Achtung Spam!

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Jim Hammer keeps pounding me to go to the Michael Jackson (search) trial. (What he may not realize is that if I go, I will take his FOX pass for the courtroom!) I may go out at some time but since Jim and Laura are so good at being our "eyes and ears," I am not sure what extra value I will bring to going. I am trying to "burn the candle" at both ends and keep them in position at the trial and let me attend to other topics. If I had been in California last week, I would not have been able to jump the plane for Illinois to investigate the scene of the double murder of those two little girls.

Our job is a constant juggle — it is obviously impossible to be in two places at once. It doesn't help that at the end of the day I have to be in a fixed position — in a studio or near a satellite truck. It seems that many of our discussions on the show are about logistics. It is one thing to identify the segment topics, another to get the guests ... but still another to figure out where I should be. (Incidentally, most viewers think my "home" is the New York studio. It is not — my "home" is the D.C. bureau.) As you read Monday's blog, the plan is that I will be in D.C. all week long. But, as you know, in this business, nothing is static — I could find myself "on the road" at any time.

I have received several e-mails about the Teri Schiavo (search) autopsy report and why we are not talking about it or reporting it. As of this moment, it still is not released. As soon as it is released, the plan is to discuss it (I will have Dr. Baden review it for us.) I am not convinced that it must take this long to complete the report ... it seems to me that it should have been done within a week but maybe I just don't understand what goes into completing an autopsy and the report.

For reasons I don't quite understand, I woke to about a billion e-mails in our show account in German. (OK, maybe not a billion ... but lots of them!) Since my German is lousy/non-existent, I deleted them in one huge delete action. I tried to make sure I did not delete viewer e-mail but if I deleted your note, I am sorry. No sooner did I begin my delete action that I got this internal e-mail from the IT Department:

"The IT Department is aware of the German spam (search) that is currently being e-mailed to us. We are working on blocking the e-mails. We'll update while the issue is being resolved."

It looks like I am not the only one getting the e-mails!

Here are the e-mails that I received — in English:

E-mail No. 1

Greta doesn't know how to ask a question. Do you know, and can you tell us, questions can only be answered yes or no! She is trained in law she should know how to do it correctly! Phrase the question the right way to get the right answer. And she is just as bad as the dippy "DaySide" babe, ask pertinent germane questions not stupid stuff! FOX should be better than that! Are you trying to cater to the illiterate or to the educated who can read? I realize the numbers or not in favor of the later. And that's a sorry thing for this country, as it will be our demise!
Anita Wehner

ANSWER: I am content to have Anita e-mail her opinion about me. However, perhaps Anita should compare her own work experience and education with that "dippy 'DaySide' babe" before she fires off e-mails. She is no doubt referring in her e-mail to my colleague Linda Vester who not only graduated college magna cum laude, but has an honors diploma from the Sorbonne and was a Fulbright Scholar of Middle East affairs in Egypt.

Hmm ... who are you putting your money on as "dippy?" Anita or Linda? Comparing the two, I put my money on Anita. (Click here to read Linda's bio.) For some reason, I think the odds are that someone wasting her time sending an e-mail like she did is more indicative of being "dippy" than Linda. Perhaps Anita should find a more productive way to spend her time.

P.S. I promise not to spend my time correcting Anita's sentence structure in her e-mail although it is tempting! OK, there is one thing I cannot resist: Anita, you mean "latter" and not "later" in your e-mail. I bet that "dippy 'Dayside' babe" knows the correct word is "latter" and not "later." She is not that "dippy!"

E-mail No. 2 — from Laura Ingle inside the Michael Jackson courtroom in Santa Maria, California:

Wow! Mark Geragos (search) came strolling in like man without a care in the world ...

At the morning break, waiting for jurors to come in, Geragos glided up to the defense table (this is a witness!), started smiling at lawyers and shaking hands. Goes up to Michael, puts his left hand on his shoulder, shakes his right hand, smiles starts talking to him. Michael starts talking with his hands in an animated way, like he's trying to explain something to him. Mark then breezes by the lectern, over to the D.A. side, talks to Sneddon and smiles. Geragos is all over the well of the courtroom, making himself at home like it's his living room! He walks over to witness stand, deputy comes over to tell him where to sit until called.

