Back to the Drawing Board

Want Greta's blog delivered directly to your e-mail box? Click here to sign up!

Add viewerservices
to your Address Book to ensure that you receive the GretaWire in your Inbox. Click here if you are unable to see images in the e-mail.

Did you like Wednesday night's show? I hope so… it was planned… and scrapped... and planned… and scrapped… and planned… and scrapped… and planned. We must have planned four shows last night before we settled on what we did on air — and even that was not set in stone until the show 'ended' at 11 p.m. ET.

We were dealing with a developing story: the weather. The entire day — and even throughout our show — we had our eye on the weather in several states and we were constantly debating how best to cover it. As the weather changed, and as things developed in the various states, we had to constantly change the order of guests, locations of reporters, order of reporting, etc. This was all done to try to accommodate the whims of Mother Nature. She never goes "off the record" and gives us a heads up as to what exactly she has in mind, so that we can plan with certainty. She only teases… and slams.

And, at about 8:20 p.m. ET, after having the show finally settled — or as settled as it can get when you are dealing with weather — we got more news, this time from Gaza City, Gaza Strip. We were told that Palestinian militants said they had executed an Israeli settler abducted in the West Bank. We had to immediately jump and find out if this were true and how best to report it to you. So — once again — we scrapped the show we had built up until that point and went back to the drawing board.

We also had some sadness hit us before our show, which adjusted the show but that adjustment was made a few hours before the show. We had been hoping to that the missing Maryland teen might be found alive. He was found… but dead. We got word a few hours before our show. His mother had planned to do our show, but the news certainly changed things. Leading up to our show, the police had been telling us that our show was generating lots of helpful information, so we were eager to keep going.

We have been putting the spotlight on missing people for a few years, hoping that some day we will strike gold and actually help find a missing loved one. I guess we will keep trying, as long as the police and family continue to tell us that it helps.

Finally, what is going on with all the teachers arrested for having inappropriate (sexual) relationships with students? Every day, I learn of new arrests and I think this is a serious problem. I don't think there is an "epidemic," but I think we need to spotlight this problem a bit more, get people talking more about it so that maybe — and I say only maybe — some teachers who might do this may come to their senses and not do it. I do want to make two points here: 1) there are thousands of good, hard-working teachers who do NOT do this and 2) just because I jab the panel at night when they disagree with me on this and laugh as I jab them, does not mean that I think the underlying problem is funny. It is not. It is serious. I have received e-mail from people accusing me of thinking it is funny. I don't think it is funny, which is why I am using some time in our hour to highlight it.

Now for some e-mails — the first one that people have been asking for:

E-mail No. 1 — You will recognize this next e-mailer — my colleague Catherine Herridge:

Hope you are well.
After a rough couple of days, Peter has astounded us with some big steps forward. On Monday night they had to put the breathing tube back in after he had some lung collapse, but he has stunned all the doctors. The tube is back out now and he is breathing well on his own.
The lung collapse sounds dramatic, but it is very common in babies who've had liver transplants. His new liver is only 9 ounces, but it is big for him. This literally gives him less space to expand his lungs. The problem is only temporary, he will quickly grow into his new organ. They same way a kid would grow into a new pair of shoes.
The preliminary results from the liver biopsy do not appear to show any signs of serious rejection. The liver appears to be working well and the fluctuation in the liver function tests are probably due to stress and perhaps an infection. We will know more later today.
I have been having a few aches and pains after my surgery. I went to the transplant clinic today and they told me it was all very normal. After they take out a piece of your liver, everything kind of moves around inside to fill the space. So as the liver grows back it literally pushes your stomach back into its normal position. Also your ribs move! (That was even a little too much information for me!)
While I was at the clinic, I was introduced to a woman who was donating part of her liver. It was amazing to meet her because it was like our situation but in reverse. She was giving the liver to her mother who has been really ill. Greta, I am constantly amazed at the depth of humanity — just how much people are willing to subject themselves to in an effort to help.
We all miss you here in Pittsburgh. Will hug baby Peter for you!
Catherine, JD and Jamie

