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This week's plan is to do our show out of D.C. tonight and then head to New York for Tuesday's show and then, back to D.C. on Wednesday (unless news takes us elsewhere as it is prone to do.) We will have an extremely busy Tuesday. On Tuesday night in New York, we are taping a special at 7 p.m. ET (to air next week) and then at 8 p.m. I have to race to get ready for our 10 p.m. live show. As you know, 99.99 percent of the time we are live, but from time to time we want to do something special. It imposes a burden on the staff to do a special, but the staff is made up of people who really like to have fun, be creative and do something different.
Every day we call "Aruba" in an effort to find out what is going on in the investigation of Natalee Holloway's disappearance. We would love to learn the Aruban "side" of the current dispute with the family that has provoked the call for the boycott. Having the other side would make our collective judgment better and wiser. But we can't get some very basic questions answered. That is a problem — and a big one for Aruba. I would like to know from the chief prosecutor if she has been communicating with the family or not. I don't want to criticize her for not communicating with the family if she is. Beth Holloway Twitty and her lawyer tell us on camera that the chief prosecutor won't meet her.
As you might guess, I spend much of my time on the phone, calling people trying to get information on every topic we cover. I was told by someone on Friday by telephone that the chief prosecutor in Aruba wants to make public statements but that her boss, the attorney general forbids it. I don't know whether to believe this or not. If the attorney general is forbidding her from talking, the A.G. should tell us that so that we find the correct target to talk to get the lines of communication open between the family and law enforcement in Aruba. What is needed now is for both law enforcement and the family to get on the same page. They don't need a feud. I would like to lock them all in one room until they learn to talk to each other. The investigation will forever be frustrated if law enforcement and the family can't work together.
Have you gotten your friends to read www.gretawire.com or listen to our pod cast (the icon on the show page?) If not... can you? If each of you gets one new reader, we can push the hits to about 200,000/day!
In addition to the regret/correction printed on Friday in the Orlando Sentinel for what a columnist in that paper recently falsely wrote about me in their paper (and my Father who died more than 16 years ago and thus can't defend himself), the paper has now gone step further. The public editor wrote a column about the incident in Sunday's paper (and even added something I told him happened when I was six years old!) I appreciate much the paper's attention to this matter since it was outrageous what was suggested about me. If you are not yet bored with the issue — I have discussed it much in this blog — click on this link and read the column from yesterday. Incidentally, many thanks for those of you who supported me on this.
A few viewers also sent me this e-mail (see below) from the public editor of the Orlando Sentinel. Again, this shows that the paper has been very, very, very decent about fixing this problem. It is easy to be perfect... it is hard to apologize for mistakes (and we all make them — I do, too.) A paper that apologizes for mistakes has great credibility in my mind — it means that you can trust what is printed since if the paper makes a mistake, it fixes it. No media outlet is perfect. Like I have noted before, I hope I can be as "big" as the Sentinel. So if you have any question about the Orlando Sentinel, in my mind it gets very high grades. It has proven itself with me.
E-mail No. 1
Thank you for writing. You are correct. The Sentinel's review of "The Age of Anxiety, McCarthyism to Terrorism," went beyond the factual associations made in Haynes Johnson's book and jumped to a conclusion about Greta Van Susteren that was not warranted.
The newspaper published the following correction in today's editions:
"A review on Page F8 of Sunday's Life & Times section of the book 'The Age of Anxiety, McCarthyism to Terrorism,' referred incorrectly to the childhood household of FOX News talk-show host Greta Van Susteren. Although the book describes Van Susteren's father, Urban, as Joseph McCarthy's best friend, who lent McCarthy his copy of Adolf Hitler's 'Mein Kampf,' it is not certain that Van Susteren kept that book in his home nor is there any suggestion in 'The Age of Anxiety' that 'Mein Kampf' was held in high regard in the Van Susteren household. The Sentinel regrets the error."
I will be addressing this issue in my column in the Sentinel's Sunday Insight section. We appreciate your calling it to our attention.
The Orlando Sentinel
E-mail No. 2 — This e-mail was also forwarded to me by a viewer/reader of the blog(?)
Thank you for taking the time to contact us out of concern for finding Natalee.
Aruba has devoted enormous resources and people power to the search and location effort. Perhaps more than anyone else in this tragic story it is the people of Aruba who most want the Holloway family to have peace of mind and a resolution to this mystery.