I've never seen anything like this.

E-mail No. 3

Dear Greta,
Your viewers need to know that the judge who accepted the plea bargain and sentenced Jerry Hobbs to probation was voted out of office in November 2004. The D.A. is still in office, however his term expires next year.
Karen Price
Wichita Falls, TX

ANSWER: As far as I know, a judge has no choice but to accept a plea agreement if the D.A. has offered a defendant a plea deal and the defendant accepts and admits his guilt. Negotiations are between the state/feds and a defendant. A judge is simply there to accept the plea (make sure the plea is knowingly and voluntarily entered by the defendant) and then the judge decides punishment. A judge can't refuse to accept the plea just because he or she thinks it too lenient or too tough since it is a matter between the state/feds and the accused.

The "problem" in the Hobbs case in Texas is that the D.A. made the offer (I think lenient) to the defendant instead of going to trial on the charges. Of course if the judge had the opportunity even with the plea deal to give Hobbs incarceration and declined, then we might want to know why. Was the judge being too lenient under the circumstances?

It is not unusual for a first offender to get probation but Hobbs was not a first offender. Second, in deciding on probation or incarceration, a judge looks at how serious the crime. Chasing people with a chainsaw, in my opinion, is extremely serious. The only reason the crime was not worse — serious injury or death — is because Hobbs was "stopped" when someone clobbered him with a shovel to the back.

E-mail No. 4 — On Friday night we had technical problems in our weather segment as I asked why we do not have a tornado at night. Fortunately our viewers can help:

Dear Greta,

To answer your unanswered question: Night tornados do occur, however, they are very rare. Tall cumulous clouds are formed from the daytime heating of the atmosphere and the storm cells generated by two colliding air masses. Once the sun goes down over the horizon, much of the storm cell's energy is often dissipated by lighting, rain or hail. The typical violent Texas storms cells are generated by the mixture of a cooler Canadian air mass colliding with and warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. Along this colliding of air masses an uplift in the atmosphere occurs, creating huge tall storm clouds often towering over 40,000 feet. The surrounding air near the storm is often sucked into the front and spun to the tops of the clouds forming hail and, if strong enough, tornados and funnel clouds.
We've got some storms coming tonight!
Peter Cornwell
Austin, TX

E-mail No. 5

Dear Greta,
I would like to recommend that you address the tragic death on May 6 of the Denver police officer. I suspect it will generate much interest and discussion.
Deborah Sneddon

ANSWER: We have done several segments on this shooting death of the detective and the manhunt for his killer. Would someone do my a favor? If you know Deborah Sneddon, could you call her and ask her to watch the show? I would love to get her as a regular viewer. Thanks!

E-mail No. 6

Hi Greta,
Last night you said you were mystified as to why it matters how Jackson's children were conceived. It is evident to me, at least, that Jackson is gay. If he did not have the children with Rowe the "natural" way, this leads people to believe that even more. So that's one reason the defense mentioned this, I believe. I haven't heard much reported about Jackson's stash of pornography. Why anyone would support Jackson upon hearing of that in connection with children, I can't understand. And did anyone mention that if Macaulay Culkin had admitted indecencies with Jackson, his own career would be hurt if not ended? It's only logical for him to deny, deny, deny!
Houston, TX

E-mail No. 7

Hi Greta,
We watch "On The Record" every nite here in U.K. - even tho' it's aired at 3 a.m. our time! We are following the M.J. trial with avid interest and I'm sure we are not the only ones wondering what were the questions that Geragos could/would not answer?!
Love the program and you do a great job! We are FANS!
Dottie and Bill Huxtable
Wales, UK

ANSWER: I am flattered you watch from the U.K. Geragos could not answer the questions about statements Jackson made to him or info he learned after Jackson's arrest because Jackson did not "waive" the attorney client privilege for that period of time. Now, the question is, can a client really just do a "partial" waiver? The judge was mad that this was done and wants to think about it ... Geragos will be brought back next Friday and the judge will decide whether he must answer all the questions — including about time after the arrest. The judge may 1) Agree with the defense that a client may just do a "partial waiver;" or 2) agree with the D.A. that it can not be done this way and "strike" Geragos' testimony. Note, Geragos is willing to answer the questions ... it is Jackson and his current lawyer who are trying to rein in the answers.

