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I get lots of e-mails asking me when our correspondents covering the war — like Jennifer Griffin — sleep. Frankly, I don't know. I suspect they are pretty weary at this point, but they never complain. In fact, I am in constant e-mail contact with each of them and it is always about their work and what they are doing and what I can expect at 10 p.m. ET. It is interesting, during the Gulf War we were all amazed by the fact that technology (TV) could bring us right to the war. In this war, not only do we have television, but behind the scenes we are in instant e-mail connection with our correspondents. They are working around the clock, but they realize — more than anyone else since they are there — that this is an important story.
Since I promised some behind the scenes, on Friday night I was in FOX News' New York City bureau and happened to walk past the area where Geraldo's team works. As you may know, Geraldo's show is no longer on FNC but on FOX Broadcast — hence the different work area from the rest of us. The door to his show's work area was open and since it was way after hours, I walked in, took a look around and discovered a vacant work space. Since no one was there, I took out my camera and snapped away… so today I post those pictures. Note in one pictures you can see that a TV was left on and Shepard Smith is seen reporting from Israel. By the way, I was told that Geraldo's entire team is moving to another floor in the New York bureau.
Are you curious what was on the list of topics discussed in the D.C. green room last night by the various people and employees that came and went while I was there? It can be quite a variety of topics that get discussed so I thought I would give you a sample: war, Israel, war, Syria, war, Lebanon, war and more war (clearly lots of war), Rocky Bleier, Vietnam, football, divorce, blogs, travel schedules, a gay and lesbian fundraiser, Teresa Heinz's remark to a Pittsburgh newspaper during election 2006, a prayer breakfast, Senator Specter, Senator Kerry, Mel Gibson, the mayor of Baltimore, cheerleaders, Mayor Giuliani, Governor Ridge, frying pans, Senator Feingold, weird politics (as opposed to non-weird), high school (yes, high school!), election 2008, President Ford, clothes, Castro, Nixon, former Representative Harold Froehlich, cheerleaders and all state basketball championships. In other words, the green room discussion may be a bit like what you discuss with your friends: rather diverse. I won't tell you who said what about what... and I won't tell you in what context some of these topics were discussed.
Since it can be valuable to take a look at ourselves from time to time, here is a question for you: Are you a bigot or do you know someone who is? You might want to review the definition of "bigot": One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ (from www.dictionary.com). You might want to review the definition of "intolerant": 1) unwilling to tolerate difference of opinion 2) narrow-minded about cherished opinions (also from Dictionary.com). E-mail me your answer — I may post it.
Now for some e-mails. Yesterday I solicited e-mails about Mel Gibson (what you would like to say to him) and I was flooded with responses. Here are some of those responses. Incidentally, in my view, he has much "explaining" to do.
E-mail No. 1
You wrote: If you could catch Mel Gibson alone — in an off the record conversation — what would you say to him? Please e-mail me — I may post your e-mail.
I thought we had freedom of speech in this country. I am pretty sure I am entitled to hate Jews or blacks or gays or Republicans or whatever group I might choose to hate for whatever reason. However, I am not entitled to beat them or discriminate against them or harass them. All Mel did was express his opinion. Maybe he is anti-Semitic and if so, that is okay as long as he doesn't break the law in some way by breaking a jaw. The rhetoric in the media is that if someone has any preference or opinion about any group then they are racist and horrible and evil. Much of what is said about these groups is true. Cliches don't get to be cliches for no reason. Ever heard that Jews control the media? Who has a lot of power in the media? Barbara Walters? Larry King? Steven Spielberg? I don't have time to continue the list, but you get my point. In my book Mel didn't do anything wrong to express his opinion and if he hates Jews or people with brown eyes or people over 6'1" that is his right and he owes no apology.
E-mail No. 2
Love your show and watch nightly. What disturbs me most about the Mel Gibson fiasco is that people are missing the most important issue. Yes, what he said while under the influence of alcohol were terrible things, but those were just words. What really gets me is that he was driving drunk and could have taken a life, or many, in the process. Why are people more upset over words spoken by a drunken fool than the possibility of precious lives being lost because of his careless behavior? Surely a person of his wealth would have other means of transportation. And don't get me started on those women he was partying with now making the rounds on the talk show circuit. Whatever happened to NOT ALLOWING a person in his state to get behind the wheel, friend or not? If a loss of life would have occurred, I would feel they were as much to blame.
E-mail No. 3
Who cares what Katy or Mel does? Why use up the Internet with garbage like that. Folks get a life! Tell me something interesting something I can learn from. I am 70 years old and I am still learning. If the airline was that stupid to hold the airline let me know which one it was and I will tell all my traveling friends and family. As far as Mel Gibson is concern, People seem to forget he has a wife and six children. He should get whatever the California law dictates. No special treatment.
E-mail No. 4
People: Half the world is killing each other, I just paid $3.10 for a gallon of gasoline, so I could give a rat's petuti [sic] about the alcoholic rantings of Mel Gibson. Pithy enough?
E-mail No. 5
To blame alcohol for his comment, who are thousands of miles away, is a cop out. The truth is, when he was sober, he was afraid to express his prejudice against the Jews and then, the alcohol made him courageous to spew out his hatred. If his apology is serious, I'd rather have him live in Haifa, Israel while the bombs are dropping so that he will realize what these Jews are going through.
Domingo, Edgar A.
E-mail No. 6
I am more interested in the Walker murder than what an actor, Mel Gibson or any other actor for that matter, has to say or do.
But, here goes: Mel, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, Oh Boy, sigh, What where you thinking getting into a car after downing half a bottle of Tequila? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, (on the floor now) ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ha, ha, ha, ha, ha (rolling over) ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha (can't stand up) ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, who-whee! That was a pretty stupid thing to do and then to spout off like that. I guess retirement is something you wanted to consider, Right?