From the moment of Natalee's disappearance Aruba rallied around the Holloway family providing resources, manpower, support and prayers. And we marshaled the resources and efforts of thousands:
• Helicopters and ATVs were donated.
• The Dutch Marines came.
• The Aruba Red Cross mobilized.
• Aruba Search & Rescue worked tirelessly
• The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provided agent and expertise, since the beginning.
• Local volunteers worked tirelessly.
One of the most powerful displays of support was when the Aruban Government, and many private businesses, gave employees the afternoon off to aide in the search for Natalee. Arubans came out in large numbers combing the island in a show of support and sympathy for the family in the hope of uncovering something to bring us closer to an answer.
This is the first time any nation has mobilized so completely to find a single missing girl. Our entire country came together to help resolve this case. The investigation continues.
What is truly needed now is a period of silence so whatever chance is left for the investigation to succeed can be undertaken to capture and prosecute those responsible.
Natalee Holloway and her family have been taken into the hearts of the Aruban people. The island of Aruba continues to extend its sincerest thoughts and most heartfelt prayers for her safe return and the peace of mind and comfort of her family and friends.
Aruba Tourism Authority
E-mail No. 3
In the news, the reporters are making very light of the girl talking on a cell phone while she is robbing banks. (Even being kind of amused.) Hasn't anyone realized that on the other end of her cell phone, somebody could be instructing her, threatening, her life and telling her she's being watched and had better be good at robbing those banks or she's dead?
What do you think?
ANSWER: I suppose that is possible. But if it is, the woman would be better off going to the bank security guard than to the teller... unless of course the person on the other end of the phone has a loved one. All this seems remote, but I suppose possible.
E-mail No. 4
I feel that the timing of the courts decision to dismiss all charges against Mr. Van der Sloot was for revenge against Natalee's family for asking for a boycott in Aruba. This family's loved one is missing and I'm sure she has been murdered, which is tragic. But not to know what happened to her or where her body may be is even more horrendous for this family. I pray that the murderer or murderers will be charged and Natalee's remains found or at least the knowledge as to where her gravesite is in order to give this family justice and some peace. I hope that there is a boycott of Aruba because of their attitude and arrogance of the murder victim's family. Have a good evening.
E-mail No. 5
I just caught part of the show with Little Bobby Kennedy and his chicken little and the sky is warming. Just one question that we non-scientific people would like to have answered: What happened to the Ice Age over 10,000 years ago?
We did not burn fossil fuels then... lets not politicize this issue. Most of believe that there is a natural trend in the warming/cooling of the world.
San Marcos, CA
E-mail No. 6
Being an Appleton native, I can't believe you have not spent a second on this local story. CNN has it.
Wrongly convicted of rape in 1985, then freed by DNA by the UW of Madison, now to commit this insane murder on Halloween!
ANSWER: I don't understand this e-mail from my hometown of Appleton. We have done this story several nights in a row. I wonder if The Bells are really watching. I sort of always hoped that our biggest viewer base would be my hometown — instead I am getting "whacked" for something we did do. Hmmm.
E-mail No. 7 — This next e-mail is for animal lovers. See Friday's blog about the organization and a Web site address:
Thank you so much for your generous support of the work PetConnect is doing for the animal survivors of the hurricanes in the Gulf region. Even after all of this time, there are still animals roaming the area in need of care and a safe haven. It's quite astonishing that in a country as rich as ours, a country with the capacity for great compassion, we seem so often to forget the animals in our care. As devastating as this experience in the Gulf has been, it has also opened the eyes and hearts of Americans across the country including many in our own area. We are heartened by the response and very grateful for the assistance that has been provided.
Even today we have teams of PetConnect volunteers driving back to our area with their cars filled with animals that have most certainly been someone's treasured family pet. Our volunteers will give them a comfortable and secure home in which to recover from their past trauma, with plenty of good food and water, something many of them have been without for a long time. We will provide the veterinary care they all will need and hopefully teach them that they don't have to be afraid any longer. And with a great deal of luck, and some detective work on our part, perhaps their owners will be able to find them and take them back home, wherever home may turn out to be.
Thank you again, Greta, for your help in this important effort. Despite the long hours and frustrations it sometimes brings, helping these animals is wonderful for our hearts, and we are blessed to be able to do our part.
P.S. While we are working to assist the animals displaced by Katrina, there are still thousands of animals in our own area that need everyone's support. PetConnect's work on behalf of the pets in our own community continues.
E-mail No. 8
[As usual] you are dead wrong on the Aruba case.
1. The FBI had six agents there by June 5th
2. There is no new evidence in the case
3. Is a boycott going to create new evidence
4. Dompig and Karin J. have spoken to BHT
5. BHT can't stand that they are poor communicators, is that cause for a boycott?
The reality is the puzzle of the case has some missing pieces, holding a gun to Aruba's head will not produce those pieces. So everyone must now suffer — to satisfy the vindictive desires of this poor grieving mother.
E-mail No. 9
Establishing Natalee's state of intoxication may help the Arubans move this investigation forward. The only objective way to determine Natalee's state of intoxication would be to have eyewitnesses reconstruct how long she was at Carlos and Charlie’s, and how many drinks she consumed over that time. (The latter could be reconstructed by bartenders, friends, etc.) With her body weight, an informed decision could be made as to her state of sobriety, without any subjectivity.
I myself (200lbs) stop at four drinks over a couple hours; after that I'm sloshed. I figure I'm just approaching my legal limit (.05%) and always have food when we go out. I don't drive if I have had more than three in a night. My wife weighs 110 lbs; she always stops at two when we go out, and will not drive.
It's hard for me to believe that an inexperienced drinker would know their limit and exercise care, especially, if as reported, several young men were providing her with free drinks. The bartender probably still knows. There were enough people at the bar to help assure a good estimate is developed, even now. Time is of the essence, however.
My personal opinion based on my own eighteen-year old experience as a student in (upstate) New York — which in 1970 was an "eighteen" state, is that she was probably quite unable to manage her alcoholic consumption. She's new to drinking, out with friends with a couple of free drink coupons, and at least one guy is providing her with free drinks. She's there at least three hours (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.), has been dancing on the bar, hanging out in the shadows next to the restroom door, and is accompanied by someone who is holding her arm. (When I was 18 if a drink was around, I was drinking; the only thing that made me stop was the clunk when I fell off the barstool or my head hit the table. Many girls/friends were just as out of it. That's being eighteen in a noisy bar on your own.)
To me, for an 18-year-old girl this sounds like "drunk." Besides, of their own admission (Joran and the Kalpoe brothers), she was "in and out of consciousness." Let's see, if she's with three guys at 1-2:30 a.m. not wasted, passing out, I can't see her saying much except "take me home." At least, that was my wife's refrain when she wasn't sloshed when we were out. Sloshed, hey, she was unconscious and didn't care to the degree she wasn't present. Most sober people are just tired at 1 a.m.; they have their wits about them.
By the way, why does a straight A student from Alabama get in a car with three men if she's not wasted? I don't think she was anything but a girl trying to hold her own with the boys, not realizing they were not the nice boys they made themselves out to be. They were looking for easy prey, and as Deepak said to Jaimee Skeeters, "you can't believe how easy it was!"
E-mail No. 10
You have done a fantastic job on the Natalee Holloway case.
I, for one, feel Aruba should be boycotted. Just for a month, to let them know how much they need the USA. The Aruban officials and government have disrespected us so much in regard to Natalee. They are so arrogant and deceitful; perhaps they need a wakeup call. As a mother whose 19-year-old son was killed in an automobile hit and run (Brian was a pedestrian), I cannot even comprehend how Natalee's mom can cope with not even knowing where Natalee is or what really happened to her. Some closure would help ease the pain and grief. My heart aches for her and Natalee's dad.
Blessings for your career!
Sharon A. Clifford
E-mail No. 11
I believe that Roger Moore owes you one... a sincere one at that.
To me, an apology from his employer does not right his wrong... I hope that everyone will continue to ask him to apologize to you, no wait, demand that he apologize to you.
My opinion only,
ANSWER: Lee, I had hoped it would come directly from Roger Moore. But it did not and I am grateful that the paper did what it did.
E-mail No. 12
As for the boycott, I am all for it but it has to be 100 percent. If Aruba has any sense they will let the FBI return with the polygraph and let the cards fall where they may. I think everyone down there is in each others' pocket. The only way to get any answers is to hit them where it hurts the pocketbook. If you have a good boycott it will not last long. Even if the casino owners have to take all four of those suspects for a boat ride and come back with a confession (if you know what I mean) you watch if the casinos start to lose a lot of money this case will get closed real quick.
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