E-mail No. 2

Dear Greta,
I very much enjoy your show and have recently signed up to receive your blogs. I am not one of these people who buys into all that "political correctness" stuff and think that honesty often falls victim to that all-too-popular "everybody needs a hug/free-to-be-you-and-me" theory. That being said, as a decent, civilized and productive member of society (did I mention, SANE?), I cannot for the life of me figure out why some of these babbling, half-baked nut jobs feel it's their place to comment on everything from your hair, makeup and red blazer to Catherine Herridge's weight. I appreciate how well you perform the function you were hired to perform: delivering news and comment of the day. Whether your hair is flat or fluffy; whether you have on too much blush or not enough; and whether you look "too aggressive" in red are of no concern to me, so long as you continue to do your show the same way you've been doing it all along. As for Isabelle who felt compelled to comment on Catherine's weight, what is gross and disgusting to me is how little compassion Isabelle (who I will assume for the sake of argument to be human) has shown for a fellow human being who has had to face every day of her young son's life not knowing whether he's going to survive that day or not. Some people are just too nuts to be given a forum and by printing their e-mails you are proving that you are, TRULY, fair and balanced beyond the call of duty.
Michelle Frydell
Indianapolis, IN

E-mail No. 3

To: News
I am just reporting an interesting observation today. For the last hour a helicopter has been flying over and near my house. Also this late morning some jack hammers have been out up on main street just down from my house. I am wondering if the street sidewalk project is starting and what will happen to my property?
You see I was on the committee for this project years ago, but not only have I not been invited to any meetings, I was told not to come to one by the former mayor. Also no description has ever been given to me, just comments that it does not affect my property. We shall see...
What is the street project going to do? Since the dumping of dirt on and near my fence out to the side of my house was done preceding this. I wonder what really is going on here. Why the helicopter?
Well, I am sure I will know soon.
Bruce A. Babcock
By the sending time of this e-mail it is now quiet. Trucks moved off and helicopter gone...

E-mail No. 4 — Note: In this next e-mail I deleted the author's name. I am not sure the e-mailer would want to be identified, so I exercised my judgment and deleted the name:

Dear Greta,
Every time I hear or read of a teacher having a sexual relationship with a student, it absolutely infuriates me. These teachers have no idea, or if they do, they don't care what impact these types of relationships can have on innocent people. I know what can happen from first hand experience.
When my former husband was 14, he began a sexual relationship with his 22-year-old married teacher. I hate to call it a relationship because it is simply child abuse. This "relationship" continued until he was 17. At some point, his mother found out and went to the principal of the school. This principal did absolutely nothing! It was rumored that this teacher was also sleeping with him. I guess that explains why he did nothing! His mother then decided to go to the police. She made the mistake of telling my husband that she was going to the authorities. He then ran away to protect this teacher. He did not return home until after he was 18. He refused to testify against her and convinced his mother to not pursue the matter any further. The teacher was never disciplined or criminally charged. She continued to teach school.
I married him when he was 41. He told me about the teacher and stated that she had ruined his life. He didn't graduate high school, have a girlfriend, attend the prom or get to pursue a career in football because of her. He never did any of the things normal teenagers do because he was so wrapped up in her. He also knew that he was not the only student that she had sex with but he didn't care.
After six years of marriage, he walked in one day and stated that he wanted a divorce, his reason being that he didn't love me anymore. Well, I may not be the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, but I knew there was much more to this story. It took a few days but I was able to follow him without his knowledge to where he was living. Guess where? THE TEACHER'S HOUSE! (She was now divorced). I immediately went and shared what I had discovered with this mother. Needless to say, it hit the fan. We went through a nasty divorce and his family told him that she would never be welcome in their homes. He gave up his family and friends to be with this woman. He told me that she was "the love of his life." They married immediately after our divorce was final. The woman is still teaching and her reputation is widely known in the community and the school system. Yet nothing has ever been done. There is no way to know the lives she has impacted.
When Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau married, it seemed that some thought it was a fairytale love story. Do people not realize that there are innocent victims in these situations! I am sure that students, particularly boys, that think having sex with a teacher is cool. There is absolutely nothing cool about it. It can hurt so many people. I know that my former mother-in-law wishes that she had pursued criminal charges against the teacher, but she never imagined that she would end up being her daughter-in-law.
Greta, you would be doing a great service to the public if you could do a show on the long term effects this type of abuse has on the victims as well as the family and friends. It took much talking, counseling and praying before I realized just how sick my husband and this teacher are. While they may think they will live "happily ever after," no good can come from evil. Parents must be made aware of what can happen to their children.
I apologize for the length of this e-mail and thank you for taking the time to read it. By the way, I agree with you on the teacher/student situation in Texas. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your panel. They may change their prospective!

