Egg on Their Faces

Dear Viewers,

Here is an update on the editorial page editors of the Capital Times (search) in Madison, Wisconsin who attacked the contents of my book without first reading it and was foolhardy enough to admit that fact in the editorial! You would think they might be smart enough to try and cover their tracks!

I responded in writing to the editorial after reading the vitriol about the content of my book. I thought it unfair not to first read the book before trashing me. Frankly, if there were an objection after reading it, we could have a fun spirited debate. I like good debate. I think debate is healthy and constructive. Sometimes with fair debate, I am even convinced my original position was wrong.

In my response to their editorial, I also asked for an apology. I have received no apology. Maybe that will come tomorrow.

But, here is the headline and what I have learned: They are cowards. Yes, I backed them into the corner and they had to print my letter pointing out, among other things, how silly to trash the contents of a book without reading it. They got caught with egg on their faces. Of course you read a book before you criticize it.

But, here is where they were cowardly: they did not publish my response in the online version of the paper -- only in their limited local hard copy version of that paper. That means that they smeared my book around the world -- and for eternity -- but let me respond in a very small area and for a small time: Their local readership and one day. Hmm....

If you think the editorial paper should reconsider and print my response in their online version with a distribution equal to the criticism, please call Judy Ettenhofer of the newspaper editorial page. Her number is 608 252-6463. I am sure she has voice-mail if she is not in her office. I think it would only be fair for them to distribute my response equal to their distribution of their editorial trashing my book. What about you?

P.S. This newspaper has good reporters. It is only with the editorial page editors that I am having this "fun." The newspaper editorial page seems hung up on the fact that my Father, who has been dead for 14 years, worked on Joe McCarthy's senatorial campaign 57 years ago (well before I was born!) If they actually read my book, I think they would chill out on me. I also think that apology would come. I am waiting -- and I will accept. After all, I admit, I have made mistakes in my life, too.

Greta, We Have a Problem

Thursday night's show started "upside down."

The plan was -- and I emphasize "was" -- to go to our Carl Cameron for a "quick hit" in New Mexico about the Democratic political debate (search) and then to our first guest: Congressman (and candidate) Richard Gephardt (search). The second segment was to be our political panel, which was standing by and not in our studio wired up to go.

At about six minutes to 10 p.m. (our East Coast starting time), my New York based producer said, "There is a problem. Congressman Gephardt is not showing up. He has a plane to catch."

Needless to say, I was not particularly happy. A plane to catch? I thought he was supposed to do our show! The thought of me going first to Carl Cameron followed by blankly staring into the camera alone without a guest for the remainder of the segment was not high on my choices of how to spend the evening.

Of course my next comment was, "Are you kidding? What happened?"

"I don't know," was the reply.

I was wise enough not to further the Q&A with my New York producer, since she was obviously forced into a major scramble to come up with some solution. I guess she was not "amused" at the thought of me staring blankly into the camera alone, either. I did not want to take up her time at this point. Time was running out -- and fast. I looked up at the clock in the studio and it seemed to be on 'fast forward.'

Within seconds, I saw two members of our political panel being rushed to the studio. They almost looked like kidnap victims. They got pushed into the chairs, miked and I heard the animation of our show start up. I took the "toss" from Sean Hannity in New York, went to Carl Cameron in New Mexico and then to our political panel. I am really not sure what I asked them off the top since I had frankly "planned" on starting with the congressman and then asking the panel about the interview with the congressman. I guess my political panel can count their blessings that I didn't ask them about Kobe Bryant!

I don't know what happened with the congressman. I don't know if the mistake was on our end or his but I hope to hear this afternoon.

Second, for those of you who read yesterday's GretaWire, I still have not received an apology from the editorial page of the Madison, Wisconsin paper (Capital Times) for attacking my new book, My Turn at the Bully Pulpit, without first reading it. It is another thing to attack after reading it! I appreciate those who called the paper and asked why no apology. The person who I had hoped would call to admit that it is wrong to attack the book content without first reading it is Judy Ettenhofer of the editorial page (608) 252-6463, or John Nichols also of the editorial page.

Maybe today is the day I will get that call. Any bets?


Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET