Public Good or Too Traumatic?

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Did you notice our new set desk last night? Be honest!

We are working on a special that will air in the next few weeks. This week I was in New York City to do some work on it with those putting it together. My colleague, Joel Parks, who is in charge of this special, took some pictures. Those pics are posted. The pics give you a bit of the behind the scenes, plus a group shot. You often only see the anchor or host of the program, but these programs are "group projects." Many people work long hours on the specials — and on our daily show — and you never see them. The group picture posted shows several of the people who worked on the special this week, but by no means does the pic show everyone.

Yesterday, I asked you in the blog if you thought we should post the transcript from recording of the cockpit discussion in United Flight 93. Flight 93 is the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. I grabbed a bunch of e-mails from viewers on the topic and posted each one as I read it (see the e-mails below). In posting the e-mails I made no effort to find an equal number in favor and opposed. Instead, I just read the show e-mails, copied and pasted them on this blog. The reason I did it this way is so that you could see the percentage of people in favor or against (of course this is not a scientific study, but my crude effort to give you an idea of the viewpoints and how weighted.)

The debate I posed yesterday did not include discussion about the audiotape version of those last minutes on Flight 93 because the judge is not releasing the audiotape. She only agreed to release the written transcript, so I could not post the audio on even if I thought it appropriate.

The jury — and courtroom observers and media — heard the audio version. The judge elected to protect the privacy of those heard on the tape and thus not release the audio. I supposed she also thought it would protect the family members of those who died. The decision to release or not release the audiotapes is left to the sound discretion of the judge. You might not agree with that decision, but the judge weighs the pros and cons and then has the power to decide under these circumstances. I can promise you one thing: Sitting in a courtroom listening to something like this tape is like having an elephant step on your chest — you won't forget it.

After reading many e-mails, I concluded that it would be right to post a link to the transcript in the event anyone wants to read it. A link is thus posted — below the e-mails on the topic — in case you want to click on it and read the transcript. (Note: I also know that the transcript from the flight is posted in many places on the Internet. I just had not thought about that fact when I was trying to decide how best to do my work on this blog.)

Now for some of your e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Dear Greta,
I encourage you to post the transcript through a link. This would allow those who wish to read it the ability to do so. I do not wish disrespect to the families who lost loved ones on September 11th; however, I believe we have too quickly forgotten or disregard the attack on the U.S. that date. Best regards,
Vikki Weber

E-mail No. 2

I would like to read this transcript on you blog. It would give us a clearer picture of exactly what occurred on Flight 93.
Rosemary McKinney
Red Bank, NJ

E-mail No. 3

Love that you're entertaining differing points of view before deciding whether to post the Flight 93 transcripts. I personally would like to review them and I'm not one with a strong stomach for these things. I feel it's important we have the opportunity to hear what was going through the pilots' and/or hijackers' minds since we were able to hear those of the select passengers... However, FindLaw already has them posted.
Thanks for all your hard work.
Audrey Powell
Novi, MI

E-mail No. 4

As much as I dread hearing the tapes from Flight 93, I feel that as a nation we have put aside too easily the unbelievable horror that descended upon us that beautiful September day.
We must continue to be reminded that evil is very present in our world. This is not something that is over and done with, but an ongoing struggle which every American must resolve to win if we are to continue to be a free nation. Regards,
Pam Goodrow
Haydenville, MA

E-mail No. 5

I would love to see the transcript in your blog tomorrow for the following reasons:
So we don't forget what happened. I think when something has happened so long ago, we tend to forget and get lax in our ways of thinking. I hope to God the U.S. never gets lax again with security issues, etc.
It's history
Won't this be public information anyway? (Not sure on this)
Have a great day!
Judy Rieck
Fairview Park, OH

E-mail No. 6

Hi Greta,
I just read your blog, as I do every day, and I have an opinion as to whether or not you should post the transcript of the recording from Flight 93. I write this with the utmost respect for you and all you do.
It's just a transcript of the words said! If it were the actual recording, then maybe I could understand your dilemma, but sometimes you treat like us little kids out here! Thank you for your concern, and as tragic and terrible as it is, I think those of us who may "chose" to read it can handle it.
By the way, I never see you as "being against the men". You were very fair to Scott Peterson, Kobe Bryant, M.J., O.J., etc., etc. Sometimes maybe a little too fair. HA!
Thanks for all you do!
Patty Mathews
Claremore, OK

E-mail No. 7

Hi Greta,
I say go ahead and post the transcripts of the Flight 93 cockpit recordings. The events of this day are horrific but they will always be with us as part of our history. In posting the transcripts you allow those who read your blog to make the decision that best suits them. If a person feels they are too horrific then they can simply make the choice not to view the transcript. Besides, my guess is that other media outlets will post the transcript and thus they will be available anyhow.
As an aside, I am in my car stuck in traffic earlier today (yes, we do have that here too but on a much smaller scale) and I spied a most interesting bumper sticker on the car ahead of mine. It read "Don't get stuck on stupid." I immediately thought of Ted Justice Williams since I had never heard the phrase before his use of it on your show!

E-mail No. 8

Dear Greta,
I do not think that publishing the Flight 93 transcript in the blog will help at all in the healing process. Sometimes we do not need to be reminded of the horrifying consequences of the infliction of evil on others. Thank you for your consideration. I really enjoy your show and believe you to be an ethical and "thoughtful" person.
Hannah Bledsoe

E-mail No. 9

In my opinion, the best way we can honor those brave Americans who gave their lives for our country, is to be fully aware of all that they did, and remember how difficult it must have been for them — but despite that difficulty, they did not back down. To not view the transcripts, in my opinion, would minimize their courage, and would make it easier to forget their sacrifice. May we never forget!
Cynthia Hamilton
Fresno, CA

E-mail No. 10

I don't think it is a good idea to post the transcripts. We have many other reminders of that horrible day. I feel being allowed to read the last account of their final minutes only creates more pain especially for the families and allows for a "look at the car crash" mentality. Thanks for considering my opinion. Love your show.
Melanie M. Haslett

E-mail No. 11

I'm going to read it anyway as it will be all over the net soon. Why not save me the trouble of hunting around for it? I'm on your site several times a day anyways.
Let everyone else read it. Yes, it's horrible, but the public's memory has obviously faded over the last 4-1/2 years and needs a serious reminder in the reasons we're fighting a world-wide war on terror.
BTW, as a long-standing policy, the FTSB never releases audio from voice recorders from crashes, only transcripts, so the judge's order to release only a transcript doesn't mean much.

E-mail No. 12

Hi once again,
Of course you show the transcripts of flight 93. That's why FOX and other news organizations exist: .to report the news as it truly happened. If someone doesn't like it they can skip the blog for one day and probably stop watching your show to see what clothes or hairstyle you are using today.

E-mail No. 13

Definitely YES! Post the transcript of Flight 93. We need to be reminded over and over again of the devastation and heartbreak of Sept 11th. Whenever our resolve to win the war on terror flags, these reminders keep us going.
Sheila G.
Owatonna, MN

E-mail No. 14

Hi Greta,
My opinion is that they should be posted and I encourage you to do so. For those that don't want to see them, then they can skip that day's blog. I think it is important that all of America and the world should hear them. Without them there are no facts to back up opinions and I also think it is important that we know the truth about what went on, on that plane. Not only that, it keeps the memories alive and we can't forget those that suffered at the hands of hateful men. My 2 cents for what it's worth. I hope to see the transcripts on your blog.
Debbie B.
Portsmouth NH

After reading all your e-mails about the topic of posting the transcript from the cockpit, I have decided that the transcript should be posted for those who want to read it. Here is a link IF you want to read the transcript.