E-mail No. 5

I am appalled by the disingenuous performance of Barbara Walters with regard to Star Jones' announcement. As a result, I have lost all respect for Barbara. First of all, why did she feel "betrayed" when she knew that Ms. Jones' contract was not going to be renewed? Secondly, since she is co-executive producer, I am certain that if she wanted Star to stay, she would still be on the show. Thirdly, with regard to Star's ratings, since when is an individual who works with others, singled out for opinion polls? And fourthly, how does Rosie O'Donnell rate to where she is allowed to criticize people for their personal choices (such as Star's method for losing weight), especially in light of her lifestyle and sensitivities? Barbara's eye-lowering, "why me" posture at the beginning of "The View" today was so far over the top, she needs to become an acting teacher. To Star, I say, "You go, girl."
Los Angeles, CA

E-mail No. 6

I am really upset about the sentence given this teacher. It absolutely is NOT fair that
men are given extended sentences, while the "poor, emotionally impaired, female teachers are given a slap on the hand.
I am a teacher and believe me, girls today are not what we remember when we were in high school. Many of them are overly provocative, aggressive sexually toward the men and boys and have the morals of an alley cat. Not saying that the boys are much different, but girls are NOT the "innocents" of days gone by. The fact is proven as they reach adulthood, become teachers and molest the younger boys. No punishment for the women.
Sandra Emerick
Buchanan, MI
P.S. I have two sons and a daughter of my own

E-mail No. 7

Man or woman, they should all be treated harshly as they are in a position of trust. Russell Reynolds
Heyburn, ID

E-mail No. 8

I was in high school from 1960 'til 1964 and students and teachers frequently had sex with each other. This isn't anything new. I'm sure these sex acts have been going on for many years. It's seems that it is just now making news. I agree that it is not right.
Jo Ann
West Frankfort, IL

E-mail No. 9

We're in serious hurt here in Oneonta, N.Y. We're about 20 miles from where the two trucks fell into I-88 (the one near Binghamton, N.Y. that is all over the news). My mom's house is totally flooded. Helicopters are going over. I'm scared! Please come up here when you guys can. We need this shown to the world. I'm on higher ground and we got mom out with one of her two cats and her birds, (the other cat was hiding and I couldn't find her... I'm worried for her!), but mom's a wreck, as you can imagine. Please do a BIG story here in upstate New York. We need help badly from feds and state. They need to see this. Mom, like others here, didn't have flood insurance and doesn't make much money. She lives alone, my dad died when I was 13 (13 years ago) and I'm trying to help her out as much as I can. I have no idea what we're going to go into when we go in. It's like a microcosm of New Orleans. Please help if you can. I love your show and watch all the time (actually right now). They're really worried about dams which would just inundate most of the city, then of course flow down to Binghamton and PA. Please keep us in your prayers. I know you will. You are the best.
Thank you!
Lori L. Paparteys

E-mail No. 10

Hi Greta,
I have been watching your program for over a year now. I would like to point out that one of your guests Mr. Ted Williams (in my opinion) is the best dressed man on TV today. His way of matching colors and the type of shirts (the collars are awesome) and ties that he is wearing are waaaaaaaaay above the rest.

E-mail No. 11

I haven't watched "The View" for two years because I got tired of hearing those women whine. Now I did plan to watch a little this fall when Rosie was on so I could see how the two big mouths behaved around each other. Oh well. That won't happen now with Star gone. Rats! I'll just continue watching FOX News during that time.

Send your thoughts and comments to:

Watch "On the Record" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET