A Case of Mistaken Identity

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Yes, we made our flight back last night and the show aired from Washington, D.C., and not Florida. And today? The current plan is that the show airs out of Washington, D.C. tonight. My job is much easier when I can do the show out of Washington... not to mention more comfortable.

While I am on the topic of yesterday — and to give you a bit of an idea of the behind the scenes of the show — some woman came up to me in a Florida airport with a pen and a paper and said, "Ms. Cook, can I have your autograph?" She came up fast (she actually startled me since I did not see her coming) and the question understandably confused me. I must have looked confused because, before I could say something, she then said, “Aren’t you Ms. Cook?” I said, “No” and she quickly turned and left. My colleagues and I looked at each other and now wonder who Ms. Cook is.

Do you read the Hollywood Web site www.TMZ.com? I am flattered that the Web site links to www.gretawire.com. I should confess that Harvey Levin of TMZ.com is an old friend, so maybe the fix was in. I met Harvey years ago when we both covered the O.J. Simpson case. So many of us in competing networks or media platforms have worked together or know each other from covering big stories. People write about members of the media as though we are engaged in a fierce competition — and we are — but many of us are good friends. When we beat each other out for interviews, some have even been known to send congratulatory e-mails. While I would love to out those who do send those e-mails of congratulations, it would probably not sit well with their employers so you don’t get that information!

If you have been watching our show the last two nights, you have seen two parts of our multi-part interview with author Tina Brown. Tina has written a new book about Princess Diana called "The Diana Chronicles." You might want to pick it up and read it. I read the books of all authors before I interview them. Since I know that Tina is a clever writer, I expected to be greatly entertained by her writing style (and I was). What I didn't realize is how much new information I would learn from reading her book. Frankly, prior to reading her new book, I thought I knew almost everything about Princess Diana. I had read several other Princess Diana books and, over the years, I have done many shows on Princess Diana and thus my thought that I knew virtually all there was to know about her. Well, how wrong I was. "The Diana Chronicles" had lots and lots and lots of new information which it made it really fascinating to read and gave me a much greater appreciation of Princess Diana's life as well as the life of the Royals. So, if you are looking for a book to take to the beach… (and no, I don't get a "cut" of the profits by writing about the book here. I really enjoyed it.)

Now for some e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

Hi Greta,
My thoughts on the "Pants" judge are straightforward: This judge should be punished for the recent actions he took, and warned about future behavior. Based on what I have learned on FOX, he has consistently tried to take advantage of a legal system with known loopholes for his own betterment and at the expense (time and money) of others. He has no clear and obvious sense of integrity, without which he cannot command respect. Until his integrity returns, which I assume once existed for him to have been appointed a judge, he should not be allowed to preside over cases and judge others.
I enjoy the GretaWire everyday!
Marissa Crean
Glastonbury, CT

E-mail No. 2

I am curious. You spent 3 years getting a JD to become a tabloid Journalist? At CNN you were involved in political broadcasting and tonight your high moment was Paris Hilton? I know everyone has to make a living, but, seems you have the talent and education to do more than this.

ANSWER: I actually spent five years in law school… three years getting a JD and two years getting an LLM. Are you more scandalized? And here is more to shock you: I enjoy these stories. I sometimes find Paris Hilton stories a welcome relief from some of the more distressing stories we have to report. Plus, attention gets focused on issues like alcohol and driving, jail overcrowding, etc. This might make you feel better: We are not going to stay on Paris Hilton stories forever.

E-mail No. 3

I spent one nite in jail yrs ago. I was drunk (no car was involved). It was a shock!
Santa Fe, NM

E-mail No. 4

I agree with you about 99 percent of the time, but I think you are off a little on the Paris Hilton thing... I don't think she is a commendable person, or someone to look up to. I think she got what she deserved, she had no respect for the criminal justice system. Probably still doesn't. I also was not impressed with her aunts...I couldn't believe they compared her coming out of jail to Princess Diana in the tunnel...there is no comparison there. Keep up the good work on all the other stories...I think you are the best show out there! Hopefully we have heard the last of this story...
Christal Marshall

ANSWER: Here is my thinking: If she had done 4 days (like most others), I would think "Yes, she was punished appropriately." I believe she should have been punished. We can't have people ignoring the law. What has bothered me is that she had to do MORE time than most and that the city attorney seems to be "above the law." Note: I wrote "seems to be" since I think he is entitled to a fair hearing on the matter and evidence of criminal conduct must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

E-mail No. 5

Hi Greta,
I have long blonde hair extensions and the first thing I thought of for Paris was that she can make it 23 days without lifting them. But she will probably have to tie them back to cover the fact that they have loosed. 45 days would have been a disaster!
I can understand why she had to have it taken care of before the interview tomorrow.
By the way I am not a child I'm 45 years old and still think she got a rotten deal! 3 days in jail would have been fair since she let it get this far. She had the wrong attorney in the beginning. She needed to fight the original DUI because the alcohol count was right on the line.
Tell Harvey she is a REAL person! A little out there, but real. I think she goes to clubs to stay in the spotlight to sell her products and get acting parts.
He only has 12 on staff? Well, those 12 love to delete certain peoples posts!
Lanie Carole Mellas

E-mail No. 6

I incensed over your commitment to so much coverage of the Hilton family, who has the audacity to refer to their heiress as the Princess Diana of the U.S. Paris Hilton does not deserve the time you've given her, nor does she ever, until proven otherwise, deserve to be compared to the Duchess of Windsor, especially so close to the anniversary of her death. I'll be the first to admit I think the sentence(s) she was given was (were) egregious considering the crime(s) she committed, but that is where my compassion ends. Deliberate perpetuation of the myth of her "plight" in the slammer is tantamount to worship of a useless, vacuous and vapid idol. Please, I implore you, FOX, to cease and desist with the coverage of Paris Hilton. I, myself, am embarrassed over getting upset by this issue.
Sarah Benak

E-mail No. 7

I am very disappointed in the constant coverage of Paris Hilton, especially the post mortem from the family on her release from jail. How can any American feel sorry for her family only seeing her through glass or talking on the phone? Our concerns should be with the military service persons protecting our security. Their families can not see them through glass or talk frequently on the phone when they are overseas on foreign soil protecting us. Military families endure the separation for much longer than 23 days! Paris' family did not have to worry about life threatening harm at every minute. Paris did not have to endure exposure to harsh weather elements and hostile environments.
I hope you use your position in the media to help Americans focus on the important values of life. Maybe if Paris had focused on important values of life instead of party behaviors she would not have had to endure 23 days in a government facility. Our troops would probably enjoy 23 days home in a government facility if they could talk to and see their families. Of course we know they deserve MUCH better.
I. W.
Huntsville, AL

E-mail No. 8

I think the admin. judge is an idiot and a wee bit nuts. Needs to have his head examined at the very least. A friend once said, “suing someone for anything and any amount of money is the American way.” Perhaps I would ask for the amount of money to cover replacing the suit pants, but for cryin’ in a bucket, $50 million??
So, I have to stay awake tonite to find out where your excursion took you, eh? Okay! I can do that!
Lex Park, MD

E-mail No. 9

I was watching the interview about the murdered pregnant mom in Raleigh, NC, Jennifer Nielson and you asked her husband if the area she was in was a bad location, well it is. I have lived in Raleigh NC my whole life and once lived just walking distance from that location. The gas station where she was found is across the street from a farmers market and also Dorothea Dix Hospital, a mental hospital. That facility also houses men in drug rehab. There are several surrounding neighborhoods that house low income residents. Very, very bad neighborhoods. I was once in the drive-thru (during daylight hours) of the attached fast food restaurant that is off the gas station and a man approached my car and told me to give him my wallet, of course I drove off and have never went back. If you drive through that area at night you should lock your doors. It is no place for a young women. I have 3 driving teenage daughters and they better never go in that area. Even as an adult I still lock my car doors when traveling through that location. The gas station is off the main road a bit and not well lit. Also there is a train track right behind that gas station and that too could have been a route of entry and/or exit for the perpetrator. It is a very bad area in Raleigh. When I moved from that location 22 years ago it was going down hill then and has only got worse over the years. I was not surprised when I heard there was a murder there when it came on the news. I only pray they catch who did this.
Raleigh, NC

E-mail No. 10

Why don't you take up the case of the black female missing in Miami?
Dawnita Redd

ANSWER: Dawnita, we have done this story several times including having her parents on our air talking about it. We constantly check for updates so that we can update it for you. Last night was the most recent time. The police say there is no news. I wish there were news about her and good news, not bad news.

E-mail No. 11

You have not brought us up to date on all the Bahamas court cases most recently. What is going on? Wasn't Larry supposed to go back to court for the custody hearing with Virgie sometime in June?
And what's cooking with Anna Nicole's house that Howard is living in?
I'm glad Larry has his child, but I'd like to find out about these other unresolved issues as well.
Truly tired of hearing about Paris Hilton,
Monika Cash

ANSWER: The court in the Bahamas postponed the last custody hearing. Howard is still in the same house in the Bahamas.

E-mail No. 12

I have known the Davis family for about 7 years now, I first met Jessie when I hired her to work for me at the Radisson Hotel. Then Jessie dated my brother for 2 years, Jessie then lived with me and my two children for about a year. Jessie was a very sweet girl, I protected her and treated her as my own child when she lived with me. She was a very organized person and she was great with my children.
Jessie's family were also great people, Patty was such a strong mother that she inspired me with dealing with my children. At the time Whitney and Audrey were only 12 when I knew them. I am so impressed with Whitney and Patty's strength through this and how well Whitney is being the strong leader of the family thru this. This girl is only 20 and she composes her self so well. I break down every time I hear more news on the story and I think that Whitney was right when she said that this is how Jessie would have been if it would have happened to one of the other girls.
Whitney I am sure breaks down behind close doors but she holds it together so well in front of everyone and she is truly a great person.
My heart goes out to the Davis family and how they will pick up the pieces and go on from here.
Sarah Daniels

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