E-mail No. 15

Hi Greta,
I heard you say "Cuba" too, but I knew what you meant. We all make mistakes!
I like Katie and Meredith both, although I have more experience with watching Meredith. I wish them both well, and I know they will both do a great job in their new assignments. Both have been through hard times, and paid their dues. They deserve all the recognition.
Lastly, my humble opinion on the 911 transcript: I know that some would like to read it/hear it. I am not in that group. I feel that the last moments of this poor people should have remained private. In addition to coping with their tremendous losses, this must be so hard for the families to deal with. I'm just glad that if you do use it, it will only be posted to read. If it were played on your show, that would be one show I'd surely have to miss.
Jane R.
Baton Rouge, LA
P.S. I hope the Natalee lawsuit's legs get stronger and stronger. I pray for answers for her family.

E-mail No. 16

I love Meredith on anything that she is on, looking to her being on the Today Show. It will be a nice change, and she is a very competent woman. Love your show and I just started watching it and look forward to it.

E-mail No. 17

Dear Greta,
If you say Cuba instead of Aruba, you need to check with your physician. I am a registered nurse and I have seen that symptom often with patients pre-operative for aneurysms and brain tumors. I do not mean to alarm you or scare you, but it is better to be proactive and careful. Your doctor should order an MRI and CT Scan for you. You may need to get an angiogram as well.

E-mail No. 18

Do me a favor and see a doc about that Cuba/Aruba thing. You could have a brain aneurism or some form of clot. The fact that it didn't register to you right away suggests it is more deserving of tender loving care. I work as a nurse here in Dallas and our entire staff watches you every night and we are deeply concerned — the docs, the interns, the residents, the nurses, ALL OF US! We love you, Greta!
Justin Hanson

E-mail No. 19

Hey Greta,
I hope you aren't in the Potomac at Ted's hands but that name sure fits. I love it when Ted gets riled up and I do believe he is a man of conviction standing for truth and Justice and that his Mother must have known she had given birth to a really special person. I miss his funny, witty and to the point views when he's not on the panel.
Tell Ted Justice Williams to wear that name with honor as the honorable person that he is. Thanks.
Barb Christianson
Grand Junction, CO

E-mail No. 20

I heard you say Cuba too but didn't think a thing of it. The way that case is going it very well could move to Cuba for trial!
Lee's Summit, MO

E-mail No. 21

"Nothing gets by Greta." That's because it flies right over your head.
No, the Aruban authorities never bungled the Holloway investigation. From the very beginning, they adroitly covered it up. There was no way they were ever going to blame any crime on the privileged son of highly placed Dutch elite. No matter what. Don't you get it? It's crystal clear to anyone who is not brain dead.
Can you say, "cover up?"
Santa Clarita, CA

E-mail No. 22

Hi Greta,
Love your show. When you said Cuba last night, my first thought was "Cuba? Now that's a change of venue" — for a minute I thought I had missed something because I hadn't been watching the Aruba updates for a few days and things can change quickly.
Jennifer Dooley

E-mail No. 23

Hi Greta,
If anyone calls in a tip after watching the re-enactment and say yes they saw Natalee and Joran somewhere they would be wrong since Joran is a blonde Dutch and the person who played him is an Aruban. How ridiculous is that?
Still think they should go back to look at the three boys since they where the last seen with her. You know that as a lawyer.
Dave Sachno

E-mail No. 24

The University of Florida has not had any NCAA violations in years. My next-door neighbor at the time was cited for lots of violations. He was very wrong. He paid and the university paid. The coach was fired and he has been dead for several years. That whole nightmare was years ago. Our two major coaches, Urban Myer and Billy Donavan, have been cited for nothing. And Steve Spurrier wasn't either. So tell Bernie he is nuts. I graduated from there. It is an excellent school.
Vicky Wolsfelt

E-mail No. 25

Please ask Bernie to list the NCAA violations at the University of Florida, particularly those involving cocaine or other drugs that he alluded to. Otherwise, ask him to apologize.
Thank you,
Gene Menet

E-mail No. 26

Please tell Bernie that he can spare me the idiotic generalizations. My nephew, a senior at University of Miami, does not do cocaine; his fraternity brothers do not do cocaine; strippers, dope dealers, or junkies are not part of his inner circle. I graduated from FIU and I never met any of the above either. The closet criminal my nephew is anywhere near is unavoidable. The U.M. campus is close to O.J. Simpson's house; Floridians did not ask for him!
Love your show,

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