E-mail No. 7
Regarding all your blogs today: Maybe we all need the "Mel Gibson story" because we are so stressed about what's going on in the Middle East? We don't have an answer for the Middle East — but getting into a car "drunk" after people offered to drive you home? Easy answer! Maybe it's makes a lot of people feel better about their own shortcomings? A public figure, who looks like he has everything... still struggles, just like we do? I wish everyone could "take a deep breath and walk in the other person's shoes" for a few minutes.
San Diego, CA
E-mail No. 8
I would explain to Mr. Gibson the circumstances surrounding my daughter's death by a drunk driver.
Amanda was hit by a drunk driver going 70 mph in a 35 mph zone at 3:00 in the afternoon. I would ask him how would he feel if in his drunkenness he had caused the death of someone in the prime of their life. I would show him her last picture at 17 and ask if his good time would be worth someone losing their life. I would explain to him how much I miss her everyday.
E-mail No. 9
I'm going to share with you what I would say to Mel Gibson if I got him alone for an off-the-record interview. My first question would be, "What were you thinking?!" I would want to know why he thought he could go out partying and not have any problems. I've read a lot of the e-mail comments from viewers where they stated that people say all kinds of crazy things when they're drunk and they are picking on Mel because he's supposedly a Christian. (There is a big difference between a church goer/contributor and a true Christian, as I have found out recently.)
I don't drink, but if I did and got drunk, I'm sure I wouldn't come out with hateful, anti-Semitic garbage like Mel did. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus said, "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." I would ask Mel what is really in his heart about Jews. If he is truly sorry, I would ask him if he was willing to show that in a tangible way, instead of with just words. (They don't always mean a whole lot.) He could donate some time to a Jewish charity or something like that to show he is truly sorry.
At this point, I think he needs to do more than just say he's sorry. I would question him about his father and ask if he shared those same beliefs about Jews. If he doesn't, I would ask him to publicly denounce all anti-Semitism, including that of his father. That's just some of the things I would ask if I had an interview with Mel.
E-mail No. 10
What I'd say... Hey Mel, love your work, love your eyes, loved your rear in "Lethal Weapon," don't really care what kind of comments you made when you were drunk — but don't be an idiot and drink and drive. You may kill/hurt yourself or worse yet, someone else. And now let's get over it.
E-mail No. 11
My understanding is that the difference between alcohol and "drugs" is that alcohol releases your inhibitions and reveals your true self, while narcotics alter your perceptions and responses. Therefore, his speech while drunk is the "true Mel."
I am ashamed to have defended him during the "Passion of The Christ" controversy. I still believe that the movie is not anti-Semitic; placing the blame on a cabal of corrupt Jewish priests, and a Roman occupation that insisted that their deities, including deceased emperors and their families, be worshipped throughout the empire. Conversely, Gibson himself, and his father, appear to be anti-Semitic.
I have been looking forward to "Apocolypto" and may still go see it.
E-mail No. 12
"The Passion of Mel Gibson" is very well documented in L.A. police files. Is it not?
E-mail No. 13
Why is everyone making such a big deal out of what happened to Mel Gibson? Unfortunately people say mean things at times; either drunk or not drunk. He said something mean while he was drunk. Who knows what happened prior to him drinking, whose business is it anyway!
He said something mean and he apologized for it. Actually, I feel he went a little overboard apologizing. All he needs to say, if anything at all to the public, is "I apologize." He doesn’t need to go to the head of the Jewish community or Jesus Christ or anyone else.
People need to just get over it and move on.
Pam Z. Stonski
E-mail No. 14
If I spoke with Mel off the record I'd say: "You screwed up, buddy. You know you live in the fish bowl with everyone watching. If it had been me, nobody would even care. You, however, are front page news and now your career will likely take the hit for your indiscretions. It's not fair. Nor is it fair that you make a disproportionate amount of money per movie while the rest of us struggle to just get by. But that's the hand that's been dealt. That's Hollywood, babe."
P.S. Loved you in "Lethal Weapon."
E-mail No. 15
Mr. Gibson, I am so disappointed in you. You have always been a respected public figure, which was solidified with the making of "The Passion of the Christ." I realize that these actions do not mean that you're not a Christian — it means that you are a person, a person who does things wrong at times — just like everyone else. However, similar to pastors, priests, people in public office, etc., your life, because of the work that you have done, is held up to public scrutiny. Very unfortunately, not only have you severely damaged your own reputation, but you have caused people who reject Christianity to believe that they are justified in doing so. I think that is much more of a grave issue than anything else regarding this offense. I also think that things said while drunk probably are issues of the heart for you. It would be a good idea to re-think your thoughts on the Jewish people because, according to the Holy Bible, they are still God's Chosen People.
E-mail No. 16
Apology accepted man, forget it... I love your work!
E-mail No. 17
Thanks for the link to the Depeche Mode article. Their reasons for canceling their Tel Aviv appearance are substandard as far as I am concerned. Their production staff wants rockets dropped on Tel Aviv... how evil can they get? Israel is defending their country after the kidnapping of their own soldiers, as they have a right to do. How do they figure rockets should be dropped on Tel Aviv?
Furthermore, the fans in Tel Aviv could probably use a diversion from all the violence and I am sure they are extremely disappointed. Depeche Mode would do well to look at artists like Paul McCartney, Neil Diamond and other entertainers who supported the people of New York and D.C. following the 9/11 attacks by writing songs, performing concerts and contributing what they could to lift the spirits of those who were suffering. The days of musicians supporting those in harms way (i.e. the USO) are clearly gone.
Laguna Niguel, CA
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