E-mail No. 8

I heard your segment on the Denver cop killer earlier tonight on "The Radio Factor" and tuned in to "On The Record" later to get an update. I was appalled that Greta Van Susteren did not mention anything about the killer being an illegal alien or the issues surrounding Denver as an amnesty city. What in the HELL is going on at FNC?! All that I can take away from it is that your network is starting to slide into MSN territory. She told less that half of the story. It is interesting since she is always searching for stories of collusion and malfeasance — I have a tip for her all she needs to do is look in the mirror.
Troy Ross
Federal Way, WA

ANSWER: First, I find it "interesting" that viewers send me copies of their e-mails to my colleagues. Second, Troy, here is a message for you: I am more concerned with catching a man who murdered a cop in cold blood than talking about whether he is or is not illegal WHILE HE IS ON THE RUN AND DANGEROUS! I need to get as much information about him out there to help catch him ... people need to know his face, his last known whereabouts, etc. (not whether he has a Green Card in his wallet since no one will be in his wallet until he gets arrested.) I can't waste time talking about his status — that can come next ... after he is caught. Yes, immigration is a serious problem in this country — but in my mind murderers on the run is more important. Get him in custody and protect our police — then talk about his status. Third: Troy, chill out. You are getting yourself worked up ("What the HELL is going on at FNC?") about the wrong topics. Get worked up about murder not FNC! (By the way, as an aside ... exactly what are YOU doing to help or are you confining your "help" to writing e-mails?)

E-mail No. 9

The Bush administration plans to close military bases to save, over the course of 20 years, approximately what it costs to finance the war in Iraq for 180 days. It has been the consistent character of this White House to sacrifice the long-term welfare of families and communities for just such short-term "gains." That it now asks the very communities that have already sacrificed so much to give up their livelihoods, as well as their sons and daughters, is simply unforgivable.
Albert Clark

E-mail No. 10

I’m on the plane flying back down to Santa Maria on Sunday night for the start of the defense’s second full week of the Michael Jackson trial. Friday, when Mark Geragos hit the stand, stands out as one of the most electric days of a trial I have seen, as three lawyers — Geragos, Tom Mesereau (Jackson’s lead defense lawyer) and Ron Zonen, the most talented of the prosecutors — went at it. Every question by Mesereau was dissected in split second time by the D.A. and objections flew through the air without a moment passing after Mesereau had asked Geragos the question.

The timing and intensity and skill of all three lawyers were amazing to watch. And the jury seemed fascinated by it too. Besides providing a legal explanation for some of the most menacing things the Jackson camp did after the Bashir documentary — like surveilling the accuser’s family, Geragos was able to get out his own view of Jackson. "Michael," Geragos told the jury, had an "innocent" love for children and the accusers were a "pending disaster." Geragos said it all in a perfect tone: unaffected, direct, charming. The jury seemed to like him. He is but one in a list of stars or celebrities that this small town jury has been hearing from for three months now.

Next Friday, Geragos will be back. Then the judge will have to decide whether Jackson can make a partial waiver of his attorney-client privilege-only up to the time of his arrest. And the judge will decide what to do in response to what he called Mesereau’s "misrepresentation" regarding Jackson’s waiver. The judge didn’t seem happy with Mesereau last Friday and Mesereau seemed contrite and nervous. I would be too, but we all make mistakes. Stay tuned…
Jim Hammer
Santa Maria Courthouse

Finally, in April we reported on an investigation — authorities were trying to find a young girl who appeared in sexually explicit photos. Click here to read the A.P. story that gives you the update.

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