desk within three weeks.

I have posted a new poll question — it is to the right of this blog text. Please read it and vote for the answer that best describes your view.

Now for some e-mails from viewers:

E-mail No. 1

As a minister in the church since '73, with a long family legacy attached to it, I can let you know some things about us:
1. We are not Pentecostal or fundamentalist. We (the mainline church of Christ) do not believe in miracles worked through the church today by what are called spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 13:8). So we are not Pentecostal. Nor do we believe that Jesus has not yet set up his kingdom on earth. We equate the promised kingdom of the Messiah to his church (Isaiah 2; Daniel 2; Matthew 16:18, 19; Mark 9:1). We are looking forward to a heavenly reward (Hebrews 13:13, 14). So we cannot be properly classified as fundamentalist.
2. We are a non-denominational, worldwide fellowship (no earthly headquarters, no man-made creed, no hierarchical leadership) of folks simply trying to live according to Christ's New Testament.
3. We are not to be confused with the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church, the International Church of Christ, the Mormons, or the Christian Scientists.
4. Usually, when someone in our fellowship commits an irrevocable act of violence, esp. in the leadership, that means an emptiness of spirituality. We are not what we appeared. That can involve two possibilities:
a. We did not realize our dilemma until shocked into some admission; and the admission is too much.
b. We have been "play-acting" for some time until the strain of the performance is no longer tolerable.
We have many options open to us; personal violence is not one of them.
Hope this helps.
J. T. Wheeler

E-mail No. 2

Dear Ms. Van Susteren:
Simply stated, this is a snide remark by the Nat'l Journal telling Feingold that he's a wimp for allowing the right to "bitch-slap" him, as Specter did with his remarks. In this case, NJ sees you as their bitch. Whereupon the obvious goal is to illicit a lob from Feingold directed at Specter, the left (in this case, the National Journal) is baiting you to jump in the fray by perhaps trying to use "On the Record" as a forum for the censure debate, and thus play into the Dem's hand.
Paul Martin
Koloa, HI

E-mail No. 3

Hi Greta,
I think this line: GOPers are eager to get Dems 'on the record on the issue' is saying that GOP wants to get the Dems "on the record" is where they picked up the "you've been Greta'd" from.
Story must have been written by a man. Ha-ha
Escanaba, MI

E-mail No. 4

I think that you should consider "You've been Greta Van Susteren'd" as a compliment. Sounds like the GOPs want the Democrats, particularly Feingold, to really go "on the record" — like the REAL "on the record" kind of "on the record" that these days only congressional hearings seem to give. I would consider it high praise to be associated with a forum that gives people an opportunity to clearly state their positions for all the world to see. Well done, Greta. Now you're name is a part of today's pop vernacular!
Beth Warren
Lookout Mountain, GA

E-mail No. 5

Just put the damn cat and the pill in a small room, put "The Wizard of Oz" on his DVD player and Barry Manilow on his MP3 and don't let him out until he takes the pill. Twenty minutes-tops!
Elly Smith

E-mail No. 6

Hi Greta,
A viewer emailed you a comment — her name was Amy, I believe — and she asked that you not refer to the preacher as Pastor that it made her and those who knew him cringe. Why is that? I'm an Independent Fundamental Baptist and we call our beloved preacher "Pastor" and it is very respectful, and a term of endearment. "Pastor" means shepherd, (one who watches over the flock) the viewer said this was disrespectful of him, why does she feel this way? I have never herd anything like this before, and of course I do not agree but thankfully I'm not a part of this denomination. I'm in no way saying they are wrong for this belief, I just don't understand it, I love my Pastor dearly everyone who knows him does. He would never be offended if someone called him preacher, or reverend but that is not how we normally refer to him. In any event this whole situation is tragic and I believe people should keep their thoughts to themselves until the police are ready to make public what happened and why.
Santa Clara, CA

E-mail No. 7

Dear Greta,
After reading several e-mails and news articles concerning the Church of Christ not calling their “men of God” pastors, I started a little research. I have several family members that are Church of Christ so I’m not trying to bash their faith. However, I’m curious as to why they do this because nowhere in the bible does it state that men of God are not to be referred to as pastor, quite the contrary.
The word “Pastor” is used by Paul in Ephesians 4:11. “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be pastors & teachers.” This comes from the King James Version and also the New King James Version. There is also reference to pastors all throughout the book of Jeremiah (too many scripture to list). This is really no big deal, but if you would post this I would like to know the background behind their belief. There seems to be a lot being said about this. “Matt Winkler and his family would take offense to being called Pastor Winkler?” As long as you’re truly a man of God, then what does it matter what you’re called as long it is a term referring to the calling that you have received from God. Why would a pastor, preacher, minister get offended about their title? I’m just really confused.
Ann C.
Huntsville, AL

E-mail No. 8

Dear Greta,
All I think that means, is the reference to getting Feingold, the Democrat, ON THE RECORD with his opinions, a la your show is "ON THE RECORD."
Just meaning that he'll have to face a debate of the issues.
Nancy Hagen
Leesburg, FL

ANSWER: I think I may have "over thought" this. I wondered if the remark had something to do with the fact that both Senator Feingold and I are "cheeseheads" — both from Wisconsin. However, I did have some problem connecting that fact to the name reference in the online article.

E-mail No. 9

In response to E-mail No. 13 dated March 29: A woman close to Pastor Winkler stated that it was of great disrespect to refer to their minister as " Pastor." As they feel he should be called preacher or minister. MY question is this: Why would calling him "Pastor" be considered disrespectful when that is what a PASTOR does? He preaches and ministers God's word? As a born-again Christian myself, that is just religious nonsense to be offended by something so trivial.
Diane Z.
Pekin, IL

E-mail No. 10

Yee Gods!
Has anyone considered that the murder of the preacher was simply THAT... a murder! The e-mails that have been sent in thus far have the deceased, a wife beater and/or child molester when there is absolutely nothing to substantiate those allegations. What a tragic disservice to his family and friends. If it is proven that the allegations are indeed fact, then say what you will.
Right now all we know is that there is a dead man with, not one, but two shotgun blasts to his BACK. If she is a submissive, victim here, she didn't seem to shrink from an enormously violent act. Also, what about the premeditated flight plan. If one is to indulge oneself in speculation, then what about the scenario that SHE had a lover and was discovered? Or SHE was an abuser of their children?
Debbie T.
Kirkwood, MO

E-mail No. 11

I have a bad feeling that the Aruba Police and the Dutch TV will spin the disappearance of Natalee Holloway by slandering Natalee and her family on TV. Also, by doing the TV show, the Arubans can make the island of Aruba and the officials look good by reacting Natalee's time in Aruba. In airing such a show, Aruba and Holland will have the support to close the case.
I hope Beth Holloway Twitty will be able to legally review and approves the scripts before it airs or fines them $$$.
Krystal Van Putten

E-mail No. 12

Don't we need to temper our coverage with the understanding that there are many crimes in the United States that are not solved? The Aruban people must be offended by our attitude toward them.
Ethelyne Billings-Rodgers

E-mail No. 13

You have got to be kidding? After hearing this last newsflash — Aruba is the last place on Earth I would EVER consider visiting! What incompetence! A cover-up in action!
Melva Pechiney
Cincinnati, OH

E-mail No. 14

True to the trail! Why did you not analyze Dick Cheney tonight? Where is the great analysis? He beeeeeeet you to the punch on all the lines! Hee-Haa.
Go Dick! Down with Greta!
I remember Florida (2K) and what an a__ Greta made of herself! GET HER OFF THE AIR —- I CANNOT GET MY BREATH! Whoa, what would the world do without her... better!
Wendell Rosenbalm

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