Thirty-Second Decision

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The showdown in Connecticut is today: Will Sen. Lieberman win or lose? You need to watch FOX News for the latest on this down to the wire race.

If you watched the show on Monday night, you know I asked Yaakov Katz, a reporter with the Jerusalem Post, how many Israelis died, but did not ask him about the number of Lebanese deaths. It was my last question to him before the segment ended — the "hard break" segment — and I went to break.

Do you know why I only asked about the Israeli deaths and did not ask him about the number of Lebanese who died? Because he finished his answer to my second to last question to him with 30 seconds left to the hard break. I needed to use that 30 seconds since I did not want to simply thank him and stare into space for 30 seconds. Thirty seconds is eternity to just sit there… and if I ended the segment you would hear 30 seconds of our theme music. I needed to "use" those 30 seconds.

Since it was the hard break, if he went over 30 seconds the computer would cut him off very unceremoniously. I knew the answer elicited about the number of Lebanese deaths would be long (it is complicated figuring out the number of deaths in Lebanon and the number is significant), so I asked the question that would provoke the short answer (less than 30 seconds.)

I did not neglect to ask about the Lebanese deaths because I don't care or think their loss is not important — it is. Their loss of life is very important and tragic. I had time for only one more question and I was practical but some might think, absent this explanation, insensitive.

Incidentally, do you know how I know the time left in a segment? My stage manager holds up a sign next to the camera. The time cues he uses are routine: 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30, 15... and then he uses his fingers when it gets down to five. The signs for the hard break also say, for example, "30 hard," so that I don't forget.

Some anchors get their cues via their earpieces. I don't like to get them that way since if the producer talks, even to say something so short as "one minute," the guest audio gets cuts out and I want to hear everything the guest says at all times.

I have a question for you: Do men get cheated in divorce court? E-mail me — I may post your answer.

Now for some e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Hi Greta,
I'm not sure why you posted Richard's e-mail (E-mail No. 6) in today's Wire, but now I want to hear from "Mrs. Richard" and hear her side of this story. I'll bet you that Pasco Co., FL, is about to have a mysterious disappearance, or worse yet: another alligator attack victim found.

E-mail No. 2

That story of the poor man in Florida is just what happens to often. I do wish that lawyers were more interested in the guy's situation than in the money. Too many lawyers are only interested in the bottom line.
The lawyers are like a lot of things that you can't live without. But I surely wish we could.
Jay Roach

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta,
I think on Tuesday, we are going to witness a shocker.
Given the latest developments in the Middle East, and the ongoing violence, I think it's becoming all too clear to our fellow citizens, that it was a gross error to involve ourselves in the Middle East via Iraq.
Sadly, I think Joe Lieberman will not win his party's support. Congress just doesn't get it. The next few primaries and elections are going to be very interesting.
Nancy Hagen
Leesburg, FL

E-mail No. 4

I have no idea what Linda Vander Haagen was talking about in her e-mail regarding Geoff Fieger. It is always a thrill for me when I find out he is going to be joining your "panel." His smile is so infectious and he always has a solid viewpoint on whatever the topic may be. He adds just the right amount of humor, insight and legal information to make the show very interesting. I hope you can have him on more often. As you say, I might not always agree with him, but that is not the point of your show. Keep up the good work! Love your show.
Greensboro, NC

E-mail No. 5

There is no justice when it comes to a man and woman with children divorcing. I am a woman (second wife). My husband and I tried desperately to get custody of his two young children only because they would have had a better life and upbringing with us. Nothing made a difference to the judges — all they were concerned with was the child support payments, which do not end at 18, but continue into college (education for which we paid). There is no accounting for any of the money sent to the ex-wife — and in most cases the bulk of it is not used for the children. Many times, my husband wondered if it wouldn't just be more fair to quit his job then no one would have anything — not logical, but in moments of anger it seems like an alternative. But now I have to wonderful adult stepchildren who love and respect both their father and me. At least no matter what was going wrong in their lives, they always knew that there was sanity and tranquility and help for them from us — as far as their mother, once the obligation was over, we all became "friends" — I even invited her to my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary.
Thanks for the update on Valerie Voss — we used to watch her every morning for the weather, then she got married and shortly after disappeared.
Peg Pfaff

E-mail No. 6

Dear Greta,
Geoff Fieger is one of our favorite people. I sure hope you keep him on the show which we are sure you will! Also I feel terrible for Natalee's parents. I would not even think of going to Aruba!
Mary and friends
Hadley, MA

E-mail No. 7

Dear Greta,
After reading the news reports on the captured Phoenix Snipers, I am baffled. Why would acquaintances of these murders say they appeared as "normal" citizens? Some of the acquaintances of these snipers actually made excuses for their behavior such as: "Well, the tragic lose of their child may have triggered a deep seated emotional reaction"; "They seemed normal, but a little quiet at times"; "They were model citizens." The truth is, they were antisocial psychopaths. I just don't get it! Can you address this issue on your show?
Peter Cornwell
Austin, TX

E-mail No. 8

I think that the Mr. Nifong was wrong to bring this case without evidence. If you remember the Black Panther representative that appeared on your show stated that he saw all the evidence and the Duke players were guilty. Now what reason did Mr. Nifong have to show any evidence to the Black Panthers. I think the case needs to be removed out of the area. I think the stunt was for re-election and push by the Black Panthers.
Jeanne Haisch O'Fallon

E-mail No. 9

Since the DA clearly has no case and the evidence begins to point more and more at the DA as using the case for his own political gain, at what point is there consideration of criminal charges, or at least civil charges, against the DA for the ongoing damages being piled upon the defendants in this case?
David C. Pearce, MD

E-mail No. 10

Dear Greta,
Just got back from Aruba from our yearly vacation there. This time was so different. I think Natalee Holloway is getting back on them.
Apparently the island is inundated with crime due to drugs. My husband and I have been going there for over 12 years and have always felt safe until now. We were robbed of over $3000 worth of stuff on the beach last week during our visit.
They try so desperately to keep it secret — I learned this from the natives. However, the week before us there was another robbery on the beach — denied by the management of our resort (of course, due to public relations, etc.) Two days after we were robbed, so were my friends. A couple we met were robbed at the Lighthouse while visiting the beach! Three natives told me their homes were broken into! The crime is rampant on the island and word needs to get out. We type messages on the Aruban message boards to warn people and they do not get posted.
I had the pleasure of taunting Deepak Kalpoe at his place of business and then seeing Joran van der Sloot in the old Wyndham casino the night he was freed from the NY lawsuit. He walked in there with such arrogance that I wanted to punch him out! People in the casino that work there patted him on the back with such celebration it made me sick! The island reeks of corruption! The natives speak of Beth Twitty as a drunken slut who fixed the whole story. I met her last year late at night and she was sober as sober can be!
I have been going to Aruba for so many years — it was my home away from home. However, after being robbed on the beach, meeting Deepak and seeing Joran in action, I am totally confused! It is obvious (and spoken by the natives) that the government is so corrupt. I no longer feel safe in Aruba. How is it that Natalee is missing and these arrogant, low-life a__holes are walking free!
Donna Bykowski
Oakland, NJ

Check out this story — and vote:

Woman's 10-Year-Old Plate Now Called Obscene

Finally, check out some articles that caught my attention:

Assembly scales back bill to promote homosexuals in textbooks

N.Y. Sen. Clinton says voters will decide Lieberman's fate

Pilot settles suit against feds who had blocked license upgrade

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