Surprise, Surprise

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This morning I am attaching a group of pictures that give you the inside look (behind the scenes?) of FOX News Channel's Chicago bureau. As you might know, last night our show came out of Chicago so I took the opportunity to snap some pics — click here to check out my photo essay. I suspect you will never get inside the bureau and thus the pics... each FOX bureau is so very different. I like the Chicago bureau... incidentally, I ran into Jeff Goldblatt last night as he was leaving for the day and I was arriving. So often we are simply talking to our correspondents remotely so it is nice to see them in person from time to time.

Here is some really behind the scene info: Did you see the desk I had in front of me last night? Recognize it? It used to be the desk we used in studio in Washington, D.C. We recently got a new desk in D.C. so that we could more comfortably add a third guest — thus we shipped the old desk to Chicago for their use. I confess: I was sort of happy to see the old desk and happy to see it being used. (By the way, no sooner did we get the bigger desk in D.C. that our need to add a 3rd guest dried up — go figure. I am sure a story will come around soon when we need three guests in D.C. on the set with me.)

For reasons I have never fully understood, studio furniture (in my opinion) is enormously expensive — I think grossly overpriced — so it made sense to ship the desk to Chicago after we got a new one in D.C.

The blog is short because I have to do something for a few hours and then jump a plane back to D.C. in time for tonight's show.

Now for some e-mails — E-mail No. 10 answers a question I had last night on the show:

E-mail No. 1

As someone who is married to a former "illegal" immigrant, I can give some insight to your posed questions on your blog:
1) He probably did not have a driver's license issued within the last 2 years. Many states have made it very hard to get a driver's license without many forms of identification after the Homeland Security Act was passed. If he has a legitimate one, then all he had to do was get a fake Green Card and Social Security card from someone on the street for about $200 and take it to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles (or whatever name it goes by in his state) prior to the before mentioned act passing and they would give him one if he could pass the test and no questions asked because they had no way to determine if his card and SSN were assigned to him.
2) This company hired him because of two reasons: He is cheap labor and he will do a job others won't do. I know this last statement is under debate with many people in the U.S. right now, but it still is true. I know a lot of people who "won't work at McDonald's" because they feel they are too good for that type of work. I tell them I worked in fast food and retail for 15 years so I am the wrong person to tell that to. People in this country have issues with working. Sorry, but it is true. I have worked two full-time jobs to pay my bills, but other people I know are too lazy to do this and would rather collect welfare. That is a bigger solution to the immigration problem than people realize. Make the people who CAN work and WON'T take these jobs, then immigrants couldn't get them. Many companies don't have the capabilities to check a SSN. Also, a lot of them will report the earned wages to the IRS and if there is a discrepancy, the IRS doesn't say anything to the employer about it. This is the case most of the time. This is how many of the illegals I know do it. The government doesn't follow up on this because this is money that goes unclaimed due to incorrect SSNs and they get to keep the money. That is billions of unclaimed funds every year for the government.
3) Pay a "coyote" $1500 to $2000 to get you back in. They walk you through Arizona for 10+ hours until a vehicle picks you up on a side road and takes you to Phoenix.
Just thought I would fill you in. This is long, so you don't need to post it. I just wanted give you insight from the "other" side.

E-mail No. 2

Dear Ms. Van Susteren,
I'm not certain that your illegal immigration hook on the drunk-driving story was the correct one. Would it have been better for this poor mother if her daughter had been killed by one of our garden-variety homegrown drunks? Because we do almost nothing to take away the car and throw away the keys for domestic killings. Why do we suddenly call for justice only when a case involves an illegal immigrant?
Your points are well taken: there's no way this man should have been in this country at all. But I am disgusted that we value our right to drive so much that we are willing to endanger others on a routine basis. I once watched a young woman die on a highway — trapped in her car by a drunk driver who had run her off the road. I watched passersby frantically try to stop the fire that started from the accident, then watched them forced to back off as everything caught fire. The man who killed her, I later learned, was a chronic drunk who had numerous convictions. And get this: he wasn't even jailed for killing this girl! Yes, we should work very hard to get illegals off our roads, but we won't solve the problems until we are willing to take a hard look at ourselves and our own values.
Lynne Murnane

ANSWER: I guess the difference is that there were many chances to remove him from the country... and had he been removed and KEPT OUT this would not have happened.

