An 'On the Record' First

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Here is an "On the Record" first: As soon as I thanked Bill Kristol after the D segment and went to break last night, my senior producer said in my earpiece: "We just found out our next guest has gone into labor. Don't worry… we have a replacement." The guest — Natosha Davis — was intending to come on our show and talk about her mother, Peggy Merrimon, who is missing in Texas.

The labor did not begin in a studio (she was to be a phoner at her home). Needless to say, we were a bit surprised to learn about the labor. No one had mentioned it to us when she was booked earlier in the day that she was even pregnant.

We learned about the labor when our staff called her just minutes before the segment with Bill Kristol ended so that we would have her on the phone ready after the break for the start of her segment.

Fortunately for us, her brother answered the phone when we called and said he would handle the phone interview. The family was anxious for the segment to go forward since they want details about their missing mother to be made known in case someone has information.

As an aside: What a tragedy that Natosha's mother is not home to share in the joy of the birth of her grandchild.

I assume you have been following or know that John Mark Karr has been arrested in connection with the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. Two people — John Karr's brother Nate, and family friend George McCrary — have given FOX News information and/or interviews. I have posted some pictures of both these gentlemen taken by a FNC producer Shayla Bezdrob. Click here to check out the pics.

In case you wonder if I have simply dropped the Natalee Holloway case, the answer is no. I want to end this story, but I would like to complete it if possible. I am in constant contact with our show's many sources, including Natalee's family and all the lawyers for the many people involved in the story.

Next week many of us at FNC hit the road (again!) We are all headed back to the Gulf States, New Orleans, etc., on the one-year anniversary of Katrina. Last year at this time we all began making plans to go cover some storm that was called Katrina. I doubt any of us realized what kind of storm it would end up being. We heard category 4 or 5, but it did not really impinge upon me what it could do. It just seemed like a routine hurricane scare — we had done the drill many times before. Yes, I had respect for hurricanes, but had no idea how bad it could really be. Needless to say, I had a rude awakening. I suspect the entire country feels the same.

FNC went full throttle covering Katrina. FNC gave us the green light to get the story out and we did. I appreciate my network's attitude: cover the story, do what it takes... and we did.

We had camera people, satellite people, truck operators, producers, audio people, correspondents, anchors, etc., all over the region. FNC spared nothing to get the story out. (As an aside, every news organization did this. We all worked very hard to get the story out and we also worked hard to help rescue people, get them food, shelter, etc.)

While the conditions were bad for us in the media, it was nothing like the suffering of the people who lived in the region hit by Katrina. We saw them. We also saw the dead — some just floating by — people crying for help from roofs, animals crying… I could go on and on and on, but I know you saw it because our cameras showed you. We had it so easy compared to the residents of the area.

My colleague Shep slept under an overpass for some of the time. I had it better, I had real "luxury" — a bus. You can imagine how bad it was for most people if we were thrilled with those accommodations. We knew we had it great, plus, after we left, we knew we would go home to our homes which were/are in one piece. The people who lived in the area had no such future.

I write this not to brag — I think it's very bad manners to try and wear this one on one's sleeve. No one should be taking credit for covering something that is so important and that is simply our job. There was way too much suffering by too many. But I mention this to once again emphasize how important it was to all of us in the media to get the story out to you. The suffering people experienced at Katrina's hands is truly beyond words… and even beyond video. If the American people don't know the facts, they can't make the right decisions about how to address all the problems associated with this hurricane and future ones.

I do want to say one thing: I know that you see us who are on air covering these stories, but it would be wrong to think we do it alone. In fact, there are literally hundreds and hundreds of others who are not on camera who get you to the scene of these important stories. Every time you see someone on TV, assume there are at least 20 people making it happen — some right there on the spot with us and some back in our news bureaus and control rooms. This is not a one-man band — it is a team project as always.

There is one other thing to note about a story like this: There are literally hundreds and hundreds (thousands?) of print reporters (and still photographers) who you don't get to see who did extraordinary work covering the story to get you this news. You never get to know them because the print medium does not make stars out of these hard-working journalists. The print people worked very hard, did fabulous work and deserve a "shout out" from those of us on camera who often get all the attention. I read their work… it was nothing short of amazing. Many of the print journalists write so well that even if you were not there, you felt like you were. This was important since those who really suffered through Katrina needed to have the rest of the nation really understand.

Now for some of your e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

What's the big deal with rating the best party colleges? Isn't college a place of learning, discussing and debating ideas rather than a time for binge drinking and out of control sex.
Since the mind doesn't develop reasoning until about age 24 maybe we should have college begin at age 24.
Mary Anderson
Honolulu, HI

E-mail No. 2

I found your interview with the reporter who flew back to the U.S. with John Karr so insightful and informative. I was so impressed with your questions of absolute irrelevance. You forgot to ask how many times John Karr went to the lavatory and whether he did No. 1 or No. 2. I really felt the answers to those questions would have been the highlight of informative investigative reporting.
Keep up the good work.
Charles Leavitt

ANSWER: Charles, I am so happy that you watched… and that you spent your time sending this e-mail. I know you are very busy and thus it was a sacrifice to draft it and press "send."

E-mail No. 3

I have always valued your opinion since the O.J. debacle. But, after watching you today talking about that Fruitcake Karr, I have lost some respect for you. You sat there and talked about how to defend a weirdo like him with such passion in your voice, and talk about how other defense attorneys would or should defend him, but in reality, people like him that are "high profile" are the only ones that get such a passionate defense. People who don't go out and "confess" to a heinous [sic] crime don't get the same type of defense. From the public defenders office all the way up to the highest paid attorneys could care less. Their only passion is publicity and money. The police and D.A.'s make mistakes all the time, and even if someone is actually not guilty, to have an attorney be that passionate doesn't happen. And to see all the attorneys appear on TV and talk the "big talk" makes me sick. I know it makes for good ratings, but give us normal people a break and talk to us in TV land as if you would a real client, and save the theatricals for the Cowboy attorneys.
Johnny L. Pry Sr.
Fremont, NE

E-mail No. 4

John Mark Karr = BOGUS
Lynn Kidd

E-mail No. 5

I would like info on Mr. Williams, please? If I ever got in big trouble I told my wife he was my first choice for attorney. He's GREAT! I hope I don't ever need him, but he would be my man! Any Web sites or e-mail address, I would like any info available.
Mike Floyd

E-mail No. 6

I say polygamy is a "crime against humanity" for several reasons. First, it is the overall effect it has on the respect and lack thereof for females. It has as much, if not more, effect on females as property, as prostitution does. It lends itself to a bondage mentality.
Second, it reduces the number of women available for healthy relationships. And third, it reduces the gene pool. This is perhaps has the most dramatic effect on humanity overall.

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