Adjusting On Air

Dear Viewers,

Last night went off without a hitch — sort of.

When we can take a show "on the road" with an uncertain guest list, and an uncertain starting time and make it through the hour, I consider it a roaring success. We had expected to start about 11:10 (after Mayor Giuliani’s speech and a short wrap up by Brit Hume and his panel) but the speeches ran long and we got started much later. This meant the entire show had to be "adjusted" as the show was airing.

To say we had to juggle interviews and segment times is an understatement. Prior to the start of our show, we had Alan Keyes (search), who is running for the Senate in Illinois, ready for his interview. When he discovered how long the speeches were running and how late he would get on, he asked to be excused.

We agreed (I don't blame him!) and he will no doubt join us another night this week. I suspect he had been up early since most everyone had.

Senator Orrin Hatch was a good sport - he arrived early and had to wait a long time. I watched the Giuliani speech with him and with his son (a lawyer who worked in the White House counsel office for President Bush 41.)

When it came time to go to Laura Ingraham, I noticed she was having trouble with her mike — it was in her hand and not near her mouth. This was not good. To give her time to fix it (and to give the audio man who jumped up to assist enough time to fix it), I asked Major Garrett a few questions.

Major had no idea how long I would keep the Q and A going — neither did I — and he probably had no idea why he was getting all the extra questions. While I asked Major questions, I kept glancing sideways at Laura to see if the problem had been fixed.

At one point the make up artist decided I needed "something" and walked onto the set to patch me up. Unfortunately her timing was bad and she was caught on air doing it.

I was told you could see the back of her head putting powder on me. I realized we were on air and tried to politely brush her aside but alas I was too late. She never got signals from the stage manager, or if she did, there was a confusion.

Don King was his usual "Don King" and I could not get him to end the segment — he kept talking loudly and trying to stop me from going to break. This was particularly challenging since it was the "hard break" and I have no choice but to take the break at the appointed time.

Senator McCain arrived late for my interview with him (he got hung up in an interview taped by Sean Hannity) and was very apologetic. Frankly, it was not his fault and I was just happy to see him because I wanted to ask him a few questions. (Incidentally, it was very late that we were all on the air and Senator McCain told me he had to be up early to fly to meet President Bush to campaign and then return back to NY for the Tuesday night events. These conventions are not for the physically weak!!)

As for tonight, we have a great show planned ...


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