E-mail No. 3

Hi Greta,
The story of the illegal immigrant driver killing the woman puts me in a "blaming" frame of mind: The entire Mexican immigration steamroller was begun with Reagan's amnesty program to reward the business interests. It got out of control then and it will take more courage than we see now in Washington to stop it.
Louis G. Vargo
Lake Forest, CA

E-mail No. 4

Not only do we need to do something about the illegal immigration but we have a serious drunk-driving problem period. I don't understand how anyone, legal or illegal, can have so many drunk-driving charges and still have a license. It's not all that uncommon. So one wonders why they keep getting their charges changed, dropped or just given 2nd and 3rd chances.
By the way, I inherited a turtle (Red Ear Slider) from my sister when she got married. She had gotten it as a gag gift for her 21st birthday but the thing never would die (he finally did after 23 years). Anyway, I always thought it was a male but saw an article in some magazine that said you can tell the sex by the rings on the bottom side of shell. Well, after this turtle had been in the "family" for over 20 years we found out that he was actually a she. Gee, now that I written all of this I must say I bet you're just ecstatic to learn about this stupid turtle. Oh well, I'll send this anyway and perhaps you'll get a chuckle out of it.
Lee's Summit, MO

E-mail No. 5

Madonna was apparently exempted from Malawi's adoption rules because she was "trying to do the right thing," and because she threw some money around. How do actions like that affect the world's efforts to stop trafficking of children for labor, sex, etc.? If she can get away with it, what's to keep anyone from waving around money and promising to provide a better life for children, then shipping them off to a life of servitude and abuse?
Thanks for the great work you do.
Michael Parnell
North Little Rock, AR

E-mail No. 6

My younger brother (Sean Pearce) was killed by a hit-and-run driver July 2005. It is thought that two cars hit my brother... that means there are two COWARDS in that small county of Indiana, PA. One of the cowards was apprehended this past August. He admitted to being drunk and to hitting my brother, but we still have to go to trial, etc. This "coward" has a past of drug and alcohol abuse and is only 21 years-old (was 20 when he killed my brother). 3 days after killing my brother he went on to rob churches in the county.
People these days have no respect for human life. He told the cops that he lost a few nights sleep but moved on. I cannot understand how people can sit back and watch the news....see our faces pleading for answers...and not do a thing about it.
PLEASE do a segment on hit-and-runs across the U.S. I am a co-moderator at I watch the forum daily and help others cope with their losses as they help me cope with mine. Hit-and-run is a growing epidemic... it needs to be brought to the forefront of people's minds.
Thank you!
Shannon Leigh Anderson

E-mail No. 7

Greta, tell Doocy that me and my wife have been married 38 years, except for the three months that she actually divorced me for fishing too much, I think there's a country song about us. By the way, she was 16 and I was 18. We now have two children and five grandchildren....

E-mail No. 8

It is great to see somebody who believes in their marriage like he does! My wife and I have been married 36 years. We married at 15 years old and after all these years the love has never diminished a bit! Steve gets "IT" he knows the answer the same as I do. It is all a matter of give and take and a lot of careful understanding and honesty. Most of all and the hardest, admitting when you were wrong. God loves ya, Steve!
Greta, love your show don't miss it if at all possible Keep the good insight to news coming. Johnny Holt
Bradley, IL

E-mail No. 9

I am watching your show and Steve is on there about his book. My husband and I have been married 34 years. I am 53 and Jerry is 54. We met in high school and over the years we have definitely decided that we are a rare couple in this day and time. My parents have been married 60 years and were married at the ages of 15 and 16. Jerry's parents were married 53 years when his mother passed away. I guess you would think that it runs in the family. My husband was asks once what he attributed our long marriage to and he told them that it was mutual confusion. Anyway, I still get goose bumps when Jerry hugs me and I am truly very happy and so is he. That is not to say that things have always been easy but we made a decision a long time ago that we always wanted to be together and that we loved each other more than anything else. I truly can not imagine my life without Jerry and our children.
Greensboro, NC

E-mail No. 10

Purgatory Flats outside St. George, Utah. The red rock cliffs visible from the jail and the flats contain what geologists refer to as Purgatory sandstone. So it seems logical that the name came from the stone.
S. Lantz
Brazil, IN

Finally, the worst story of the day/week:

Wyo. man accused of lying about child's death, then pocketing $1,300 in donations

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